Connecting with What’s on Our Heart
If you were to write a journal entry, a letter to someone, or record something in your diary about an experience that happened to you today or recently, what would you write about?
The question above surfaced recently when I saw a journaling idea that piqued my interest: “Attach an envelope to your journal or your Bible and insert a letter to God.” “That sounds like a good idea,” I thought, as it could be not only a reflective and meaningful experience but also a way to nurture and reflect on our relationship with God, on our thoughts, feelings, concerns, and observations and to reflect on what’s important and to know ourselves better.
“A handwritten letter to God…” I thought. Handwritten letters are so rare nowadays. They are not as fast as text messages or emails, yet, I believe, most of us cheer up when we find a handwritten letter from someone we know. Why? Most likely because letters connote an endearing and enduring relationship.
As I kept playing with the thought about writing a letter to God, I was pondering: “I’m quick to offer a prayer to God, but if I were to write a letter to God, what would I write about?” What would you write to God in a letter?
Reflecting on this question, my mind wandered to a recent experience of reading little notes of wishes on a Wishing Tree: at the Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio. Dangling from this tree were colorful slips of paper tied to a branch with a string, which looked similar to the peace flags on the meditation trail at our Shepherd’s Corner Ecology Center in Blacklick, Ohio. At this Wishing Tree, people wrote down their wishes on a small piece of paper and then hung the wish on the tree. There were wishes for a trip to Ireland, for a more peaceful world, for overcoming physical or mental illnesses, for a happy marriage, for a pet, etc. Some of these wishes made me smile and feel content, some made me think, and some filled me with sadness, especially when I read the one that was most likely written by a child: “I wish me and my mom find a house for ourselves soon.” As I read these wishes, I found myself wanting to offer a prayer for each wish, and so I continued reading these wishes – praying to God for each intent.
Both writing a letter to God and offering a prayer are just two simple ways to reflect on what’s on our heart or mind, what’s important to us, what we value, and ultimately, to reflect on our relationship with God. So, as you read this blog, what’s on your heart and mind? What would you write to God in a letter?
If you would like to spend a few days reflecting on your relationship with God and contemplating what it might be like to live a life of prayer that’s lived out in ministry and community, we are offering an upcoming discernment retreat, September 8-10, 2023, for single, Catholic women ages 18-45, either virtually or in person, at our Motherhouse in St. Catharine, Kentucky. Click here for more information or to register.
Click here for photos. Wishing Tree