FOR A NEW HOME by John O’Donohue
May this house shelter your life.
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of any mask
Of pretense or image.
May this home be a place of discovery,
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Through the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be a great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.
The Irish poet and priest John O’Donohue (1956-2008) shared this house blessing in his book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (Doubleday, 2008). It not only names the hopes and dreams we have for our homes, but the function they play in creating a space in which our lives can flourish and our humanity can remain intact. While the marketplace imagines homes simply as commodities whose value can be assessed on the basis of supply and demand, our experience of having and making homes for ourselves and our families provides us with a different way of understanding their value.
Questions for Reflection:
- How has your home been a source of blessing in your life, and how has your home been a source of blessing for others in your life?
- In whose homes has your courage, healing, and growth been nurtured?
- How are neighborhoods and communities blessed by the presence of stable homes?
Submitted by Rev. Erik Christensen, Pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Chicago