The Irish poet and writer, John O’Donohue (1956-2008) was as moved by the landscape of the soul as he was by the landscape of his country with its Celtic spirituality. An ordained Catholic priest, he eventually left the priesthood, but he never abandoned the mystical roots of his Christianity. He was a Hegelian philosopher, did doctoral work on Meister Eckhart, was fluent in Irish and German, was an environmental activist, and wrote several best-selling books (both nonfiction and poetry). His most notable work was Anam Cara:A Book of Celtic Wisdom. (Anam Cara meaning soul friend.)
Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition.”
No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.
The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence with elegance
To create a space for all our words,
Drawing us to listen inward and outward.
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.
~ John O’Donohue, The Inner History of a Day, excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings