Yeah, you read that sentence correctly. Although they seem somewhat counter-intuitive, I really think that becoming a writer, reader, and commenter on other blogs has improved my prayer life. Let me explain before you jump to any strange or lofty conclusions.
I've never been very good about having a consistent prayer life. I'm very much swayed by periods of consolation and desolation - when I'm in consolation, I can't get enough of prayer. And in desolation, it's the last thing on my mind. (For a quick summary of Ignatian spirituality and what I mean by those, click here.) I do exactly what St. Ignatius says NOT to do, which is change my spiritual routine when those times sway in and out of my life. I know, it's bad. As a result, my prayer life looks like one of those crazy graphs where the peaks are really high and the valleys are really low. It's definitely not good for my spiritual life, and makes the transitions between those two phases in my soul hard to weather and hard to identify.
Blogging and reading other blogs (especially real, faithful, beautiful, and holy Catholic women's blogs) has helped me keep a regular prayer life -- but more by accident than by design.
First of all, blogging about my own life helps me identify these periods of highs and lows more easily. When I write them down and publish my thoughts for the internet to see, I can go back and read when I was feeling crappy or when I was riding a good, high period. It's a lot harder to hide from myself when I've got written proof of my own moods - and blogging is an easy format to be honest with yourself in. I definitely didn't set out to blog because of this reason, but it's an awesome benefit.
I know that specifying my monthly goals has also helped me keep on track in my spiritual life. I can identify where I want to go for the month, and although I don't always have a spiritual "goal" for each month, it keeps me more accountable for my life in general, which gives me structure in my spiritual life.
|David and I, credit Levi Baus Photography|
Because I love reading, and especially love reading blogs, though, I'm reminded on a daily or semi-daily basis of intentions to pray for! It makes them a lot harder to forget. Whether I'm reading about a couple's struggle with infertility, a family's heartache, someone traveling, a mother's heartache over the loss of a child, or anything in between, it becomes ingrained in my brain. Reading details about any sort of struggles (or even joys!) in other women's lives makes them wayyyy easier to remember. It's probably due to my English-major-trained brain, but reading about them changes my prayer intentions from something I think about occasionally to something that pops up in my head without any prompting.
I love it.
I love sitting in Mass and being able to list off the names of 6-8 different bloggers, who I've never met, who are struggling with one thing or another at this point in their lives, and offering it to Jesus in the sacrifice of the Mass. It makes me feel so connected to the Universal church, and connected with these bloggers - although they may never know I prayed for them!
And I also love being able to openly ask for prayers for my own intentions on my blog - which brings me to one of the main points of this post.
I want to offer up my labor with Baby G for your intentions, because so many of you have been sweet and offered prayers for my pregnancy and baby so far. I've majorly felt the blog-love, and I want to repay in a small way if I can.
So. If you have a specific cause or intention you'd like me to pray for, please tell me! You can comment with your intention, message me privately (gokienotes @ gmail.com), or just tell me that you have a special intention to pray for and I'll include it. I'm going to make a big list of all my intentions and read them and have David read them to me when labor sets in.
I can't wait to hear your intentions!