Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
James Martin, S.J.August 02, 2019
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

This week, let’s look at an important spiritual practice: journaling. That’s basically a fancy way of talking about recording in a journal, or even on your computer, or a cell phone, what happens in your prayer and in your spiritual life. And it’s pretty important in the spiritual life overall. Why? Because our human tendency is, unfortunately, to forget the wonderful things that happen in prayer—the emotions, insights, desires, memories, feelings and images that console us and challenge us. We often do the same with spiritual experiences that happen to us in our daily lives.

Keeping a journal is an antidote to this forgetting. Think of it this way: Imagine Jesus were to come into a room and tell you something. You would obviously treasure his words and want to remember exactly what he said. So you’d certainly write them down, maybe even paint them on the wall of every room in your house. Something like that happens with any deep spiritual experience: God tells us something important. So we should be sure to record it! And when times get tough, it’s good to have those experiences to return to.

A journal also helps us see the progress of our spiritual lives. We can, for example, see how something that was bothering us before has ceased to be a problem, thanks to putting into effect some spiritual insight. So invest in a journal or start to write things down on your laptop or cell phone. When things get tough you’ll be glad you did.

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

More: Prayer
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

The head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has defended his department's use of expelled Jesuit priest Marko Rupnik’s artwork in its official materials.
Colleen DulleJune 21, 2024
A conversation with Rachel L. Swarns, the author of "The 272: The Families Who were Enslaved and Sold to Build The American Catholic Church"
JesuiticalJune 21, 2024
Spanish Jesuit Luis María Roma, who died in 2019, was recently discovered to have abused hundreds of Indigenous girls while serving as a missionary in rural Bolivia, and to have documented his acts in a diary.
Members of Coro y Orquesta Misional San Xavier perform the opera “San Francisco Xavier” at the Church of San Xavier in the town of San Javier, Bolivia, on April 23. 2024.
The opera ‘San Xavier’ provides a glimpse of how Jesuits evangelized with music—a key dimension of the 1986 film “The Mission.”