Pegge Bernecker
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Fireweed Picture

Slowly read the words of John O'Donohue

"If you could imagine the most incredible story ever, it would be less incredible than the story of being here. And the ironic thing is that story is not a story, it is true.
It takes us so long to see where we are. It takes us even longer to see who we are. This is why the greatest gift you could ever dream is a gift that you can only receive from one person. And that person is you yourself. Therefore, the most subversive invitation you could ever accept is the invitation to awaken to who you are and where you have landed. Plato said in The Symposium that one of the greatest privileges of a human life is to become midwife to the birth of the soul in another.
When your soul awakens, you begin to truly inherit your life. You leave the kingdom of fake surfaces, repetitive talk and weary roles and slip deeper into the true adventure of who you are and who you are called to become.
The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home."

--John O’Donohue, PhD (1954-2008) Excerpt from The Question Holds the Lantern

For the next 15 minutes, pray with the words of John O'Donohue using this process:

  • Read once for understanding with your mind. pause a minute or more...
  • Read a second time and notice what feelings, emotions or physical sensations rise within you. pause a minute or more...
  • Read a third time paying attention to anything that comes to your consciousness. pause a minute or more...
  • Read a fourth time and respond to God with a conversation about what you are experiencing. pause a minute or more...
  • Read a final time and rest in contemplative stillness.
  • Conclude by listening for a word of guidance to take with you into your day.

Notice what is revealed to you in your inner listening and offer thanksgiving to God in words of your own choosing.


 "If God is the center of your life, no words are necessary.
Your mere presence will touch hearts."
–St. Vincent de Paul

Copyright ©2005 Pegge Bernecker, Fort Collins, CO