There are so many books written by our beautiful Saints, and even many current day evangelists, who openly discuss their conversations with the Lord.
He and I by Gabrielle Bossis is a classic written in the late 1800's. The well known Diary of Saint Faustina contains the writings that guided St. Faustina Kowalska toward the Divine Mercy devotions. Anything written by St. Elizabeth of the Trinity contains profound revelation and many conversations between her and the Three Persons within the Trinity. Any of these would give the reader a greater comfort and better understanding of how deeply the Lord longs to speak to each of us in a familiar and ongoing conversation, as intimately as we speak to a loved one.
I would be remiss not to mention the well-known foundress of EWTN, Mother Angelica - who has never been shy in her deliverence on this subject. If you listen to any of her formerly taped live shows, she often shares her ongoing two-way conversations with the Lord, and how familiarly they speak to one another. She makes it quite obvious during her talks that this is how everyone should expect the Lord to speak to them - as a Beloved Best Friend.
For me, journaling these intimate conversations became a little easier with time, particularly once I had someone to share them with. I am deeply grateful to God for the gift of a good Spiritual Director. This is where I learned to trust more in His teachings and become more accountable to faithfulness in prayer. It was my Spiritual Director that could beautifully put many of the puzzle pieces together, summarizing how the Lord's words dove-tailed along the way. Sharing with my Spiritual Director also seemed to bring a new level of 'life' to these writings, pouring them deeper into my heart with a greater understanding. It also helped to be accountable to someone, encouraging me to 'stay the course'.
The theme of so many of these entries over the years were consistent on many levels, but varied in others. More than anything, I was consoled in how the Lord spoke to me in the present moment about things that were burdening His Heart, or piercing mine.
I could go on for another 50 pages in expounding upon the graces and gifts that come with journaling, but I believe it would be more beneficial for us to just dive into some of the examples of these powerful prayer times. When I finally decided I really needed to pray in this way, this was the most effective springboard which encouraged me to jump in and just do it...
Here I will share with you an example of two journal entries I had written while spending quiet time in prayer, waiting upon the Lord to explain or teach me more about the scripture passage I was reading. The first entry is from June of 2009. Our prayer group was in the midst of a formation series that included daily journaling with scripture passages, and the scripture passage we prayed with was the following:
Phil 1:9-11 "with a clear conscience and blameless conduct, you may learn the value of things that really matter."
I sensed that it was God the Father who spoke to my heart with these words:
My beloved little daughter, it is the daily surrender to My will that must become your most important work of each day. For each moment in each day there is a perfect plan that has already been formed and prepared which will bring greater glory to My Holy Kingdom, drawing more grace from the power of the Cross and those salvific blessings. Every single tiny "yes" is an invaluable key which unlocks another heart or opens the doors for a situation to merit change. Hearts are laid bare and lives converted by the power enthroned in one heartfelt, fully surrendered "yes". Let Me, allow Me, to continue to teach you the value of these things that truly matter to My Heart. O, how I deeply love thee ! Abba
The second entry was journaled during a retreat that our group attended in July of 2011. Our retreat director had given us many scripture passages to journal with, and the one I had looked up was Ezekial 47:9 "Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. "
Once again, I sensed that it was God the Father who was speaking to my heart, and I heard the words:
O beloved of Mine - empty, empty, empty. Be emptied of every desire and every dream that causes you anguish or anxiety, for these are not Mine. Be empty from every temptation to be admired or be wealthy or be surrounded by comforts, for these are not Mine. Be empty of every urge to take it easy, be more generous to self or be pampered, for these are not Mine. My daughter, be self-controlled, not self-fulfilled. Ask Me what we should be doing in the moment. Pray always in the Spirit and allow My love to walk you into every moment. There is so much love that awaits your attention, but I remain waiting at the door. Listen to My Word within you, all day, every day, and with the guidance of your beloved spiritual director we shall bring you the glory of sanctifying grace. Be humble, be little, be obedient. Do not look for approval or the love of man. Search only for Me. I am there in every single moment, waiting for your surrender, so that I may be your Father.... Abba
My brothers, my sisters - the Lord deeply longs to speak to every heart with such love, and so much more. Everyone's journaling might be a little different - and many will have entries that are much shorter, or much longer - but His words are always wrapped in great mercy and meekness of Heart. To every soul He comes, waiting, knocking at the door - longing for us to open wide our hearts to His invitation .....