Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finding God with a Pen

One of the disciplines of the spiritual life is to keep a journal of personal reflections relating to what scriptures you are reading, your practice of prayer, your experience with a spiritual director, your participation in small-group discussions, and what God is doing in your life.

Writing and reflecting in a journal is not meant to be a chore but an activity for the purpose of spiritual growth. Over time, journal-keeping can become a regular discipline for spiritual formation.

Journal-keeping is meant to be part of the process of asking the deeper questions of the spiritual life, a way of recording how you feel about certain observations, presentations, and ideas and proclaiming what you believe in a context of prayer and listening.

Personal journal-keeping is aided by feedback from others. In your search for an authentic spiritual life, I invite you to choose at least two persons to read selected entries from your journal and offer their comments related to spiritual formation.

(These instructions on journal-keeping where given by Nouwen to his classes at Yale and Harvard for his course on Spiritual Formation - cited in Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, pp. 14-15).

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