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John O'Donohue Quotes, Blessings by the Irish poet and philosopher

Pages 1 - 2
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
John O'Donohue
For Presence, To Bless the Space Between Us (titled Benedictus in Europe, Ireland and UK).

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Your soul is the priestess of memory, selecting, sifting, and ultimately gathering your vanishing days toward presence.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Beauty is the illumination of your soul.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

We do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

To be human is to belong. Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature. The word 'belonging' holds together the two fundamental aspects of life: Being and Longing, the longing of our Being and the being of our Longing.
John O'Donohue
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

We do not need to operate according to the idea of a predetermined program for our lives.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.
John O'Donohue
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Consumerism is the worship of the god of quantity; advertising is its liturgy. Advertising is schooling in false longing.
John O'Donohue
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

In this post-modern world the hunger to belong has rarely been more intense, more urgent. With many of the ancient, traditional shelters now in ruins, it is as if society has lost the art of fostering community. Consumerism propels us towards an ever-more lonely and isolated existence - although technology pretends to unite us, more often than not all it delivers are simulated images that distance us from our lives.
John O'Donohoe

In the human face, a life looks out at the world and also looks in on itself....When bitterness, anger, or resentment are left untransfigured, the face becomes a mask. Yet one also encounters the opposite, namely, the beautiful presence of an old face deeply lined and inscribed by time and experience that has retained a lovely innocence... In such a face a lovely luminosity shines out into the world. It casts a tender light that radiates a sense of wholeness and wholesomeness.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
John O'Donohue
A Blessing, Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

The human face is the subtle yet visual autobiography of each person.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. No one else can bring you news of this inner world. Through the opening of the mouth, we bring out sounds from the mountain beneath the soul. These sounds are words. The world is full of words. There are so many talking all the time, loudly, in rooms, on streets, on television, on radio, in the paper, in books. The noise of words keeps what we call the world there for us. We take each other's sounds and make patterns, predictions, benedictions, and blasphemies. Each day, our tribe of language holds what we call the world together. Yet the uttering of the word reveals how each of us relentlessly creates. Everyone is an artist. Each person brings sound out of silence and coaxes the invisible to become visible.
John O'Donohue
Opening words of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

I would love to live
like a river flows,
carried by the surprise
of its own unfolding.
John O'Donohue
Unfinished Poem.

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
John O'Donohue
A Blessing, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul. This recognition is described in a beautiful line from Pablo Neruda: 'You are like nobody since I love you.' This art of love discloses the special and sacred identity of the other person. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person's individuality and soul. Love alone is literate in the world of origin; it can decipher identity and destiny.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love,
warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship. and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
May they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth,
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.
John O'Donohue
A Friendship Blessing, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

There is a kindness that dwells deep down in things; it presides everywhere, often in the places we least expect. The world can be harsh and negative, but if we remain generous and patient, kindness inevitably reveals itself. Something deep in the human soul seems to depend on the presence of kindness; something instinctive in us expects it, and once we sense it we are able to trust and open ourselves.
John O'Donohue
To Bless the Space Between Us (entitled Benedictus in Europe, Ireland and UK).

I give thanks for arriving safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes to see the world,
The gift of mind to feel at home
In my life, the waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.
John O'Donohue
To Waking, To Bless the Space Between Us (titled Benedictus in Europe, Ireland and UK).

When one flower blooms spring awakens everywhere.
John O'Donohue

The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people."
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions; your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly. Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities. When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow. Possibility is the secret heart of time.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never do back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation, or pain. They are home.
John O'Donohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
John O'Donohue
Beannacht/Blessing (for Josie, my mother), Echoes of Memory.
Pages 1 - 2
John O'Donohue was an Irish author, poet, philosopher and former Catholic priest. He was born in County Clare on January 1, 1956. He died suddenly on January 4, 2008. He is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality and is the author of a number of best-selling books on the subject.


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