Many years ago I read the book, Anam Cara, by John O’Donohue.  I was so delighted to actually meet him at a conference that my then employer, the Catholic Association, was holding.  What a beautiful soul and so easy to have a conversation with over dinner.  He died much too young, at 52 but many of his writings are enjoyed by a vast number of people. 

March 12 would be the 96th birthday of my friend and Providence Associate, Mary Hassler.  Sadly she left this world last August 10.  She was definitely my “anam cara”, soul friend.  I gave her John’s book for her birthday one year and we read it together.  Both of us resonated with the wisdom and beauty he conveyed in his writings.  One of our more serious talks about passages in the book was about death and how he viewed it.  

John talked about the “Circle of Eternity” and how time there differed from our more linear time here in this world.  He said that “our friends among the dead really mind us and look out for us.”  I’ve always heard that in the Celtic tradition there is a thin veil between the here and the hereafter.  I suppose I always believed it to be true, but I have to confess that only after Mary died did I experience that thin veil, that closeness of her from that circle of eternity.  She seems to be totally present to me and there have been some experiences when I know she has definitely been looking out for me!  

I think about what Nancy Sylvester told us about the emerging forms of consciousness at the Providence Event last month.  Perhaps as we open ourselves to new contemplative places, that veil between becomes thinner and thinner.  Our loved ones become closer and closer to us.  I, for one, welcome that kind of new, sacred relationship that continues to evolve within me.  God’s “circle of eternity” has welcomed Mary as it did John O’Donohue…as it does all of our own loved ones who now are at peace and home with their God.  John says it so well in his book:  “They are at home.  They are with God from whom they came.  They have returned to the nest of their identity within the great circle of God.  God is the greatest circle of all, the largest embrace in the universe, which holds visible and invisible, temporal and eternal, as one.”  Happy Birthday, Mary!  and Happy Circle of Eternity!  

I invite you to think about your loved ones who have now been enfolded in the loving arms of a Provident God and are “looking out for you.”  Have you allowed yourself to feel their closeness from that very thin veil separating you?   Because as John also says:  “they are completely present with us.”  

Barbara McMullen, CDP





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