For centuries, people have practiced journaling to record daily events, special moments, inspirations, thoughts, and even dreams. When we document both the everyday and the extraordinary experiences of our lives, we have a way to process fears, worries, and victories; to improve our clarity and understanding; and to express our emotions.
But have you ever considered journaling as a way to reinvigorate your spiritual life?
Here are five ways in which journaling can do just that.
5 Reasons You Should Try (or Re-try) Journaling
1. Journaling can change things up for us spiritually.
Do you ever feel like you are in a spiritual "rut"? Going in circles, spinning your wheels, etc? Adding something new and different to your prayer life can shake things up and give you new energy and encouragement.
There are so many beautiful and inspiring spiritual journals out there today to lead you through the process in just about every way you can imagine. Some contain inspiring Scripture quotes, topical sections, spiritual goal-setting pages, or meditations to guide you.
Sometimes just doing something in a different way can reinvigorate us and help us discover things we would not have otherwise.
2. Journaling can bring peace, clarity, and insight.
Sometimes, spilling our thoughts, prayers, and desires out on paper can help make things “real” and stop them from just endlessly bouncing around our heads. It’s a great way to release them from our minds and hearts to the heart and hand of God.
When we do that, it brings peace and the ability to process with more clarity the difficulties and victories in our lives, as well as the fears and anxieties. A journal is a safe place to “leave” those things to the Lord.
3. Journaling records our progress in the spiritual life.
Journaling is a great way to self knowledge by way of tangible self examination.
Once you get your reflections on paper and take a step back, you will see a snapshot of where you are today relative to where you started. Over time, and with insight and prayer, you will recognize stumbling blocks like root sins, wounds, destructive patterns, and challenges that stand in the way of your spiritual advancement, or separate you from Christ and the Church.
Those are the places to focus your energy, prayer, and efforts. Do you see a particular vice or weakness? Make a deliberate effort to counter it, and write a firm resolution to practice the opposing virtue. Record those goals in your journal so you hold yourself accountable. Then mark your progress, so that you can see growth in both attitudes and actions over time.
4. Journaling is a fruitful tool for meditative prayer.
Spending quiet time with the Lord in prayer is one of the most fruitful ways we can grow spiritually. Especially if we spend that time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we can expect to receive graces and spiritual gifts that will help us grow in our love for Christ and others. With a journal, you can write these insights down when you receive them, and you can keep them to meditate upon later as well.
Record those inspirations of the Holy Spirit in the moment. Then look back hours later, or days later; you may be able to apply them more clearly and gain even greater insights and perspective than in the moment you received the inspiration.
5. Journaling records the work of God in our lives.
Part of our limited, imperfect humanity is that we are always looking for that “next thing.” As such, we often forget the works the Lord has already done in our lives, the ways in which He has cracked our hearts wide open to His love, and the gifts of His grace and mercy that allowed us to persevere and conquer certain habits and spiritual challenges. A journal is a record of those moments, so you can remember the works of the Lord, and see how far you have come.
It will bring you back to a spirit of gratitude, even when you don’t feel His hand in your life at the moment. In those difficult periods, you will have His loving action in your life to return to, and find an anchor of hope there once again.
Spiritual Journaling—Not a New Invention!
For centuries, the followers of Christ have written down what they experienced, witnessed, and received. The gift of their writings brought us Sacred Scripture, the traditions and history of our Christian faith, and the insights and stories of the lives of the saints. A spiritual journal is a record of the prayers and desires of your heart that becomes a roadmap of your own spiritual journey, in the company of God and others.
Keep your own spiritual journal to express your love for God, your desire to love Him better, and your struggles on that path. If you do, you may find a new way to connect with Christ and the Church, and with your own heart as you aspire to live your Faith in today's world.
By expressing the creativity, love, and desires of our souls in this way, we can reap countless blessings of peace, joy and gratitude, see our love for Him growing, and advance in the spiritual life.
Shop our wide selection of both blank and guided spiritual journals.
Do you keep a spiritual journal? Share your experience with us in the comments below and tell us how it has helped you!