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Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong
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Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  532 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
There is a divine restlessness in the human heart, our eternal echo of longing that lives deep within us and never lets us settle for what we have or where we are.In this exquisitely crafted and inspirational book, John O'Donohue, author of the bestseller Anam Cara, explores the most basic of human desires - the desire to belong, a desire that constantly draws us toward ne ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1998)
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Some books simply find you. They enter your life at the right time, when you are most in need of and receptive to hearing their message. This book. My soul. The Universe recognized what I needed and offered up these words in response.

I've been aware of John O'Donohue's work for some time: I have a collection of his poetry, gifted by a dear friend, that I dip into and feel embraced by; I've been to a writing residency at Anam Cara in southwest Ireland, named for one of his works of essays and re
Writerful Books
Jun 18, 2012 Writerful Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book you simply read from cover to cover. There is so much timeless wisdom contained in this book that you will often find yourself pausing to reflect on what has been said time and time again. Totally appealed to my Celtic soul. I can't praise this book enough.
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya


I wrote down about 40 pages of quotes from this book during the month of reading it. If I read it with a yellow highlighter instead, there would be no page left unmarked. For all the brilliance of meaning and artful writing of separate sentences and passages, the whole landscape of the book stayed covered in thick fog for me. "Perhaps, I do not embrace my longing and deny my need of belonging, and thus cannot see clearly," I would joke, routinely, over the weeks of m
Apr 17, 2012 Cliff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Mr. O'Donohue, in his masterful book - Eternal Echoes, takes you on an exquisitely organized, vastly scenic, interpretive journey through the corridors of the human soul. His profound knowledge and sensitivities in the realm of the human condition are astounding; And the language with which he chooses to impart these insights to the reader, is equally fantastic. With lyric like imagery, he weaves words that touch the senses like beautiful music - pure literary excellence!

"It takes a lifetime of
Apr 01, 2008 Karunagrace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
I just love John O'Donohue's writing. His gently probing reflections, woven with rich Celtic and Catholic learning and a love of language, combine to form a deepening meditation that spirals inward and outward at the same time. You feel like you are participating in or witnessing his creative thought process, and that he enjoys the process, and the process itself brings new insights to light.

Eternal Echoes is about the soul's deep thirst for belonging, or "Being and Longing, the longing of our
Nov 11, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motivational
Like Anam Cara the words in this book just washed over me soothingly, making me receptive to the ideas contained within. It gave me some insight into where that 'search to belong' comes from and what to expect from the world in terms of an answer.
Oct 12, 2014 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books are to be returned to again & again, and this is one of them. I picked this up in a charity shop and I had no idea what to expect from it. I quickly fell in love with John's reflections and deep insights, drawn from the Celtic way of life; his simple, honest and engaging writing style; and his ability to conjure up vivid imagery and analogies to transmit his wisdom in a way that is accessible to anyone. His humility, understanding and love of life come through on every page, as we ...more
Apr 04, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my fourth John O'Donohue book, and I'm continually amazed at the depth and breadth of wisdom his books encompass. Reading them is like reading a long, beautiful prayer. It is so sad to think he died so young. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to understand their place in the world.
Sep 15, 2009 Lcord rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those books I've read and reread. John O'donohue had such a beautiful soul. So sad that he died so young. He had much to teach and share
Laura Uplinger
Sep 05, 2011 Laura Uplinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A soulful symphony of thought. An essential read for those who love flights of freedom in the realm of longing and belonging.
Angela Joyce
Jul 08, 2011 Angela Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith-in-general
This is an extraordinary work. The man possessed unusual insights and had such a way of expressing them. I'm sorry there won't be more books from him, but I intend to read all his existing work.
Jul 27, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a wonderful meditation read
Pauline Esson
Jan 15, 2017 Pauline Esson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite. Transporting. Sublime. Sighs out loud at touching truth. Divine.
Apr 26, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love John O'Donohue, and it is hard not to love his work. But as with any love relationship, one must exercise virtues of patience with qualities not fitting of their idealized image of the love object. John's writing can be so richly textured and thick that it at times must be taken in small doses. The beginning of the book had me enthralled, and I wonder if this was due to starting it at a time when I was overtaken with longing; a significant time of transition in which I was in need of expl ...more
This was a somewhat disappointing read but not without it's strong points. The main theme was the cohabitation of longing and belonging in the human experience. It explored the role of both feelings and the importance of a balance between them. I would not recommend this book for its theology as it seems to advance a nominally Christian, watery sort of spiritualism. However, some meditations and thoughts were insightful and worthwhile never the less. The strongest sections were the sections on l ...more
Anita Zinn
Oct 29, 2012 Anita Zinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I was touched by this author's way of expressing our deeper thoughts.


