Lent is a journey. It takes us 40 days (not counting Sundays) to get from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It’s the perfect time to begin journaling.
Both of the words, ‘journey’ and ‘journal’ come from the Old French ‘jurnee’ and ‘jurnal’ which have their root in the Latin ‘diurnalis’, an adjective meaning, “pertaining to a day”.
‘Jurnal’, was used to describe a Mendicant Friar’s book containing the appointed times of daily prayer and a record his day’s travel, ‘jurnee’, (which means the members of the Church have been at this for a very long time).
Christian journaling usually consists of: Reading a Scripture passage, meditating on the passage, writing a reflection on it, and composing a prayer in conclusion. It is customary to spend an hour daily journaling. Many people make a Holy Hour for that time, if their lifestyle allows for it, and they reap the eternal benefits.
But it doesn’t have to follow that format. The important thing is spending some quality time with Jesus so He can whisper sweet somethings to your heart that He wants only you to hear.
Just as there is the 4 volume Liturgy of the Hours for those able, or obligated, to pray the Divine Office five times a day, there is a condensed, one volume, version called ‘Christian Prayer’, and an even more condensed version called, ‘Shorter Christian Prayer’, as a means for as many of her members as possible to join in the daily universal prayer of the Church regardless of lifestyle.
The condensed version of journaling can consist of simply listening a bit more intently to the readings and homily at daily Mass, reflect on them, and jot a one-liner ‘take-away’ in a notebook; a thought you can carry with you throughout your day. It can be as powerful and profound as the longer method. Just as those doing the Shorter Christian Prayer can say they are joining in the universal prayer of the Church along with those who do the Divine Office (Complete Version), so too whatever time you are able to spend journaling, you will belong to an ever growing body of faithful who spend time each day intimately conversing with Jesus, one on one. It will grace your day, and your life, abundantly.