June 2019

An Astonishing Secret

Environment photo

One of the final books written by Irish priest and theologian Daniel O’Leary explores the spirituality and theology of creation, life and the unconditional love of God.

BY The Good Oil

 Book coverThe late Irish-born priest Daniel O’Leary was known across the world as a bestselling author, speaker and retreat facilitator. One of his last contributions, ‘An Astonishing Secret: The Love Story of Creation and the Wonder of You, published in February 2018, invites the reader to step into the great mysteries of the heart.

“Your heart is already familiar with the mysteries we will be exploring,” offers the description to the book. “It will recognise the beauty. But your mind needs to escape from the frames and constraints of many past, flawed teachings. So keep your eyes wide open and free as you read.”

In the 254-page book, Father O’Leary reflects on the writings of Pope Francis particularly Laudato Si’ and Evangelii Gaudium, and offers 49 reflections on the mysteries of Creation and Incarnation.

A 10-part video course has also been produced, exploring the central themes of the book, to reveal their implications for us, personally and universally including:

  • A vital sense of self-worth in a world called ‘the body of God’ – utterly graced from the start, despite the seriously flawed teaching about an unhistoric Original Sin
  • An awareness of our inter-connectedness with all creation – the felt presence of Being
  • A new way of seeing the sacredness of every creature – all are the delight of the divine womb
  • A deeper way of living our lives – to be truly human is to be truly divine
  • How every true human presence is God’s real presence – the sacrament of ‘a speck of dust’
  • The conviction that we are all loved unconditionally – no matter what
  • The blessed energy that springs from a purpose – to co-create the future with God
  • The divine beauty in our human hearts – made as we are, in God’s image
  • A Creation that was the first Incarnation – the first Bible, the first Revelation
  • A world that is a web of love, a river of relationships – a ‘force-field’ of divine/human energy, the continuous work of the Holy Spirit

Father Leary’s reflections offer a deeper understanding of this central heart of Christianity to transform our self-understanding and our understanding of our planet earth and create a “revolutionary change in Catholic consciousness”.

The book and course offer ideas about the world, God and the reader that will “both trouble and delight the spirit” and, ultimately, transform the reader’s life. It is a call to stretch our “thoughts, emotions and imagination in many ways”.

The book is available here.

Watch episode one of the video course.

The Good Oil

‘The Good Oil’, the free, monthly e-journal of the Good Samaritan Sisters, publishes news, feature and opinion articles and reflective content which aims to nourish the spirit, stimulate thinking and encourage reflection and dialogue about contemporary issues from a Good Samaritan perspective.

If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.