- The Fruits of a Lenten Journey
Lenten Journey 2017
Did you gain any fruit from this year’s Lenten journey? I did. To my surprise, I ended up creating a series of devotional journals. To date, I have published more than eighteen My Holy Hour journals. This year’s Lenten Journey has been a interesting experience and one I deeply enjoy.
How I began 2017 Lent
Lent came fast and I was a little late getting my ducklings in line this year. I stumbled over the idea of giving something up and kept searching. When I asked what seemed to be highest on my priority list, “time” came to the fore again and again, so I began to think of how “time” and Lent could combine. In what way could I give up more time to God?
A few days later I had a shared work day with a writer friend and we were talking about journals. She had been wanting to do some, and I had always had ideas floating in the back of mind. We talked back and forth and suddenly had a journal challenge going for the next week. By the time I drove home, the idea of a line of devotional journals bloomed and I was caught up in that wonderful creation experience when the seed of a new idea strengthens and sends out roots. Over the next week the idea exploded and a series was born—but as I’m learning much more may still come. (See all the journals here.)
Why Journals for Eucharistic Adoration?
As a long-time writer and even longer lover of journal writing, it was only natural that I would turn my writer’s eye toward journals. Especially since I’ve incorporated adoration more and more into my daily life. I love adoration. I also like to capture the inspirations and thoughts and words that come to me during that sacred time. They often provide opportunities for even more writing when I return home. I also love iconic Catholic imagery, so it’s only natural that I would merge the two when creating the My Holy Hour series of journals.
Seems to me, adoration and journals go hand-in-hand. As a certified journal instructor for nearly twenty years, I know journal writing has much to offer in everyday life. Journals are even helpful when reading, listening to homilies during mass, and practicing lectio divina. Frankly, I find them useful when doing any daily self-examination, too. They’re a gathering place for thoughts and words to come together and bring about new insights. They’re a friendly space where problems and issues and confusion can be examined and even resolved. Best of all, they’re wonderful receptacles where the promptings of the Holy Spirit can be captured and, often, linked for deeper understanding.
If you’d like to know more about the ways My Holy Hour journals can help deepen your prayer life, grab a free copy of How to Use a Prayer Journal during Holy Hour.
My Lenten Journey Continues with thanks to Mother Angelica
Lent is over, Easter is over, and we’ve moved into summer but the fruits of my Lenten journey continue. I find working on the journals has increased my desire for adoration and for stopping by to see Jesus. I often think of Mother Angelica in those moments. Much of my early conversion promptings came about due to Mother Angelica and Marcus Grodi’s EWTN show Coming Home. The Coming Home show helped me navigate the many issues on the road to conversion, but Mother Angelica made it all personal. I remember how casually she’d speak of having a busy day but running into the chapel with the Blessed Sacrament and saying hello to Jesus before running out to do a show or take care of some other matter. “Hi Jesus,” she’d say and, at first, it would take me aback a little, but over time I learned how deep her relationship with the Lord had become and how intimate.
They were way past formality. He knew of her reverence and He knew her. I found myself wishing that I felt such familiarity and even began to long for it. In the years since, I’ve learned that one of the best ways, next to daily mass, to deepen my relationship with Jesus is to increase time before the Blessed Sacrament. One of the unusual blessings I had during Lent this year occurred when I found myself taking a new journal to adoration so I could “show” it to Jesus. I’m grateful to Mother Angelica for showing me that Jesus wants us to let down our walls and really talk and be with Him.
Are you ready for a deeper, more familiar relationship with Jesus? He asks so little of us. Why not go see Him? He’s always there, waiting. Remember his words to Peter: “So, could you not watch with me one hour?”
Talk to him. You won’t be disappointed.
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