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[I couldn’t figure out how to reblog this article, so copied and pasted part of it here. Please go to their website to read the rest. Thank you.]

Naomh Padraig: St. Patrick’s Day, John O’Donohue and Blessing

To bless someone, in the most literal sense of the word, is to confer your hopes to them.

That’s why so many traditional blessings begin with the word “may.”

Take, for instance, what is perhaps the best-known Irish blessing (or toast, as the case may be this time of the year):

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“May” doesn’t mean “so be it.” May implies that something is possible, but not a done deal. May hopes that God puts it in play and that you get out of your own way and allow it to happen.

John O’Donohue, the great contemporary Irish poet/philosopher (and former Catholic priest), knew the power of “may.”

John O'Donohue 2“The language of blessing is invocation, a calling forth,” O’Donohue, who died unexpectedly in January 2008 at the age of 52, said in his final book, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, published posthumously in the United States not long after his death. “[May] imagines and wills the fulfillment of desire. In the evocation of our blessings here, the word may is the spring through which the Holy Spirit is invoked to surge into presence and effect. The Holy Spirit is the subtle presence and secret energy behind every blessing.”

For many of us modern-day Celts, O’Donohue, the author of the groundbreaking 1997 book Anam Cara (which means “soul friend” in the Irish language) became the catalyst for exploring the ancient rhythms of our faith, the meeting place where our collective past informs our contemporary spirituality. (continue reading here…)

* * * * * 

On this beautiful day,
may blessings fall on your head
like cleansing Spring showers!

*Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!*

(Ban-ick-tee na fay-lah pwad-rig)


*St. Patrick’s Day Blessings

Picture Credit: www.greenbelt.org.uk