The written word has coursed through history on a wave of influence.  Though today feels dominated by technology and visual stories, I still feel a strong connection to traditional print media.  Pages seems less ephemeral than gadgets.  In honor of a few beloved wordsmiths, I am launching a short series.  Perhaps you will fall in love with these authors and hold one of their books in your hands soon.

Are you familiar with philosopher, poet and theologian John O’Donohue?   He died unexpectedly in his sleep in 2008 at 52.  According to his obituary in The Guardian, “he had the literary tools and dazzling vocabulary to speak a language that persuaded you he was right.  His books were written in a kind of long-form, prayer style which was impossible to read quickly. They were the distinct product of a life often spent in meditation and solitude.”

Let me introduce you to the wise words of John O’Donohue if aren’t already in love with his legacy.  Next week I will share quotes by Emily P. Freeman.

deb schaefer january sunrise

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
– John O’Donohue, “A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted”

john o'donohue quote

“The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.”

John ODonohue
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom


“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”  – John ODonohue


“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.” – John ODonohue

john o'donohue on silence

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
– John ODonohue

iceland sunset

I give thanks for arriving safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes to see the world,
The gift of mind to feel at home
In my life, the waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.
John ODonohue
To Waking, To Bless the Space Between Us

john o'donohue on kindness

And drumroll… my favorite string of words by John O’Donohue.  May you be blessed and bring something alive in the world that no one else can.

Each of us brings something alive in the world that no one else can.
There is a profound necessity at the heart of individuality.
When your life awakens and you begin to sense the destiny that brought you here,
you endeavor to live a life that is generous
and worthy of the blessing and invitation that is always calling you.

-John ODonohue
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong