Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francisby Daniel P. Horan O.F.M.
It may seem shocking to compare our relationship with God with the notion of "dating." But this book does. With fresh insight and a deep personal spirituality, Horan points out that the desire, uncertainty, and love we experience in relationship with God resembles our earthly relationships: We set aside time for the people who are most important to us. Horan
It may seem shocking to compare our relationship with God with the notion of "dating." But this book does. With fresh insight and a deep personal spirituality, Horan points out that the desire, uncertainty, and love we experience in relationship with God resembles our earthly relationships: We set aside time for the people who are most important to us. Horan reminds us that St. Francis of Assisi understood and even described his relationship with God in a similar way. Drawing from the Franciscan tradition, Dating God encourages us to see St. Francis's spirituality in a new light, challenging us to reexamine our own spirituality, prayer, and relationships, and inviting us into a more intimate relationship with our Creator.
Have you ever been on a date with God? It may seem a strange concept, but Horan, a young Franciscan friar and popular lecturer, invites consideration of this question, especially for young adult believers. To be on a date with God, requires, first and foremost, that technology and many other distractions of contemporary life be set aside in order to delve deeply into the relationship. This is not an unrealistic invitation — the author does not expect anyone to enter a hermitage to contemplate for weeks. It is, however, an invitation to prioritize our spiritual life and to look for brief moments to become more aware of God's presence. The author does a great service by revealing the rich and beautiful Franciscan tradition for a new generation of believers. There is much to learn from St. Francis, St. Clare, and their followers, and Horan, through weaving in popular culture references and using clear, straightforward language, will undoubtedly reach many young adults....The joyful call to prayer and reflection...will have a wide appeal. — Publishers Weekly
"Dating God explores how to maintain a loving, lifelong relationship with God, other human beings, and all creatures-a relationship that begins with taking the time to go on a date with God." — Murray Bodo, O.F.M., author, Francis: The Journey and the Dream
"…a fresh new voice in Christian spirituality who reminds us that the Creator is very active in every moment of our lives and shows how our lives are filled with, as the Franciscans say, pax et bonum: peace and goodness." — James Martin, author, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
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From the Introduction
The journey to God, says Br. Dan, is a lot like dating. You have to get to know God in the same way and in a similar process as you would with someone you date, when you want to explore another person's truest self.
Dating God is not an answer book or a schema providing easy steps or instructions to have an ideal spiritual life. Rather, it offers a new look at the timeless condition of human longing for a deeper relationship with the Creator. And, contends Br. Dan, the Franciscan tradition, which includes Francis and Clare of Assisi and those men and women who followed them, is perhaps the best model for this deepening relational experience with the Divine."
Meet the Author
Daniel P. Horan, OFM is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province, a columnist at America magazine, and the author of several books including Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis. He has taught at Siena College and St. Bonaventure University, and has published numerous scholarly and popular articles on Franciscan theology and spirituality, Thomas Merton, and contemporary systematic theology. He has lectured around the United States and Europe, currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Thomas Merton Society, and is working on a Ph.D. in systematic theology at Boston College.
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Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., is a Franciscan Friar who has published numerous articles, led retreats, and lectured across the U.S. and Europe. In Dating God he compares the human experience of establishing a close relationship with another person to that of developing greater knowledge and understanding of our Creator. Dating God is divided into eight chapters consisting of reflections on Franciscan spirituality, personal observations, a list of points to remember and reflection questions. For example, in the “Making a Date with God chapter, Horan discusses solitude in the context of a hermitage experience he shared with his classmates while in the novitiate. The event took place in eastern Pennsylvania in the middle of winter. For 10 days, the novices would spend 23 hours a day in solitude, praying, reading in their cells, or walking in the woods. Each evening they spent an hour together, attending Mass and eating dinner. The retreat was designed to allow the novices to set aside time and space for solitude with God as their companion. Horan admits that as an extrovert he found the prospect scary. His first reaction was one of isolation that reminded him of solitary confinement or the childhood punishment of “time out.” He recalls the old question of a tree falling in the forest when no one was around to hear—did it fall? At the hermitage, with no Facebook or Twitter, no one to speak to him, did he actually exist? Initially Horan tried to distract himself with reading, then walking in the woods where, he writes, he rediscovered the connections within all of God’s creation. The experience was similar to that of seeing on old friend after a long separation. This friend was God, and for Horan, it seemed like a date. Though he felt awkward at first, he soon realized that his presence was all that God desired. He writes of a form of transcendence that occurred as he walked among and as part of creation with his Creator. Reflection questions for this chapter address the difference between being lonely and being alone; finding time for silence and solitude; and creating a hermitage experience amid the demands of ordinary life.