Three years ago, I started keeping a journal. I had been given one as a gift (one done by Levenger with a beautiful tan leather cover) quite a few years ago. It had been unused, until, for some forgotten reason, started writing in it. I use it (and its various successors) for just about everything – notes on interesting books, draft articles and reviews, sermon notes, draft poems, notes from online lectures, planning schedules – it’s a real hodgepodge.
Paraclete Press has published a spiritual journal, compiled by Hilda St. Clair, that’s devoted entirely to one’s journey in faith. All Shall Be Well: A Spiritual Journal for Hope and Encouragement is a simple journal to use – and filled with beautiful artwork designed around sayings of well-known historical church figures.
The journal entries are actually exercises, such as “write your fears in these boxes,” write the lyrics to the song your soul is singing, list five things you’re truly grateful for and five things you’re anxious about. They are meant as prompts, and you can write as much or as little as you desire.
The quotations accompanying each of the approximately 60 exercises are by Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Francois Fenelon, Thomas a’ Kempis, Catherine of Siena, and John of the Cross (the book contains multiple quotations by each). The journal also includes a list of works by them for further reading.
St. Clair is also the author of the forthcoming Love Never Fails: A Journal to be Inspired by the Power of Love.
Simply sitting and examining each of the quotations within the artworks is an exercise in stillness and quieting of the soul. All Shall Be Well is a beautiful way to reflect and record one's journey in faith.
Top illustration: one of the quotations from All Shall Be Well.