‘Perhaps we bless each other all the time, without even realizing it.
When we show compassion or kindness to one another, we are setting blessing in train. There is a way in which an act of kindness done becomes an independent luminous thing, a kind of jewel box of light that might conceal itself for days or years until one day, when you are in desperate straits, you notice something at the floor at your feet. You reach for it and discover exactly the courage and vision for which you desperately hunger’.
John O’Donoghue has written a whole book of blessings, called Benedictus. Published in 2007, this collection is remarkably suited to the spirit of our time, as we progress through the levels of living with the deadly virus, Covid-19. In his intro, O’Donoghue writes, ‘This book is an attempt to reach into that tenuous territory of change.’
Drawing on his belief that there is a kindness dwelling deep down in things, echoing the presence of compassionate goodness,. O’Donoghue uses words and silence to draw the reader into a space of reflection, awareness and hope. Human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway.
The book is very beautifully produced with high quality paper and spacious
text, which honour his words of empathy and wisdom. As the publisher says, ‘John O’Donoghue offers blessings to shelter and comfort us on our journey through life.’ He inspires in us a new confidence and passion for life and helps us to confront key thresholds of human experience. Drawing on the heritage of ancient Celtic thought and imagination, the blessings and reflections in Benedictus can build a true sense of belonging in this often troubled world.’