John O’Donohue was a priest, poet and theologian, born in 1956, into a native Gaelic speaking family, on the farm in a region called “The Burren” in County Clare, Ireland (pictured here). As the oldest of four children, he work alongside his parents and uncle, and developed a close kinship with the wild landscape of his home nestled between the limestone valley and the sparkling waters of Galway Bay. He was educated at the local primary school, alternating his studies with the farm chores of tending livestock, raising crops and carving peat for fuel, in his youth. John later described the influence of his childhood home as, “A huge wild invitation to extend your imagination…an ancient conversation between the land and sea.”
I was moved by bit of John’s poetry. He writes:
You can suffer from a desperate hunger to be loved.
You can search long years in lonely places, far outside yourself.
Yet the whole time, this love is but a few inches away from you.
It is at the edge of your soul, but you have been blind to its presence.
We must remain attentive in order to be able to receive.
The psalmist writes, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. Take a moment right now. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and sense the closeness of the Lord. He is closer than the air we breathe.
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