John O’Donohue

22 May 08 | Posted in Arts and Letters, Global Catholic

John O’Donohue was an Irish poet, author, and Catholic scholar who lived in the solitude of a cottage in the west of Ireland and spoke Gaelic as his daily language. His acclaimed writings reveal an original thinker rooted in a blend of Irish heritage, German philosophy, Celtic Christianity, and an intimate relationship with the ancient, wild and luminous landscape of his home.johnodonohueweb.jpg

O’Donohue is the author of several books, including international bestsellers Anam Cara (Soul Friend) and Eternal Echoes, as well as two collections of poetry, Conamara Blues and Echoes of Memory.  He also wrote a series of monogaphs: Stone as the Tabernacle of Memory; Fire as Home at the Hearth of the Spirit; Air as the Breath of God; and Water as the Tears of the Earth.

“Celtic sensibility and the Celtic imagination looked on nature not as ‘stuff’ or ‘location’ or ‘matter,'” said O’Donohue, “but nature was the theatre of a variety and diversity of divine presences. One of the great cankers and severances of western tradition has been dualism, which separated mind from body, self from spirit, person from God and nature from the whole lot! The Celts, in some strange way, managed to preclude that kind of fissure/opening which would lead to dualism, and were able to think in a unitive consciousness and think of all these things together.”

His poem Beannacht (“Blessing”) is a beautiful prayer.

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