Radical and Free
Radical and Free: Musings on Religious Life by Brian O’Leary SJ is a book that looks at the values underpinning religious vows. In this interview with Pat Coyle, he says that his musings can be used by religious as well as lay people.
Following on from the call of Pope Francis to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life in 2015, Brian was invited to give a number of retreats. This book draws on the retreat talks he gave then as well as a wealth of experience in this area garnered from thirty years of lecturing which began in Milltown Institute.
Initially only religious were coming to his lectures, but slowly lay people started to attend too.
Brian explores the vows of religious life; poverty, chastity and obedience and Brian reflects on them in a twenty first century context and looks at what they might have to offer lay people. He quotes Pope Francis who says that, “Radical evangelical living is not just for religious but is demanded of everyone.”
In this interview he says that to be radical is to take the gospel seriously and live fully the example set by Jesus. Freedom is the side effect, the inevitable outcome of living life in such a radical and uncompromising way.
Finally he takes great hope from the call of Pope Francis to people in religious life today to, ”be prophets and wake people up!”
Radical and Free is published by Messenger Publications and costs €10.99.