I became a devoted fan of John O’Donohue in March 2007 when he spoke at a symposium my husband Terry and I attended in D.C. Participants were treated to a presentation by O’Donohue at a pre-conference event. Like a magician, this powerful Irish poet, author, priest and theologian mesmerized the entire group.
In this time of sheltering in place, for solace and inspiration I have turned again to O’Donohue’s CD “To Bless the Space Between Us.” For example:
“The quiet eternal that dwells in our souls is silent and subtle; in the activity of blessing it emerges to embrace and nurture us. Let us begin to learn how to bless one another. Whenever you give a blessing, a blessing returns to enfold you.”
Perhaps it is no surprise then, that I have begun to practice praying silently using (in breath)“Breathing in peace… (outbreath) breathing out blessing” including the name of the person or situation for which I might be a conduit of blessing. I feel a profound sense of connection when I do this.
There is also release when I offer blessing on persons/situations with which I struggle. I first learned this lesson after our business manager defrauded us resulting in the closing our business. For months I prayed daily for her. Because I am pious? No. Because I knew that otherwise I would become embittered and would only poison my own well. In this time of such division amongst even friends and families, this is wisdom to consider.
O’Donohue encourages us to “realize our power to bless, heal, and renew one another.” In that spirit, when I officiated the wedding for my great niece and her husband last November, I closed the ceremony with this blessing, (once again, courtesy of John O’Donohue) which I now offer you: “And so may these words of love work their way around you, an invisible cloak to surround your life.”
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.
Hope’s Café Bonus: Popsicles! For a little summer treat, blend 1 c. fresh or frozen fruit, 1 c. nonfat vanilla yogurt and 2 T. honey. (If too thick, add a bit of liquid). Pour evenly into 4 paper cups (or popsicle molds). Cover cups with foil, make slit in foil and insert wooden popsicle sticks (or plastic spoons). Freeze 5 hours or until solid. Voila! Peel off paper cup and serve.