Daniel Mattson once believed he was gay. 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 between his sexual desires and the teachings of his church too great, he assumed he was gay, turned his back on God, and began a relationship with another man. Yet freedom and happiness remained elusive until he discovered Christ and his true identity.
In this frank memoir, Mattson chronicles his journey to and from a gay identity, finding peace in his true identity, as a man, made in the image and likeness of God. Part autobiography, part philosophy of life, and part a practical guide in living chastely, the book draws lessons from Mattson's search for inner freedom and integrity, sharing wisdom from his failures and successes. His lifelong search for happiness and peace comes full circle in his realization that, above all else, what is true about him is that he is a beloved son of God, loved into existence by God, created for happiness in this life and the next. Mattson's book is for anyone who has ever wondered who he is, why he is here, and, in the face of suffering, where to find joy, happiness, and the peace that surpasses all understanding.
"I encourage many to read the following testimonial, which... bears witness to the mercy and goodness of God, to the efficacy of his grace, and to the veracity of the teachings of his Church."— Cardinal Robert Sarah, from the Foreword; Author, God or Nothing
"Daniel Mattson has written an honest account of the genuine struggles faced by those with same-sex attraction. Drawing upon a wealth of spiritual insights and wisdom from across our deep Catholic tradition, he shares with us how he has come to understand and accept God's loving plan for his life, as well as the beauty and richness of the Church's teachings on chastity. The tenderness and mercy of God is evident throughout and is a powerful reminder for all of us!"— Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
"This powerful book reminds us that we need to accompany our brothers and sisters in their struggles with compassion and love, patience and understanding. I pray that this book will help many to discover God's love and to find happiness in following Jesus Christ and his beautiful plan for creation and our lives."— Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
"Dan Mattson is a profile in courage. This profoundly moving story of his experience of same sex attraction and his reflections on the hard-won truth that those attractions do not define him mark a way forward for others. I highly recommend this memoir to pastoral ministers accompanying our brothers and sisters in similar circumstances."— Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, GCIH OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston
"Saint Peter writes, 'His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pet 1:3). Dan Mattson sincerely embraces this promise. His story demonstrates that such a divine project is, through one's encounter with Jesus, well within our grasp."— Most Rev. Michael J. Byrnes, Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam
"Mattson generously opens his own heart to the reader, sharing the deep suffering and remarkable redemption that have shaped his life… This book is truly a witness to God's ability to bring abundant life, peace of heart, and joy."— Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
"This easy to read, encouraging and personal witness of a man who found a way to peace may mark a turning point for the Church in getting ahead of this issue of our times and in offering a quiet Gospel space where many of its sons and daughters can be free."— Most Rev. John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, Scotland
"Dan Mattson's witness is courageous and compassionate. It deserves the utmost respect."— George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center
"Mattson's book is honest, generous, wise, and very well written. 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
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
"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."— David L. Schindler, Dean Emeritus, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Catholic University of America
"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
"Dan Mattson knows well both the what and the how of Catholic teaching: what it is and how it is lived out with integrity and joy. His book effectively conveys how Catholic truth takes flesh."— Fr. Paul Scalia, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Diocese of Arlington, Virginia
"This is a wise and humble book destined to help many people who struggle with same-sex attraction. But not only them: Daniel Mattson's work will help anyone seeking to deepen his spiritual life."— Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President, the Ruth Institute
"This book is a must-read for not only those struggling with same-sex attraction but also anyone who has struggled with God's plan for his life."— Teresa Tomeo, Author, Extreme Makeover; Host, The Catholic Connection
"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
"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."— Patrick Coffin, Author, Sex Au Naturel; Host, The Patrick Coffin Show
"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
Daniel C. Mattson is a writer and a public speaker who proclaims the Good News of the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. His story 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 at the famed St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.