"Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled." – Pope Benedict XVI
Daniel Mattson once believed he was gay, but no longer. Raised in a Christian family, and aware of attractions to other boys at age six, Mattson's life was marked by constant turmoil between his faith in God and his sexual attractions. Finding the conflict too great, he turned his back on God in anger and decided to live life the way the world said he should—guided by his desires for men, he accepted that he was gay and found a man to share a life with. Yet he discovered the happiness and freedom that the gay rights movement promised him to be an empty mirage. In this honest and frank memoir, Mattson chronicles his journey from living a life as a gay man, to finding freedom in living out the call of chastity, rooted in humbling accepting the reality of his true sexual nature, given by him by God: he is simply a man, like any other man who has walked the face of the earth. Part memoir, part philosophy about reality, and part a practical guide for living chastely, Mattson draws lessons from his own fight for chastity, sharing wisdom from his own failures and successes. Relying on the rich deposit of the saints for wisdom, Mattson provides practical steps in battling for chastity, rooted above all else in humble reliance on Jesus as man’s holiness. Recalling his own struggles in discovering the meaning of true friendship, Mattson reflects on the nature of friendship, and the temptations which can often enter the realm of friendship for a man like him. He explains the Catechism's difficult phrases about homosexuality, such as "intrinsically disordered" and finds within them liberating truth. His journey comes full circle when his lifelong search for happiness and peace is found in the realization that, above all else, what is true about him is that he is a beloved child of God. In his honest look at his own wounds, shortcomings and his battle with God, Mattson has written a book for everyone who has ever wondered who they are, why they are here, and where God can be found when we suffer. A welcome voice of sanity among the muddled thinking of modern society who believes that sexual identity is rooted in the realm of feelings and desires, Mattson urges the Church to unabashedly proclaim the Good News that Christ said while he walked among us: "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female?"
POINTS OF INTEREST
• A powerful personal story of one man's journey from a life of active homosexuality to peace and fulfillment in the Roman Catholic Church
• Discusses the particular temptations of friendship men like him are tempted to follow, and offers a positive view of loneliness through the lens of redemptive suffering
• Mattson refutes the idea that anyone "is gay," and argues that at the root of chastity is humility before God as our Maker
• A book that will help men or women who live with same-sex attraction and are desiring to understand who he or she is, where they is going, and why God allowed them to live with SSA
Daniel Mattson is a writer and public speaker who proclaims the Good News of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. The story of his journey from living his life as a gay man to finding peace, joy and fulfillment by entering the Church is told in the award winning documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills. A professional orchestral trombone player, Mattson has performed and presented master classes around the world, including the famed St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.