Can you believe we are already seeing the sign-up promos and reflection books for Advent!?! The years continue to fly by and I guess this year is no different. I’ll be honest, I’m already starting to get excited about the new planners that are going to be out soon. =) As Advent is fast approaching, I began thinking and praying about whether or not to host a series of Advent reflections as I have the past 2 years. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the web is now inundated with these reflections. There are so many, you could probably spend all day just reading reflections and still not get through them all.
The more I prayed, the more I found myself to feel inspired in a new direction. My prayer was informed by two things.
First, the highly anticipated Every Sacred Sunday Mass Journal. In case you missed it, here is my promo post from a few months ago. I am thrilled it is almost November and I will soon have this journal in my hands.
Second, I have been mulling over the Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII. This is a set of 10 short prayers or commitments that Pope John XXIII prayed each day. I intend to delve into each one of these in greater detail, possibly even one post for each one. We’ll see. For now, the fifth is the pertinent goal:
Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
So, where was I being called? On one hand, I have this awesome new journal resource that really helps me to focus in on the Mass and Scripture. On the other, I have a challenge to 10 minutes of “good reading.” As the kids would say, “Their powers combined created!” A brand new Bible Journal! I’ve never done anything like this before, but it was so much fun! What I have created is a Bible journal that incorporates Lectio Divina, the practice of slowly reading a short passage or verse and meditating on it. Lectio Divina is one of the oldest prayer forms we have — learn more here.
What’s in this journal, you might ask? Let’s find out!
- A reference guide for what Lectio Divina is.
- How to use the journal
- One journal page for each day of Advent, including the regular Mass on Dec. 24 as well as the Christmas Eve Mass, and Christmas Day.
- Each page contains:
- Space for intentions, how your day is going, what are your thoughts before beginning your Lectio
- Space to write your Word
- Ample space for reflecting and praying your response to your Word
- (My favorite) space to action plan for how to take your reflections into the rest of your day and through the season of Advent.
- Each page contains:
- A Scripture verse or passage for each day of Advent, prayerfully chosen from the liturgical readings of the day.
- An additional blank journaling page that you may print as many times as you want. This way you can choose your own passages for Advent or continue the practice after Advent is over.
Even more exciting than all of that is that I give this as my gift to you this Advent Season. This journal is completely and totally free. It is yours to download as many times as you want, to print as many times as you desire. Pick one, pick both. Print 10 and share them with friends or your small group. The sky’s the limit! Maybe you and your spouse are looking for a way to connect in a meaningful way this Advent season. Maybe you are looking for a way to incorporate Scripture into your daily routine or with your kids over the dinner table. There are so many opportunities awaiting you.
Below are a few more images to let you get a feel for the two styles. One style is a bit more curly and doodly while the other is less frilly, more straight lines. The content is exactly the same in both journals.
All you have to do is click on the link beneath the picture of the journal you want below to choose your pdf file. Save it to your computer and print the whole thing, print one page, take your pick.
And in all honesty everyone, I would love feedback on these. The good, the not so good and the what on earth does that mean?. If this is something you love and you found useful, I would love to share that joy. If you liked the idea but it just didn’t work for you this time, tell me why. How can I make this better or different? If, and I’m crossing my fingers here, if this seems to work I am seriously considering making a Lenten Journal as well and who knows, maybe even expand the idea further as we go along.
This is what I felt called to make this year for Advent and I hope and pray that it brings you peace, solace and above all, helps you prepare your heart for the coming of our Savior. Because, dear friends, that is what the whole point is.