To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
"John O'Donohue is a man of the soul."--Times (London)
To Bless the Space Between Us is a compelling blend of elegant, poetic language and spiritual insight to offer readers comfort and encouragement on their journeys thr ...more
Years ago I listened to John O’Donahue’s Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, my first audio listen, and it was lovely and magical. At some point later, I read his Anam Cara, the copy that I read was one I’d bought for my mother, one of her books that I’d claimed for my own after she passed. The past two mornings I’ve listened to his To Bless the Space Between Us which shares his thoughts on the blessings we require, receive. Those when we are at a loss over some grief we are dealing with, when we are ...more
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new dire ...more
A blessing breaks down the barriers between people and is the ultimate form of intimacy. It changes the environment around us and opens new possibilities of connection, healing, and transformation. O'Donohue laments that in the West we have "no rituals to protect, encourage, and guide us as we cross over into the unknown." Th ...more
Incredible source for family, ministry, prayers, toasts and even times of remembrance.
Mr. O'Donohue uses the most beautiful and poetic language to bless our modern day with life, hope + restoration for the soul. ...more
When the light around lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,
When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,
When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,
Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world,
Search and you will find
A diamon ...more
Compassionate of heart,
Clear in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.
After a Destructive Encounter (!!!)
Now that you have entered with an open heart
Into a complex and fragile situation,
Hoping with patience and respect
To tread softly over sore ground in order
That somewhere beneath the raw estrangement
Some fresh spring of healing might be coaxed
To release the grace for a new journey
Beyond repetition and judgment,
And have achieved nothing of that,
I am not sure I can say I merely read this book, I more inhabited it. I reach for it when I need a moment of grace, a moment of support, or a moment of remembrance that we are all ephemeral.
John O'Donahue writes: ...it has been one of the deepest longings of the human heart to strain against the erosion of one's life, to find a way of living and being that manages ...more
Perhaps it was that I didn't attend to its stated purpose as a book of informal liturgics. Perhaps my aesthetic is unrefined, or overly refined. Perhaps I brought a warped expectation, shaped by the delicious couplets and quatrains whose excerpted sharing drew me to this book.
Here and there, it was lovely and meaningful. It comes, clearly, from a gracious soul. I did not dislike it.
But more often than not, it didn't quite work. I wanted it to work, to sing, to resonate. I felt l ...more
"A blessing evokes a privileged intimacy. It touches that tender membrane where the human heart cries out to its divine ground." ...more
This book came to me at just the time in my life when I needed it, and for that i am immensely thankful.
This really is a book that I'll go back to for years ...more
A beautiful, non-trite book to awaken you to the blessing of existence, and to the part we can play in richly blessing that existence. The actual blessings that make up the bulk of this book are nice, but the commentary at the end is what I really recommend. Love the idea of time as a creative occasion that we, as the artists of our lives, have the power to shape. And the idea of “found” blessings like friendship that become visible in retrospec ...more
And I did like a lot of the book. Each blessing is written a loose poetic form and addresses one topic, life event, or challenge. There were a few — "For Eros", "For Love in the Time of Conflict", and "For Belonging" — that I loved.
One need to to belong to a religion of any kind to give, or to receive a blessing. Blessing someone doesn't require faith other than YOUR faith that the blessing is made and received with love. In fact, in the forwards, O'Donohue specifically states ...more
John o'Donohue's voice is sacred and whimsical and wise and dearly missed,
I would rate this book 7 stars on a scale from 1 to 5. It is that beautiful.
For a fantastic interview of O'Donohue, see Krista Tippett's podcast On Being, at http://being.publicradio.org/programs..., completed just prior yonhis untimely death. It helps so much to hear ...more
My favorite blessing was this:
For One Who is Exhausted
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes in the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.
The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit.
I started to read this book for a book club through an online yoga community. My goal was to read one blessing a day, and I met this goal for about a month, but then I got busy, and my readings became sporadic. I believe that I will read blessings from this book again, but I would plan to read them when they are more suiting.
Coincidentally, I read the blessing “Blessing for a New Home” when my roommate moved out. It wasn’t a new home, but it felt like a different home. I hadn’t lived alone fo...more
It's gauzy. Nebulous. New Age. Deity of the day. You pick.
And yet. To refuse to begin can be an act of great self-neglect. Who can argue with that? Who would want to?
Perhaps I should just stick with hymns. The lyrics of many hymns, ancient in particular (Of the Father's Love Begotten, for example), have ...more
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
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 your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”