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Already Within


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Divining the Hidden Spring
Donal O'Leary
144 Pages
ISBN: 9781782183167


Already Within: Divining the Hidden Spring is a collection of Daniel O'Leary's contributions to the Tablet over the past three years. They are put together in this compendium in response to numerous requests from the journal's thousands of readers. The reflections bring a huge mailbag of comments about O'Leary's writing, challenging, compelling, thought-provoking, consoling, prophetic and prayerful. Already Within contains the best writing of the author, a summing up of the main thrust of his books and articles from the past and present. The emphasis that appeals to readers so much is that of realising the presence of God in the ordinary moments of their lives. Nothing goes to waste, every effort, every happening, every daily event, even mistakes and sins, all are part of the bigger story; all are safely harvested.The articles, arranged in months and themes, sometimes refer to the seasons of the year, sometimes to the seasons of the liturgy, and sometimes to the seasons of the heart. All the pieces begin with very real life-situations and then the author explores and discovers the compassionate presence of an incarnate and unconditionally-loving God at the heart of all our experiences.

Daniel O'Leary MA (UK), MA (CA), is a priest and a teacher. He was Chair of the Religion Studies Department in St. Mary's University college, London before Being appointed Episcopal; Vicar for Christian formation in the Diocese of Leeds, Yorkshire. He currently gives conferences and retreats in England and Ireland. already within is his tenth book. He is still finding it difficult to be an authentic human being. Visit the author's website.

Customer Reviews

Review by Dr. H. A. Jones
Already Within: Divining the hidden spring, by Daniel O'Leary, The Columba Press, 2007, 144 ff.

This is a collection of articles written by a regular contributor to The Tablet, the primary Catholic magazine in the UK. Fr. O'Leary is a practicing priest with a parish in Yorkshire, England. These short reflections provide an uplifting read in many challenging or wearisome life situations. I have long admired Fr. O'Leary's holistic approach that doesn't hold back from quoting from sources within other religions if he deems them appropriate.

For each of the chapter or article headings in this book there is a trenchant epigram. How about: `Every human heart, religious or not, is on a universal pilgrimage to God'? For those for whom the word `God' has lost some of its magic and mystery, substitute the words `universal spirit' or `cosmic spirit' and you have one of the core beliefs of devotees of the New Age movement.

`Each morning we can choose the quality of the day ahead': we can be truthful, helpful to others, loving and generous or the opposite of these things. I know which makes me feel better! It is up to each of us to make the best of whatever life situations we may be presented with and shape our destiny accordingly.

`If we don't transform our hurts, we project them on to a cycle of negativity'. How close is this to the eastern mystical concept of "karma"; or to the maxim that we reap as we sow, in the Christian philosophy. The `meaning of life' must surely be to make it as fulfilling to others as we possibly can and hopefully derive satisfaction for ourselves in the process.

`Our bodies resonate with the pulse of the earth. Nature is our spiritual guide.' A most apposite saying for a time when we are struggling against the forces of materialist greed to preserve what is left of our ravaged earth.

In `The Infinity of Now' Fr. O'Leary makes the point that in the most menial of chores we contribute to the universal energy and thereby interact with everyone else; we find this principle of interconnectedness now even in the world of contemporary physics.

This is a great book. Some readers may find that some of the articles are too heavily connected with Catholic theology, but taken in the broadest terms, this is an inspiring book relevant to those both inside and outside the Church.
(Posted on 3/21/13)

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