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"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
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."
Posted February 7, 2012
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.
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Posted January 28, 2012
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