A Blessing for the New Year

As the new year begins to unfurl I would like to share with you a blessing from a thinker whose work I have found enriching at various points in my life.

John O’Donohue’s writings, blessings and poems go far beyond easy answers.  Here the depths, the suffering, the joy and the complexities of life are acknowledged and attended to with sensitivity and intellect, and so too, is the mystery of the Divine.

Years ago, when I was travelling through terrible times, his words were some of the few that I could take seriously.  As I journeyed with a friend to her death last year, his ‘Blessing for Dying’, gave expression to some of her deepest longings.

At Meditation at Richmond Uniting Church, as we gather on the first Friday of the month at noon, each month we conclude with a blessing that O’Donohue wrote.

I offer it for each of you now as this new year opens up.

The words are best savoured rather than gulped down…

May you awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame
and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
John O’Donohue
A Blessing, Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

John O’Donohue died suddenly a few years ago. I only came across this extended interview, recorded shortly before his death, last week.  Here is the link if you are interested in exploring some more:


Every blessing for you in 2017