My ‘Firstborn’ Turns One Today!

Dating_God_BookOne year ago today my first book, Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis (2012), was released! It’s hard to believe that a year has passed by already. On the one hand, it seems like the book has been out much longer than that and one year doesn’t quite account for how much of my thought, time, and energy has gone into the book itself, discussing themes in the book with groups and retreatants, delivering lectures about it, signing copies of it, and so on. On the other hand, it also seems like the book was just released yesterday! Just around six months after the book came out, my publisher, Franciscan Media (formerly St. Anthony Messenger Press), informed me that the book was going into its second printing — a great sign that people seem to be enjoying the book and spreading the word.

It’s been quite a blessing to receive such positive responses to the book. It has served as the occasion for connecting with so many wonderful people in different settings, including the launch of this blog about a year before the book was released. Some people have mistakingly thought that the book arose from this blog, but in fact it was the other way around. After I received the contract for Dating God, my publisher insisted that I have some sort of ‘online presence,’ which is, in all honesty, the only choice an author has these days. It’s generally expected that there be something out there like this. So, reluctantly at first, I began what became DatingGod.org, this very blog. To my surprise, it took off and became (and is still becoming) more popular by the day. As with the feedback and reception of the book, I’m incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support, enthusiasm, and appreciation people express about this blog on a daily basis.

Since the release of Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis lots of other projects, some that were concurrently in the works and others that have arisen since then, have occupied my time and energy. Just seven months after my first book was released, my second book, Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith: Exploring Franciscan Spirituality and Theology in the Modern World (2012) came out! The response to this book, published by a great family-owned Catholic press in the Southwest, has also been extraordinarily positive and enthusiastic. The style of this book is quite different from Dating God even if the theme is generally the same (i.e., the Franciscan tradition). It is a collection of essays that includes both popular and scholarly pieces that address the Franciscan tradition in ways that help uncover Franciscan spirituality and theology’s relevance for today.

Additionally, at the turn of the New Year a third book of mine was released. This is, unlike Dating God, actually connected to the blog. Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays (2013) is exactly what is suggests: several of the most popular (and, at times, controversial) selections from the blog as well as other pieces that have stirred up interest and attention. This is another way that material from the blog can be accessed by a wider audience. The second volume of this collection is underway and is scheduled to be out in 2014.

While my “firstborn” turns one today, there are other literary siblings slated to joint the book family in the next few years. Some of these texts are finished and others are at various stages underway. To give you a sense of what is on the horizon, here is a glimpse of my upcoming books, their publishers, and their anticipated release.

  • Love and Suffering: A Retreat on the Seven Last Words of Christ (Franciscan Media, 2013)
  • The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence of His Life, Thought, and Writing (Ave Maria Press, 2014)
  • Postmodernity and Univocity: A Critical Assessment of Radical Orthodoxy’s Use of John Duns Scotus (Fortress Press, 2014)
  • Refresh My Soul: A New Look at 25 Classic Catholic Prayers (Franciscan Media, 2015)

These are each exciting projects and different in many ways. As you might see from the list above, one of my forthcoming books is a scholarly text published by an excellent academic press — I don’t necessarily anticipate it getting the same widespread interest as Dating God, my firstborn, but it will be a significant contribution to what continues to be a very important conversation within contemporary theological circles. Perhaps you might want to check that out next year.

All of this updating and celebrating is to say “Thank You!” to everyone who continues to be so supportive and enthusiastic about my writing and other work and ministry. I’m very grateful and hope to be able to continue sharing my reflections, thoughts, research, and the like with you all for many years to come!

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12 Responses to “My ‘Firstborn’ Turns One Today!”

  1. Dating God was a wonderful book, thank you for all of your books!!

  2. You certainly have been a prolific author, Fr. Dan. You and the Order must be very proud of your contributions to the literature on St. Francis.
    Very often there have been some excellent comments here on your blog for which a reply from you would have been most helpful — to all your blog readers. Does the listing of your books in today’s posting mean that we must purchase your book(s) to get your comments?

    • Thanks! Haha, no the answer to your question about replies is simply a factor of time. I generally have just enough time to post a reflection most days and not much more to reply, certainly not to all comments (FYI to date, there are more than 3,500 comments from readers in the blog). Thanks for your understanding!

  3. I’ve been wanting to email you about this, and I will, but this seemed like a good time to share.

    This weekend I’m going to visit a Secular Franciscan fraternity. It is one of several visits to a few fraternities I am planning over the next couple months as the beginning of a discernment process to a vocation in the order.

    I’ve known about the SFO for over a decade. I’ve served on foreign missions living in community with religious from another order. I’ve been longing for a renewal of that community in my life. Your book opened my eyes to the spirituality of Francis, and St. Francis has touched my heart since then. As I’ve followed up on your book with deeper study, I’ve felt like the answer to the community I seek is among those that share a deep love for Francis. If you can find a moment, please pray for my continued discernment.

    And, Dan, thank you for that wonderful book and for reflecting the light of Francis onto me and to others.

  4. Congratulations, Fr. Dan, you have been a busy author. You must be very proud of your accomplishment(s). The Order, too, must be pleased about the recognition that their founder and brother, Francis, is receiving through your efforts. He has always been one of my favorite holy persons. I find that Franciscan spirituality most resembles what I have learned about Jesus in the Gospels.

    I’ve been reading your posts for only a short time, I have been impressed with many of the thoughtful Comments that your readers have made to your frequent postings. But I am disappointed that there is very seldom a Reply to these postings. Does that mean that your readers must purchase one of your books to receive a reply?

  5. MARY ANN BURKE Says:

    I also love the “Dating God” book, Fr Dan! I recently re-read it and found it to be even more enriching than the first time! I need to concentrate now on Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith. I think I will need more “quiet time” to take everything in!

  6. I’m really enjoying Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith and can’t wait for your Merton book. Merton’s work and life story played a major role in my conversion to Catholicism. Thank you for all your writings.

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