We welcome guest blogger Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., author of the new book Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis from St. Anthony Messenger Press Books.
Does God like chocolates? Would a dozen roses make God feel special? What is it that you get God for Valentine’s Day?
If these question appear silly, then you’ve probably not given much thought to the ways in which our relationship with our Creator is, in so many ways, similar to our other relationships with those most close to us, with those with whom we are most intimately connected, with those who love us.
See, it’s true, God is not our boyfriend or girlfriend, nor is God our spouse (sorry to all those fellow brother and sister religious who like to say, “I’m married to God!”—we’re not), but, God does know us, love us and even like us in ways that might be more familiar than we at first think.
Perhaps even more striking is the fact that even if we chose to focus on how God is different than those other people in our lives with whom we are most close (our spouses, parents, siblings and friends), one thing remains consistent in every single one of our relationship… we do!
Our relationship with God is quite simply a human relationship with God, because we are still human. God might be infinitely different from us, but we still bring all of our human experiences, emotions and ways of viewing the world to our relationship with God.
Ever have the experience of God as far away, distant or not present? Most of us have at one point or another. Even saints like Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced God as totally distant for portions of her life. In many ways that feeling is a lot like a long-distance relationship. That sort of experience might make us very uncomfortable, nervous or even jealous—sound familiar?
Or what about reading Sacred Scripture? Have you ever picked up the Bible or heard the Word proclaimed at Church and thought, “Oh my God (literally), it’s like it was written just for me! It speaks to my life so clearly—God is addressing me here!?” Well, couldn’t that sound a lot like a love letter from God?
Just as love letters reveal the heart and life of one person to another in often deeply intimate ways, so too God’s Word reveals who God is in deeply intimate ways that speak to our hearts and reveal who God is for us.
So as Valentine’s Day approaches (as does all the hype and pressure that comes with the holiday), think about the other important and deeply intimate relationships in your life. Think about setting aside some time and creating a space for just you and God like you will with your date on Valentine’s Day.
Who knows, maybe that date will be the start of a great lifelong relationship. God’s waiting, all you have to do is pencil in the date!
Featured Photo: Gino Santa Maria/PhotoXpress
Learn more about Dan and watch him discuss his new book, Dating God: