For a while now, I’ve been considering starting a spiritual journal or diary of some sort. The thing is, I’m not really very clear what the precise purpose of this endeavour would actually be.
I’m not one for recording spiritual things in a ‘diary’ and so I cannot really see myself doing that; events in that realm are – to me, at least – deeply personal in nature and not something I care to write down, for various reasons.
Equally, I see no value at all in simply writing lists of prayer intentions – to what end would I do so? Prayer doesn’t work that way for me – it is something of the moment in many respects, even whilst I carry various intentions with me over a longer period. I can’t think why I would want to write down those intentions – when I promise to pray for an intention, I do so immediately at that moment and then again later in my evening prayers. Writing it all down adds nothing, unless I am missing something.
Neither do I foresee any real value in a ‘spiritual journal’ as “a way of recording spiritual progress”, as I have seen it described in some places. Again – at least for me – this is something I consider during my times of prayer, since I have no spiritual director (this would be the other instance in which I would consider such a thing).
Presently, having obtained a folio into which I can print and then insert pages, I have simply printed off those prayers which are too long to memorise – these are mainly several Psalms and Canticles of which I am very fond and which feature often in my prayers. There is also the text of the Stations of the Cross written by St Alphonsus Liguori – I am deeply fond of this text – and again, it is too lengthy to memorise. There are also one or two other things.
And so essentially, what I considered initially to be a ‘diary’or ‘journal’ of some sort is fast becoming a collection of favourite prayers – each one is available in other prayer books I have, but this one has them all together in the one place; and this does seem to suit me more.
I have printed ‘personal notes’ pages at the end in case I want to write anything – but I suspect these won’t really be used and their place will ultimately be taken by other prayers as I come across them in other places.
It may well be that I am missing something (probably very obvious) – if you have any thoughts on this, do please let me know. Also, if you yourself use a diary or journal of this sort, I would be delighted to hear from you in the comments section below; after all, what you are already doing might be just what I need to do.