A blessing for absence by John O’Donahue
Today, a Lectio Divina of A Blessing for Absence from Eternal Echoes by John O’Donahue Eternal Echoes by John O’Donahue
A Lectio Divina is a contemplative way to read the Bible, poetry or any other forms of written word. We come into a still place and give ourselves to the words paying attention to any that stand out to us. We’re not listening or reading for knowledge but for the words to connect to a deeper place within where they can release their presence and bring us whatever we need in that moment.
Coming to stillness through breath… then centering by gently bringing attention away from our thoughts in the head down into the core of ourselves where all is still and where our Divine nature is enfolded in the Trinity of Spirit, Son and Father. If distractions come simply let them pass through and place them down. All that’s needed in this moment is to be here and now.
I will read the poem three times.
During the first reading allow the words to wash through inside and out. Let them all come to you without noticing any that stand out
During the second reading pay attention to any words and phrases that stand out to you.
During the third reading allow what stood out to go deeper into your being and bring to you what you need.
A Blessing for Absence
May you know that absence is full
of tender presence and that
nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
May the absences in your life be full of eternal echo.
May you sense around you the secret
Elsewhere which holds the presences
that have left your life.
May you be generous in your embrace of loss.
May the sore of your grief turn into a well
of seamless presence.
May your compassion reach out to the ones
we never hear from and may you have
the courage to speak out for the excluded ones.
May you become the gracious and
passionate subject of your own life.
May you not disrespect your master
through brittle words or false belonging.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one
and may your longing inhabit the shelter of the Great Belonging.