To Unpack Roma Downey’s Box of Butterflies Is to Discover a Core False Teaching

New Age, Roman Catholic mystic Roma Downey has a new book to sell. So she has turned to several evangelical luminaries to help promote her book. Check out who the people are who “rave over Roma’s every word.” Names are included as well as a few key words/phrases taken from their glowing testimonials.

But this is not about so-called evangelical leaders who endorse the work of false teachers like Roma. Lois Putnam of Learn to Discern Granny has written a stellar review of Downey’s book Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us:

Have you ever received a package wrapped in the most attractive paper only to eagerly rip off its wrappings to find something inside you couldn’t have imagined?  This is much like Roma Downey’s beautiful new book Box of Butterflies for although its author is sincere and gracious, and its stories are inspirational and hopeful, when fully opened, one will discover a core false teaching that runs throughout its pages. And so, because Scripture reminds us to test all things, this review will attempt to unpack how its author incorporates this teaching throughout the book.

A Review:  Box of Butterflies:  Howard Books (An Imprint of Simon and Schuster) March 2018

Unpacking Its Foreword

Box of Butterflies begins with a short foreword by the late Della Reese with whom Roma had an extraordinary relationship that began with Della playing “Tess,” Roma’s partner-angel, on the well-known Touched by an Angel series. About Della, Roma wrote, “She has become the first person I call when I need wisdom, and she is a loving teacher and instructor.” (p.36)  Such was Della’s influence on Roma that she also became Roma’s surrogate mother, a godmother to Roma’s daughter Reilly, and the officiator at Roma and Mark’s wedding.  (p.35) (p.132)

Della was also a pastor of the New Thought “Up Church.”  New Thought teaches one that the Bible is just a book containing the sacred writings of any religion.  It believes too ” … in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause; and it believes ” …in the incarnation of the Spirit in US, and that all PEOPLE are incarnations of the One Spirit.”  Dear reader, this is what Della believed, for Della Reese, along with such men as Eckhart Tolle, and Neale Donald Walsch, are listed among their “Modern Notable Members.”  As Christian as Reese’s foreword may seem, Reese’s beliefs are unbiblical.

Unpacking Its “Introduction”

Mary Oliver Roma’s “Introduction” begins with Mary Oliver’s poem: “I Have Decided.”  Roma writes, “I love the poems of Mary Oliver … there is something about the beauty and honesty of her poems that echoes the prayers of my heart.  She reminds me of the simplicity of faith, of how God’s image is reflected in nature all around us, and when we are quiet we can connect to the stillness within ourselves, we can hear him speak.” (p.1)

Here the question must be asked, “What do we know about Mary Oliver’s beliefs?”  One answer can be found in “Maria Shriver Interviews Poet Mary Oliver” (  As they discuss “religion” Oliver comments, “I’ve written before that God has ‘so many names.’  To me, it’s all right if you look at a tree, as the Hindus do, and the tree has a spirit.  It’s mystery, and mysteries don’t compromise themselves-we’re never gonna know. … I like to think of myself as a praise poet.”  Shriver queries Oliver as to what this means.  Oliver replies, “That I acknowledge my feeling and gratitude for life by praising the world and whoever made all these things.”  It’s worth noting too that Oliver often emphasizes paying “careful attention,” and is listed over and over by mindfulness sites as a mindfulness poet.

While Oliver praises the world and whoever made these things, there is but one we are to praise for as Revelation 4:11 declares: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” View article →


Several articles on Roma Downey

See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism