Prayer with my pen - Catholic Courier

Prayer with my pen

Lately I’ve returned to some thought-provoking reading, on the subject of — at the risk of appearing narcissistic — me.

 In my basement is a big box full of the journal entries I began in college and continue to this day. Some writings are a couple of sentences long, others cover several pages.

On the rare times I dip into the box, I get to examine parts my life, not as I remember them now, but how I felt while they were occurring — which often might be two different perspectives.

There are reflections on romances and friendships, first and last days on jobs, my marriage, the birth of my kids, the death of my parents, my perspectives on the world around me. Some writings evoke unpleasant memories. Others describe unspeakable joy.

Why do I journal? It’s because thousands of thoughts and emotions swirl through my body, many times seemingly at once. I really need an outlet to try and make sense of it all — my purpose in life, the decisions I make, understanding other people better. I even consider this a form of prayer, another way to discern what God wants of me.

This quest for insight also can be navigated through reading books and talking with others, but sometimes it’s nice to have a chat with your own self, too — and to document that conversation in case you ever wish to revisit it.

Has it all been worth it, my tons of hours of scrawling and typing? The way I see it, our Catholic faith calls us to always work toward conversion and perfection. Certainly I won’t ever be perfect. But if journaling has helped me edge even a bit closer — and I certainly believe it has — then yes, absolutely, it’s worth the time.

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