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Tag Archives: John O’Donohue

the inner history of a day

THE INNER HISTORY OF A DAY
by John O’Donohue

No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.

The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence with elegance
To create a space for all our words,
Drawing us to listen inward and outward.

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.

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a blessing for equilibrium

A BLESSING FOR EQUILIBRIUM
by John O’Donohue
from Benedictus – A Book of Blessings

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the music of laughter break through your soul.

As the wind wants to make everything dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the freedom of the monastery bell,
May clarity of mind make your eyes smile.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May a sense of irony give you perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May fear or worry never put you in chains.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the distance the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue believed that “we do not always know who among us is suffering some unnameable torment, nor who is rejoicing at the blessing of a lifetime.” [from his friend Gareth Higgins’ website]

We all have hidden sorrows, concerns, and joys; we are all in this together. 

We are all in this together.

I wish my friends, my acquaintances, and those whom I don’t (yet)  know – blessings.

blessings for equilibrium

 

imagination as the path of spirit

John O’Donohue – article by John Draper in Church Times

THE POET, philosopher, academic, and best-selling spiritual writer John O’Donohue needs coffee. “Whiskey happened last night,” he explains in a lilting, lyrical Irish accent over breakfast. He can make even a hangover sound sublime. “We drank a beautiful bottle of single malt that didn’t die without proper spiritual necessity.”

A former Roman Catholic priest, he may be the author of serene, numinous prose, but he is no effete guru. He is a farmer’s son from Conamara, in the wilds of western Ireland. His physical presence is strong, and immediately felt. He radiates energy, warmth, and mischief, and there is more than a hint of a glint in his eye. “I never read spiritual books,” he says, somewhat provocatively, since he has written two of the past decade’s popular spiritual books: Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes. “Can’t read them. The stuff on spirituality is like candyfloss,” he whispers conspiratorially. “You put a knife down through it, and you come to a spine at no point. It’s just goo. The shops are full of it, and people are consuming it.”

today’s prayer

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart

Clear in word

Gracious in awareness

Courageous in thought

Generous in love

John O’Donohue

Happy Birthday – 15 year old

For your Birthday

Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day

The blueprint of your life

Would begin to glow on earth,

Illuminating all the faces and voices

That would arrive to invite

Your soul to growth.

Praised be your father and mother,

Who loved you before you were,

And trusted to call you here

With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you

Into becoming who you were meant to be,

Blessed be those who have crossed your life

With dark gifts of hurt and loss

that have helped to school your mind

in the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,

Blessed be those who looked for you

And found you, their kind hands

urgent to open a blue window

in the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,

Your health, eyes to behold the world,

Thoughts to countenance the unknown,

Memory to harvest vanished days,

Your heart to fell the world’s waves,

Your breath to breathe the nourishment

Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,

may you open the gift of solitude

In order to receive your soul;

Enter the generosity of silence

To hear your hidden heart;

Know the serenity of stillness

To be enfolded anew

By the miracle of your being.

– John O’Donohue

my friend is dying

It is so painful to read of the suffering of my friend Chris.  It has been years since we’ve seen one another – but the years don’t diminish the caring – and Chris’s daughter is keeping  friends and family aware of Chris’s situation via the internet.  The love this family shares and the love Chris has inspired touches me deeply.  I hate hate HATE that Chris is enduring such pain and yet I know she is surrounded with love – the love of her family and her friends – and most importantly, of her God.  When one reads the comments on the blog about Chris, it is obvious that she has touched many many people with Christ’s love.  But I still HATE HATE HATE that she is going through such suffering.

My poet of the month (thankful I’ve discovered the sensitive and gifted poet John O’Donohue) writes that . . .

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives,
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of color

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.

We look toward each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Thought we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows

And music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

I know that Chris’s family is holding each moment with Chris in  tenderness and love – and I know Chris, amidst her suffering, also treasures these days with her loved ones.  Chris’s daughter writes: “We ask that your continued prayers will be to bring comfort with the suffering Mom continues to experience. Our family is grateful for each day we are given to be with Mom.”

God bless Chris and God bless the Cook family.

poetry

It seems as though I sometimes find someone or something a little late.  Have you ever had that feeling?

I’ve just discovered the poet John O’Donohue, whose poetry speaks to the Soul of Me – and learn that he died in 2008.

Or maybe I’ve not discovered this gifted poet too late, for his poetry and his Self  will undoubtedly live long after I’ve left this earth.  I’m thankful I have now found him.

Irish poet and philosopher John is laid to rest in Fanore, Co Clare, Ireland. O’Donohue was a native Irish speaker, a former priest, and author of books that provided sustenance for many souls hungering for connection in a shallow, narcissistic world — a world full of what called the ‘religion of rush.’   He died suddenly on Jan. 4, ( 2008) near Avignon, France. He was 52.

One of his poems – To Come Home To Yourself

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquillities.

May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.

I will quite likely be posting more poems of O’Donohue – for his poetry not only speaks to me, his words speak/cry to be shared.