John O'Donohue

The gift of the world is our first blessing

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. . . . It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us. The gift of the world is our first blessing.

~ from TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEEN US by John O'Donohue

Silence is one of the major thresholds in the world

Silence is one of the major thresholds in the world. . . . Meister Eckhart said that there is nothing in the world that resembles God so much as silence. Silence is a great friend of the soul; it unveils the riches of solitude. It is very difficult to reach that quality of inner silence. You must make a space for it so that it may begin to work for you. In a certain sense, you do not need the whole armory and vocabulary of therapies, psychologies, or spiritual programs. If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude, everything that you need to know will be revealed to you. These are some wonderful lines from the French poet Rene Char: "Intensity is silent, its image is not. I love everything that dazzles me and then accentuates the darkness within me." Here is an image of silence as the force that discloses hidden depth. Silence is the sister of the divine.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Time is presence

As a river flows in ideal sequence May your love discover time is presence.
~ John O'Donohue

Springtime in your soul

Spring is a youthful season coming forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of spring, there is a great inner longing when desire and memory stir toward each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventures, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life; there the rhythm, the energy, and the hidden light of your own clay work with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

The mystery of time

One of the greatest mysteries in life is the mystery of time. Everything that happens to us, happens to us in and through time. Time is the force that brings every new experience to the door of your heart. All that happens to you is controlled and determined by time. Time opens up and opens out the mystery of the soul.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Nothing can happen without a certain stillness

To return back into ourselves, there are three things needed, for which you don't require a computer, television or radio: the first is a bit of stillness. Nothing can happen without a certain stillness. We also need silence. There is nothing so vocal and articulate as silence; all good language, all great words, are born of it. And the third thing we need is solitude. We need to acknowledge that solitude is an invitation to the soul to come alive. Solitude is utterly luminous if we lose our fears and begin to enter it more deeply.

~ from "Earth's Inner Light," an interview with John O'Donohue in "Earthlight" # 27

You have found your soul friend

According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the boy like a luminous cloud. When you are very open – appreciative and trusting – with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found an ANAM CARA or "soul friend." Your ANAM CARA always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

In love, you grow and come home to yourself

The heart ís 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 yourself.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Only in your solitude will you come upon your own beauty

Only in solitude can you discover a sense of your own beauty. The Divine Artist sent no one here without the depth and light of divine beauty. This beauty is frequently concealed behind the dull facade of routine. Only in your solitude will you come upon your own beauty.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Listening and hearing

There is a very important distinction to be made between listening and hearing. Sometimes we listen to things, but we never hear them. True listening brings us in touch even with that which is unsaid and unsayable. Sometimes the most important thresholds of mystery are places of silence. To be genuinely spiritual is to have great respect for the possibilities and presence of silence. ...When you listen with your soul, you come into rhythm and unity with the music of the universe.

~ From ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue
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