This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).



  1. Thanks for this. I participated in RCIA while my husband was going through the process, as his sponsor, and I loved it. I learned just as much, maybe more, than he did. I’ve always wanted to go back because it was such an invigorating experience. I’ve been busy raising five kid but someday, perhaps. Meantime, thanks for the reminder to pray for this element of our church. It’s so important that we welcome new members with thoughtful, open arms so they might see the real riches of our faith.

  2. Brother Dan,

    >>His answer is touching: “I came to realize God had been looking after me my entire life. My skills that had seen me through difficult and dangerous situations were a gift from God and there is no such thing as luck, just divine intervention.”<<

    It doesn't touch me. No such thing as [bad] OR [good] luck? Just divine intervention?

    When I am grasping for straws, (and I do from time to time) I can conceive of this world as a battleground between the forces of good and evil and all of our lives intermingling in a type of incredibly elaborate cosmic chess match. If something bad (or something good) happens to me, I realize that I am not the only person in the world. Hence, there might be reasons for misfortunes I incur that are designed by divine intent (due to necessity) for reasons other than my own uniquely personal benefit.

    1. Learner–while I do not want to criticize the person who made the remark that you have highlighted, I actually agree with you much more than him. Divine intervention exists, but it is not as though God intervenes to make sure a particular person wins a football game or does not get cancer. The intervention of God can be identified by the grace He shares when we lose a contest or a struck by tragic news of an illness. I very much share Brother Dan’s comments about his recent experiences with death in his family and community. When my mother died of a brain tumor, I mourned like any other person. I also remember experiencing God’s grace in a very powerful way. I still wait in blessed hope…

      1. >>My skills that had seen me through difficult and dangerous situations were a gift from God <<

        If he had stopped right there, I could more or less agree with him, using the premise that God gives people what they need; and it's up to them to accept those things or not. A gift can be accepted or rejected, right?

        I'd still like to find out more about the Franciscan lifestyle you've adopted. I hope you fill me in ona couple of details from time to time. By the way, I have lots of sites you might be interested in. Just about all of them have to do with learning. One's n literature, another's on Calculus, and so forth. (Nothing controversial in terms of religion.) I'm taking the Yale OCW courses on the old and new testaments, but from what I read on Brother Dan's profile, he probably took similar courses.

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