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Prayer & Spirituality

A human’s relationship to God is compared to many things: a close friend, a father figure and even a lover. Now Franciscan Brother Daniel Horan is comparing our relationship to God to that of a newly dating couple in his book, “Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis.”

Brother Daniel, 28, thought of the dating imagery during a Franciscan workshop on the writings of St. Francis and St. Clare.

“Their expressions of their relationship with God, while not quite love letters, evoked images of the tenuousness, ambivalence, excitement, energy and passion of dating,” he told Catholic News Service.

Brother Daniel, a member of the Order of Friars Minor, challenges us to think of our relationship to God in a new way. Just as dating requires planning and effort, so should our relationship with God, he said.

“We still need to go on dates with God. There has to be an intentionality to our prayer life,” he said. “Going to church once a week in a crowd doesn’t cut it… You can’t have a relationship if you don’t spend time alone together.”

As members of CatholicMatch, we know that dating takes time and effort, and it is not always comprised of romantic dinner dates and fun weekend get-togethers. Dating can be emotionally exhausting and spiritually draining as we search for the man or woman God has intended for us.

In Brother Daniel’s book, he compares the highs and lows of a dating relationship to the emotional ups and downs we experience in our faith lives. It’s difficult to always be passionate about a relationship with God when we face challenges in life, just as it’s difficult to maintain hope in the dating world when we appear to reach so many dead ends.

The reviews speak highly of Brother Daniel’s perspective. Here’s one from CatholicMatch contributor Father Jim Martin, S.J., author of bestseller The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything:

“A fresh new voice in Christian spirituality who reminds us that the Creator is 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.”

As you continue on your dating journey, remember that we must first pursue an intimate relationship with the One behind it all. Go on a date with God this week. I promise he will call you back.

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