To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

From the author of the bestselling Anam Cara comes a beautiful collection of blessings to help readers through both the everyday and the extraordinary events of their lives.
John O’Donohue, Irish teacher and poet, has been widely praised for his gift of drawing on Celtic spiritual traditions to create words of inspiration and wisdom for today. In To Bless the Space Between Us his compelling blend of elegant, poetic language and spiritual insight offers readers comfort and encouragement on their journeys through life. O’Donohue looks at life’s thresholds-getting married, having children, starting a new job-and offers invaluable guidelines for making the transition from a known, familiar world into a new, unmapped territory. Most profoundly, however, O’Donohue explains “blessing” as a way of life, as a lens through which the whole world is transformed.

Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Books.

Review & Commentary

One thought on “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

  1. Review

    John O'Donohue died in his sleep on January 3, 2008, three months before this book was published. He lived in County Clare, Ireland, where his father was a stone mason. He was a former Roman Catholic priest who left the church because he disagreed with its decrees about Eros and because he did not have sufficient time to write. A philosopher, poet and teacher, he was well known for his popularization of Celtic spirituality. During the last ten years of his life he was the author of five books, Eternal Echoes, (1998), Conamara Blues, (2000), Divine Beauty, (2003). Anam Cara (1997) and this book (2008)

    In gratitude for his spirit and presence in his writing, it is appropriate that I begin this review of his final book with the concluding paragraph which is titled, To Retrieve the Lost Art of Blessing. "We have no idea the effect we have on one another. This is where blessing can achieve so much. Blessing as powerful and positive intention can transform situations and people. The force of blessing must be even more powerful when we consider how the intention of blessing corresponds with the deepest of desire of reality for creativity, healing, and wholesomeness. Blessing has pure agency because it animates on the deepest threshold between being and becoming; it mines the territories of memory to awaken and draw forth possibilities we cannot even begin to imagine!"

    In his introduction, the author shares his understanding of the need for blessing the space between us. He writes that "While our culture is all gloss and pace on the outside, within it is too often haunted and lost. The commercial edge of so-called "progress" has cut away a huge region of human tissue and webbing that held us in communion with one another. We have fallen out of belonging. Consequently, when we stand before crucial thresholds in our lives, we have no rituals to protect, encourage, and guide us as we cross over into the unknown."

    He then shares his understanding and use of blessings. He calls blessing "a gracious invitation" and is convinced that when a "blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere." He writes, "In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way. In a dead wall a new window opens, in dense darkness a path starts to glimmer, and into a broken heart healing falls like morning dew." It is his hope that in the "parched deserts of post modernity" we can rediscover our power to bless the space between us and, in so doing, bless one another.

    This book contains eighty seven blessings divided into seven sections, which the author states, "follow seven rhythms of the human journey: beginnings, desires, thresholds, homecomings, states of the heart, callings, and beyond endings." Each section is introduced by an essay on the meaning and scope of the rhythm.

    It seems appropriate to conclude with some words of a blessing of Eros which is in the section titled Desire.

    When you love, May you feel the joy Of your heart coming alive As your lover's gaze Lands on your eyes, Holding them, Like the weight of a kiss, Deepening.

    This book is a treasure to be used to bless people and the everyday events of life. You will want to keep it within reach.

or, use the form below to post a comment or a review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>