"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?"
"If you read only one book on the subject of same-sex attraction, it should be this one. Yet Daniel Mattson's luminously truthful book is about so much more besides, such as humility, magnanimity, true manhood, purity of heart, and the gift and discipline of friendship. Superb." — J. Budziszewski, Ph.D., Author, On the Meaning of Sex
"Mattson has stripped his soul bare in this brutally honest book. But he has not returned empty handed from the darkness through which he travelled -- for he now bears the beauty of the cross. You will read these pages with tears of joy. This is a work of spiritual realism and much wisdom."— Robert Reilly, Author, Making Gay Okay
"This is a wise and humble book destined to help many people who struggle with same sex attraction. But not only them: Daniel Mattson' work will help anyone seeking to deepen their spiritual lives. I wish this book a long life and every success."— Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. Founder and President, the Ruth Institute.
"This book engages honestly and intelligently a central issue of our time. Mattson tells a personal story that will be helpful and inspiring for all who struggle with sexual identity. May his efforts be received with hope and courage."— David L. Schindler, Dean Emeritus, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family The Catholic University of America
"Mattson's book is honest, generous, wise, and very well written. He passionately argues that no person should be defined by his or her sexual attractions. Dan draws upon the wisdom of holy men and women as he comes to terms with the likelihood that he is called to a life of chaste celibacy and finds there the grace of God. This book resembles many of the spiritual classics and, indeed, may become one."— Janet Smith, Ph.D., Editor, Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction
"Finally, a balanced account of liberation from superficial 'gaydentity' to the depths of divine filiation through Jesus Christ. Mattson veers away from polemics and politics, and goes straight to the heart, from the heart, with searingly honest self-disclosures, biblical truths, sound psychology, and wry humor. He gives the rest of us an arsenal of sharp swords in the battle for chastity, period. Highly recommended."— Patrick Coffin, Author of Sex Au Naturel ; Host of The Patrick Coffin Show
"Dan Mattson knows words matter. When a man of deep experience, keen mind, eloquent expression and Catholic fidelity writes on a topic as vexing as same sex attraction, the world and the Church should stop and take notice. So take up and read. You will find your sympathies stretched, your mind sharpened and your ability to communicate elevated."— Al Kresta, Host, Kresta in the Afternoon
"This book is a must read for not only those struggling with same sex attraction but anyone who has struggled with God's plan for their life. In the end, if we're honest with ourselves like Dan, we realize that Father and the Church really do know best."— Teresa Tomeo, Author, Extreme Makeover; Host, The Catholic Connection
"For Daniel Mattson, 'coming out' was not liberating, but rather imprisoned him in a closed-minded gay culture that defined him by his feelings of sexual attraction. It was in leaving the gay lifestyle to become a chaste Catholic that he became free to enjoy true friendship. He has an important story to tell, and he deserves to be heard."— Dawn Eden, Author, Remembering God's Mercy
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.