The Rosary Journal Project

In my previous post, I talked about starting a new program here at New Walden that is intended to help improve our practice of the Christian faith. I’ve been planning to make a video to kick this project off, but that is taking too long to complete, so I will need to settle for a written blog post.

For the past twelve years or so, I have been keeping what I call a “Rosary Journal.” It is a plain composition book with tabbed sections, each devoted to a different mystery of the rosary. What goes into the tabbed sections? Bible passages that are connected by theme or imagery to a particular mystery of the rosary. In essence, what we are doing is creating our own scriptural rosary book.

This has been a tremendously fruitful exercise in my spiritual life. It has become the foundation of my prayer and contemplative life, and it has vastly improved my knowledge and comprehension of the Bible. If you are familiar with my book, you know that it is loaded with passages from the Bible. It was my rosary journal devotion that gave me that Biblical knowledge. Without the rosary journal, it would have been impossible for me to write my book.

The rosary journal exercise is especially powerful during the Church seasons, and so I think we should start this project right away for the season of Advent. If you are interested in this project, you should go out today and get yourself a composition book and some tabs. Look up the Mass readings for the first week of Advent and see if you can decide where they should go in your rosary journal. You can find those readings online here. For the truly ambitious, you can also include the Office of Readings, which are online here.

I am going to try and get back to you today with more information, and I am going to share some of my own thoughts about where I think the readings go in the rosary journal. It’s a very fun way to immerse yourself in the Bible! Talk to you soon. JG

Colbert Vs. Maher on Being Catholic

I saw this video clip of Bill Maher on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and I thought that I would share it with you. All the bad language is bleeped out, but there is still some PG stuff left in, so, viewer, be warned. The subject turned to Catholicism, as one might expect, given that Colbert is a practicing Catholic and Maher is a former Catholic who is now a practicing New Atheist. He even made his own documentary Religulous, which is Maher’s portmanteau for “religious” and “ridiculous.”

Their brief religious debate made an impact on me: Colbert’s humble admission (“I suck as a Catholic”) spoke to my own heart. It was like a great awakening. I thought to myself, “I suck as a Catholic too!”—to which myriads of celestial hallelujahs could be heard chorusing in affirmation.

And this epiphany has inspired me to start a new project here at New Walden. As you know, if you have been reading any of the previous posts, I have mentioned New Year’s resolutions a few times. It occurred to me that a great resolution for those of us who care about our faith would be to resolve to improve in our practice of it.

So my plan is to create a new section devoted to improving the practice of the Christian faith. And because I am Catholic, it will obviously center on practices from the Catholic tradition. It will also be based on the spiritual principles I discuss in my book, especially John Paul’s concept of a Biblical Moral Psychology. And because the Church year ends this week, it means that this project needs to get started in the next few days, so I better get busy! Talk to you soon. JG