Author, Franciscan friar, and popular retreat leader Dan Horan puts Christian dilemmas into a new light in this book of thoughtful reflections. As Paul made clear to the Corinthians two thousand years ago, being a Christian can mean appearing out-of-step at times. This is because a Christian’s priorities aren’t measured by the culture, but according to the reign of God that Jesus preached and modeled. Horan demonstrates that the Christian life is most often focused on the counterintuitive and gratuitous foolishness of God’s love revealed in the healing of the broken and brokenhearted, forgiving the unforgiveable, and loving the unlovable.
Like Jesus’s early followers, the ethical implications of Jesus’s words and deeds for those of us who would follow him are not always what’s expected of us. But the risk of appearing foolish never stopped “God’s Fool,” St. Francis of Assisi, from embracing the Gospel as best he could, protesting the injustices of certain social systems, and letting nothing get in the way of his relationship with others.
God Is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude addresses what it means to follow Christ in the modern world, opens up the Gospels to explore what Jesus has to say to our situations and predicaments, and delves into what it means to faithfully live by vows—counterculturally— today.
Daniel P. Horan, OFM, is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province (NY) and teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is a columnist for America magazine, and the author of several books including, most recently, God is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude and the award-winning book The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence on his Life, Thought, and Writing. He is a frequent lecturer and retreat director around the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has previously taught in the department of religious studies at Siena College and in the department of theology at St. Bonaventure University. He serves on the board of directors of the International Thomas Merton Society.
1. What does the title of this book, God is not Fair and other Reasons for Gratitude, mean?
2. You say in your introduction that what Christians profess about their faith “appears foolish to the world that demands a kind of unjust logic,” what do you mean by that?
3. You deal with many serious and controversial topics in this book, such as capital punishment and global climate change, what does your book have to say about these pressing issues?
4. The last section of your book is titled, “vowed life,” are these chapters only for priests and nuns? What do you mean by “vowed life?”
5. What audience did you have in mind when writing your book?
6. What do you hope readers will take away from reading God is Not Fair?