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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Keeping a Journal

With the new liturgical year, I began a new Journal. The first thing I did was to copy the six goals I had set for myself in September. I found that I need to work harder to keep some of the ways I had written to spell out the objective for myself. However, in spite of many places where I need to ask for help from the Lord to live them better, the overall picture is quite optimistic for various reasons. The first is that I feel these are still the goals I need. I remember a very holy nun telling us as we left Rome after our final profession that "if you have broken your resolutions immediately, know that they are good resolutions and just the ones you need. The second reason is that I remember feeling inspired when I wrote these six goals and felt that the Holy Spirit was helping me to state them. They are all important and I suspect that I need to look at them more often. I remember thinking that maybe I should concentrate on one each month, but I really need to work at all six.

I began this to invite you to keep a journal - at least an Advent Journal. I am trying to write each day during Advent; it helps one to look back over the month and see where God has been acting in my life and what God might be trying to tell me, or where God is leading me or is He asking something of me. I remember years ago when I was still learning to give thirty-day retreats, a Cenacle superior told me that keeping a journal and reviewing it each month had shown her God's action in her life and given her insights that she would not have had without the discipline of writing in her journal daily.

St. Ignatius would have us write after prayer to jot down anything that struck us, how we felt, and to examine the beginning, middle, and end of the prayer. Sad to say, I have never managed to keep the kind of journal Ignatius recommended. I just let the Holy Spirit tell me what to write and it is often a surprise, the way this blog is a constant surprise!

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