Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: "Dating God" by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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I have to say, I was truly excited to get "Dating God" by Daniel P. Horan OFM.  When I ordered it I had just recently had the belated revelation that we make time for the people in our lives who mean the most to us.  Who should mean more than God?  Well, I ordered the book and it shipped, but it never came.  I kept waiting and checking the tracking number.  Finally, I realized it had reached its destination: an address where I no longer lived.  I had changed the billing address, but forgot the shipping address.  So, I ordered another copy, hoping that whoever had gotten it had read it and was inspired.

When I got the book, I dove right in.  I couldn't wait to see what Br. Daniel Horan had come up with to deepen my relationship with God.  Drawing from the lives and writings of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire of Assisi, Br. Dan began to put together the picture of what having a "relationship with God" is all about.  It's about making time to be with Him, listening to what He's telling you, learning to be close to Him and learning to trust Him.  It's valuing the things he values, caring for his people and his world in a very personal way.

Very quickly, I realized I was going to have to take this at a more thoughtful pace. So "Dating God" became my Adoration reading.  I would say my prayers and then read a chapter, then reflect on what I had read.

Set up in 10 chapters, with talking points and reflection questions at the end of each chapter, this book would be ideal for students in a college or high school atmosphere, or even a prayer group.  It's not aimed at single people in particular, I enjoyed the book thoroughly and I think I learned a great deal about Franciscan spirituality.  The only parts that were hard for me to take were the last two chapters which were about environmentalism and poverty.  I did not agree with some of the conclusions that he drew here, but perhaps that's me and my Reagan Era childhood. Nevertheless, it gave me food for thought and made me consider whether my long held opinions were really the ones I should be clinging to.

Br. Dan is very careful to point out that our relationship with God is a "dating" relationship, not a marriage.  In a dating relationship, there is always a sense of wonder, excitement, and new discovery.  There is room for error and improvement.  There is no consummation (or should not be), just a deepening of the love.  And so it is with God and I.  I continue to look toward Him and struggle to keep up my end of the long-distance relationship and He is always faithful and listening and patient.  And when I finally die, I hope to enter the Wedding Feast.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Dating God. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your family Advent activities and supplies this year, such as Advent wreaths and calendars for kids, as well as Christmas decorations such as nativity scene sets and religious Christmas gifts for the whole family.

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