Somewhere, out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shores of dawn.

The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild to light,
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.

I arise today
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health

May I live this day

Compassion of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Nov 18, 2015 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-the-spirit
Lovely, philosophical exploration of spiritual and social though not necessarily religious issues. O'Donohue is an Irish poet, philosopher and Catholic scholar and while this is not overtly Irish or Catholic, these influences are present. He meanders through life and death, solitude and purpose, and other aspects of life. This is a book to return to for further insight. Can be read and put down, only to pick it up again later.
Jan 30, 2016 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some very interesting ideas and perspectives with regard to self exploration and understanding but almost no reasoned thought or conclusions to them. There was very little to do with Celtic history, religion, and culture as well as a large number of contradictions and paradoxical statements within the text making it read more like a monotheistic fairy tail then something philosophical or scholarly. As such I have a hard time recommending this book, unless the above described is what your after.
Jan 05, 2010 Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wise and beautiful book ... here is a quote:

Our hunger to belong is the longing to find a bridge across the distance from isolation to intimacy. Everyone longs for intimacy and dreams of a nest of belonging in which one is embraced, seen and loved. Something within each of us cries out for belonging. We can have all the world has to offer in terms of status, achievement, and possessions. yet without a sense of belonging it all seems empty and pointless.
May 23, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love John O'Donohue and wish I could sit across from him in front of a warm hearth as we discuss the fertile dynamism that exists between longing and belonging. Sadly, as that is not possible, I will have to settle for spending time with him through his books. This one is densely packed with wisdom and is probably best read in bits over a span of weeks or months so that his reflections can be processed and savored.
Aug 09, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so much- it is one I will keep by my bedside to read again and again. John O' Donohue was a modern day Sage and Wise Man. He died tragically young, but we are so blessed to be left with his beautiful encouraging words.
Jennie C-knight
Nov 12, 2016 Jennie C-knight rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Very deep and the sort of devotional book that you need to read in small parts and come back to frequently.

Good to keep on your bedside table. Its a bit too rich to have all at once, like too much chocolate!

Jennie CK
Jun 16, 2013 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vintage O'Donohue. Paced and poetic, a delightful excursion in language and imagery, this book slowly works on the reader. It draws you into a slower more ponderous time where we look more carefully, listen more deeply and chew over the narrative to savour it.
Paul Fadoju
Mar 25, 2009 Paul Fadoju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is wholesome; finding that home is within yourself and how you perceive your friends, family and little things that comes into your life......John weaved a nice pattern for all men to follow to wholeness.
Apr 19, 2012 Zara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps O'Donohue's best reflections on belonging - everything by O'Donohue is worth reading more than once.
Moni Smith
Apr 14, 2013 Moni Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
My friend from meditation group constantly quotes this author so I finally decided to read one of his books. I liked it and will read more.
Aug 16, 2015 Liblady81 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this! John O'Donohue has a magical way of connecting with the reader through his words and soulful insights. Nourishing for the soul.
Oct 25, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am loving this book so far. I love John O'Donohues's work, I loved his book on CD I got, his beautiful Irish accent... what a lovely spirit he has, and such profound wisdom.
Willa Grant
I find that the author's poetry tells me much more (or at least I uptake it better) than his prose does.
Catherine R
Mar 08, 2014 Catherine R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a life changing book for me. It was so rich it took me 8 weeks to read it. Such a depth that is rare in Christianity today.
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John O'Donohue, Ph.D., was born in County Clare in 1956. He spoke Irish as his native language and lived in a remote cottage in the west of Ireland until his untimely death in January 2008. A highly respected poet and philosopher, he lectured throughout Europe and America and wrote a number of popular books, including Anam Cara and To Bless the Space Between Us.
More about John O'Donohue...

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“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.” 113 likes
“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder. ” 59 likes
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