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 was originally from Rathmore in County Kerry. He worked as a priest in the Diocese of Leeds and was known across the world as a bestselling author, inspiring speaker and retreat facilitator. He worked in parishes for almost 30 years and for another 20 years he taught Theology and Religious Education at St Mary’s University College in London. He became chair of its Religious Studies department, before being appointed Episcopal Vicar for Christian Formation in Leeds until 2000. Over many years his theology and spirituality were a source of inspiration and solace to countless people. Daniel was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2018 and died on Monday, 21st January, 2019, aged 82.