John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us
When naming his book of blessings To Bless the Space Between Us, it was surely not John O’Donohue’s intent to reflect on the space created between humans during a time of social distancing. And, when we chose this as a book club title back in January, it was not our expectation that we would be daily aware of such a space.
Yet, here we are, separated by time, by space, by mask, by ideology, by fear, by loss, by one obstacle after another, perhaps making this a most fitting little volume for such a tumultuous time.
The poet O’Donohue reflects that our culture is often “haunted and lost” and that what we look at as 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. For such crossings we need to find new words.”
Those new words, he suggests, can be found in blessing. O’Donohue offers a timely collection of interfaith blessings for “seven rhythms of the human journey: beginnings, desires, thresholds, homecomings, states of heart, callings, and beyond endings.”
Join us for a weekly discussion in June on John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us. We’ll be reading on the schedule below:
June 10: Introduction, Beginnings (Ch. 1) & Desires (Ch. 2)
June 17: Thresholds (Ch. 3), Homecomings (Ch. 4) & States of Heart (Ch. 5)
June 24: Callings (Ch. 6), Beyond Endings (Ch. 7) & To Retrieve the Lost Art of Blessing
Photo by Noel Feans, Creative Commons via Flickr. Post by Will Willingham.