St. Patrick’s Day Blessings: The Inner Landscape: John O’Donohue

Blessing for Love pastordawnOn this St. Patrick’s Day it is fitting to receive a blessing from a grand Irishman whose writing reaches into my soul. Followers of this blog know that John O’Donohue is one of my favourite sages. I am indebted to a follower of the blog for sending me this podcast of Krista Tripett’s interview of John O’Donohue recorded shortly before his death in 2008. O’Donohue’s words continue to open my soul.

Treat yourself to a listen:

A Blessing for the New Year (John O’Donohue)

The art of blessing is often neglected. The birth of a New Year calls forth the desire in us to bestow a blessing upon those we love. Several years ago, John O”Donohue, one of my favorite Irish poet’s created a New Year’s blessing for his mother entitled Beannacht-for Josie. It is a blessing of superior quality. And so, on this New Year’s Eve, may you all receive this beannacht with my added blessing for a peace-filled New Year in which the God in whom all of creation is held, might find full expression in your miraculous life! 

Beannacht John O'Donohue pastorDawn.pages

A Blessing for the New Year (John O’Donohue)

The art of blessing is often neglected. The birth of a New Year calls forth the desire in us to bestow a blessing upon those we love. Several years ago, John O”Donohue, one of my favorite Irish poet’s created a New Year’s blessing for his mother entitled Beannacht-for Josie. It is a blessing of superior quality. And so, on this New Year’s Eve, may you all receive this beannacht with my added blessing for a peace-filled New Year in which the God in whom all of creation is held, might find full expression in your miraculous life! 

Beannacht John O'Donohue pastorDawn.pages

Appealing to Young People Will NOT Save the Church! Changing National Demographics Tell Us that Youth are Not the Future of Christianity.

Blessing for New Beginnings O'Donohue pastordawn

A sermon for the Third Sunday after Epiphany. Our readings included Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, “A Blessing for New Beginnings” by John Donohue and Mark 1:14-20. Listen to the sermon here

 

A Blessing for the New Year (John O’Donohue)

The art of blessing is often neglected. The birth of a New Year calls forth the desire in us to bestow a blessing upon those we love. Several years ago, John O”Donohue, one of my favorite Irish poet’s created a New Year’s blessing for his mother entitled Beannacht-for Josie. It is a blessing of superior quality. And so, on this New Year’s Eve, may you all receive this beannacht with my added blessing for a peace-filled New Year in which the God in whom all of creation is held, might find full expression in your miraculous life! 

Beannacht John O'Donohue pastorDawn.pages

Returning to the blog after a summer break!

After a splendid summer break it’s time to return to regular posting. I begin with a Friendship Blessing from John O’Donohue

Friendship Blessing pastorDawn

The Inner Landscape: John O’Donohue

Blessing for Love pastordawnFollowers of this blog know that John O’Donohue is one of my favourite sages. I am indebted to a follower of the blog for sending me this podcast of Krista Tripett’s interview of John O’Donohue recorded shortly before his death in 2008. O’Donohue’s words continue to open my soul.

Treat yourself to a listen:

Benedictus: “For Longing” by John O’Donohue

anam caraThe art of creating blessings is not what it once was. There are days when I wonder if the lost art of blessing will ever escape the dull drums of the hallmark-esk drivel that is passed around to masquerade as sacred text. John O’Donohue is one of my favourite poets. He manages to delve into his Celtic roots to tap into the desire to bless another without resorting to the trite  cliches that dominate our modern attempts at this ancient art art form. His blessings are so carefully crafted to open our very selves to the possibility of the Divine. 

For Longing John O'Donohue pastordawn

From Alienation to Belonging – John O’Donohue

These post-celebration days, provide us with an opportunity to find our natural rhythm. Irish mystic, theologian, philosopher John O’Donohue offers wisdom for our journey.

A Blessing on this Holy Night

John O’Donohue is a poet whose words open me to the Divine who lives and breaths in me. Here his poem “Beannacht” which translates as “blessing” is read as a prelude to a very ordinary rendition of O Holy Night; surely it is in the ordinary that we are met by the Divine. May each of you find your Beannacht in the ordinary stuff of this your Holy Night.

Love is the Only Antidote to Fear – John O’Donohue

When I was a child my father used to sing a song that puzzled me:worried man

“It takes a worried man to sing a worried song. It takes a worried man to wing a worried song. It takes a worried man to sing a worried song. I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long.”  listen here

I can still remember my young self wondering why this worried man won’t be worried for long. Now that my age often lets me know that there are fewer years ahead of me than there are behind me, I know full well that it is death that will end this worried man’s worries. I also know that it is the knowledge of our impending death that gives birth to our fear. Speaking at the Greenbelt Festival in 2004, John O’Donohue explores with wit, charm and wisdom the reality that we are all going to die and points to love as the powerful antidote to the fear that this realty inspires. O’Donohue insists that we all must sort out our fear of death in order to live fully!

Click on the image below to listen to John O’Donohue

john o'donohue

Imagination as the Path of the Spirit: John O’Donohue

unseen life O'DonohueT’is a glorious summer weekend and so it is a perfect time to get yourself an ice cold glass of your favourite beverage, find some shade and sit back and listen to the wisdom of one of my favourite humanoids John 0″Donohue. I have been eating up his writings for the past few months and delighting in his Irish lilting way with words. From Anam Cara, to Beauty, through Eternal Echos and now lingering over Benedictus I have come to love this kindred spirit! Sláinte!

Anam Cara, The Blessing of a Soul Friend

anam-cara-wall-plaque

The sunshine of these May days have beaconed me outside into the newly awakened garden. My companion on these respites is John O’Donohue’s “Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.” Anam Cara is Irish Gaelic for “soul friend”. As the gentle breezes and the warm sunlight caress me, I am struck by the pleasure of knowing the Earth as my anam cara.

Beauty: A Human Calling and An Aspect of God – John O’Donohue

John O'DonohueHaving only recently been introduced to the work of John O’Donohue, (thanks Susan!) I find myself totally enthralled! O’Donohue was an Irish poet, philosopher, theologian, environmental activist, and storyteller whose writings explore the wisdom of Celtic Christianity. O’Donohue was an imbiber of beauty which he heralded as a human calling and an aspect of God. I’ve spent a good deal of time this week absorbed in the beauty of his masterpiece Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom (1998). Anam Cara is Gaelic for “soul friend” and the book is just that as it gently guides you through the spiritual landscape of Irish imagination. The book reads like a prayer. O’Donohue insisted that “it is within our power to transform our fear of death so that we need fear little else this life brings.” Sadly, O’Donohue died young (just 52 in 2008), but he left a legacy of wisdom in a series of books that I look forward to immersing myself in. 

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn Anam Carabreaking 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.” (Anam Cara)

As I bask in the beauty of O’Donohue’s wisdom, I am delighted to discover a film he made shortly before his death to compliment Anam Cara. The film in and of itself is a “soul friend.” You can enjoy it below. If you are familiar with O’Donohue’s wisdom or if you’ve never encountered the man, you will enjoy the brief video of O’Donohue speaking to a gathering of psychotherapists on the subject of observation. Quoting Heidiegger “true listening is worship” O’Donohue draws in his audience with humour and makes listening a joy while slipping in his subversive advocacy of a  “kind of un-thearaphy”.  His humour will wet your appetite for the longer film, which is well worth the time. I recommend putting your feet up with wee dram to add to your enjoyment!

Anam Cara – 2008