Aug 19 2013

John O’Donohue – May the light of your soul guide you

Published by at 8:19 am under Poetry

May the light of your soul guide you
by John O’Donohue

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.

— from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donohue

/ Photo by deadst4r /

A poetic blessing by John O’Donohue to start you week of right…

Have a wonderful day!

John O'Donohue, John O'Donohue poetry, Christian poetry John O’Donohue

Ireland (1956 – 2008) Timeline
Christian : Catholic
Secular or Eclectic

John O’Donohue is an inspiring Irish philosopher, poet, mystic who passed away unexpectedly in early 2008.

John O’Donohe had degrees in philosophy and literature. His writings, though grounded in academic philosophy and theology, are immediate, personal, very human. He was as much a mystic and a poet as a contributor to philosophical dialog.

Much of his writing and poetry drew deeply from Irish Celtic perspectives, both in Christian and pre-Christian wisdom, while speaking to a widely diverse, modern audience.

More poetry by John O’Donohue

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14 responses so far

14 Responses to “John O’Donohue – May the light of your soul guide you”

  1. franon 19 Aug 2013 at 10:55 am

    I like the word, “May” used so many times. “May” is such a gentle word. No edge,
    no sharpness, no pressure.
    May would be the worn hand of an Irish grandmother stroking her grandchild’s
    cheek praying the many blessing in this poem……..

    “May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal…..”.thanks very touching

  2. Gingeron 19 Aug 2013 at 12:12 pm

    This poetic blessing is exactly what I needed today. I was struggling with the temptation to respond to some toxic energy being generated by 2 people close to me. After reading May the Light of Your Soul Guide You, I was able to move forward. Intead of getting involved with these individuals’ negativity, I posted this on my Facebook page. Other worldly thoughts and techno worldly communications . . . Thank you, Ivan!

  3. Nancy Longon 19 Aug 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I love John O’Donohue’s poetry! Thank you for choosing one that is new to me.

  4. marrobon 19 Aug 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Oh my!

    I read this as the sun sets over a hot and steamy city.
    The cool sigh of its peaceful haze is so well reflected in
    O’Donahue’s poem of today.
    ……..indeed, no need to argue over street names.
    I smile and say , thanks, Ivan.

  5. Carrie Bon 19 Aug 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Ivan, thank you so much for featuring John today. He is one of my favourite mystics, and Anam Cara one of my favourite spiritual books. This poem has always resonated with me and I have shared it on many occasions. Today is a good day to be reminded of it and John too. Like so many gifted people, he left us too soon – but who can fathom the ways of the Creator.

  6. Carolon 20 Aug 2013 at 4:03 am

    Thank You Ivan for sharing John Donohue’s poem. I lost a good friend on
    Thursday, we will celebrate his life today and this poem will help us return to
    this life with thankfulness.

    And the Thought for the Day – so lovely, ‘. . . why argue over street names’
    of course. . .


  7. sobhanaon 20 Aug 2013 at 9:05 am

    Hi Ivan,
    How are you?
    You are right the poem is such a beatiful “poetic blessing” from the first line “May your soul guide you” to the last “May your soul calm, console and renew you.” I wish there is a way to show how I feel wonderful, peaceful and above all calm
    Thank you very much

  8. Pegon 20 Aug 2013 at 9:15 am

    This is a very musically beautiful poem. However, do not let this lull you out of taking time to use discernment. The poet is placing a blessing on each of its readers. For me, this is problematic.

    First, like Fran discusses: “May” is such a gentle word. No edge,
    no sharpness, no pressure”. The poet is bestowing upon the readers his ideas of how a person should act and live as an enlightened being. Thus, this places the poet as judge and someone who holds knowledge that others do not have access to. The poet even goes so far to tell the soul how to care for its physical human counterpart: “May your soul calm, console and renew you.” These chafe me as the poem falls into a passive aggressive mess. When you pray for health, money, love, or whatever for another person, you are really proclaiming that they don’t have it, be it health or whatever. We all have these gifts within each one of us. It is a matter of how are we creating and expressing ourselves within our physical embodiment– this individual expression is sovereign and divine. The poet is saying you are less and thus must take action to fix yourself and I have the answer of how you need to go about it. I can’t help but think that the poet’s ego, after having experienced a connection with divine, took over to rule the kingdom when the heart needed to. The poet has his recipe for living as an enlightened being with work playing an important role since he used the word “work” five times and three additional references using “it” and “do.” Yes, I am being a little facetious as basically the poet took all the power in his poem kingdom and enslaved his readers. The reader is weakened and incapable of moving toward their own enlightened experiences or creating what “wisdoms” they desire to bring into physical manifestation.

    Each reader, and nonreader, is divine in his or her own right, beautifully sovereign unique individuals, capably expressing their own unique divinity. Does this sound like any of us needs to have a blessing placed on our brow or grant us rights that are ours to begin with?

    Much love beautifully expressing beings,

  9. Therese Monaghan O.P.on 21 Aug 2013 at 6:37 am

    I so often forget the beautiful being that I am and feel grateful for reminders from poets like John O’Donohue. To receive a blessing from God through another human being is comforting in whatever way it comes. And it usually arrives at the “right” time.
    Thank you, Ivan. I will send this blessing on.

  10. Elizabethon 21 Aug 2013 at 6:49 am

    Sometimes, the potent energy of Love touches an old, deep wound — triggering a fight-or-flight response …..

    This too can be a great gift — an invitation to allow that place within me to be bathed in unconditional acceptance, a flow of Divine Sweetness.

    poetry-as-medicine …. yes!

  11. Peter Mountainon 21 Aug 2013 at 5:49 pm

    @Elizabeth “poetry-as medicine” ~ love it!

  12. bharation 26 Aug 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Like Peg, I too have felt that too long have songs and hymns shown me to be weak and in need for a GOD to save, to help, to hold my hand…

    If I truly believe that I am part of the Divine Universal, then i have must link with the Whole, and immediately stop identifying with fragmentation.

    However, time has taught me that energies we flow in are vaster and stronger than what the limited mind and body can understand, so i accept the hymns, prayers and blessings, as this little person needs the whole universe to conspire to enable the leap into Wholeness.

  13. Jimon 10 Aug 2016 at 3:53 pm

    What do you think the line, “May you never become lost in the bland absences” means? What are the “bland absences”?

  14. Alishaon 21 Dec 2020 at 12:11 am

    I love this poem. I believe it is called “For Work” and it comes from the book “To bless the space between us.” If I am wrong, he reused many of these lines in a later poem called “For Work”.

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