Leaving a Legacy of Faith

“What legacy of faith

do you hope to leave in this world?”

My go-to devotion is the Cloak of St Joseph and I prefer good deed bead bracelets or other one-decade rosary tools to pray my rosary.

I’ve been forever changed by a few experiences with relics from two of my favorite saints, St. John Paul II and St. Padre Pio. However, I think I’d like to be remembered for two particular practices that have enhanced my personal prayer but may not be recognized as official Catholic traditions or devotions (yet).

We have learned a great deal about a number of saints through their spiritual diaries or prayer journals, even those who had no intention of letting their writing be shared or published after their death.

St. Therese wrote her autobiography in obedience to Mother Agnes of Jesus (her superior who also happened to be her sister).

St. Gemma wrote her spiritual diary in obedience to her spiritual director.

St John Paul II and St Mother Teresa had wanted their private spiritual writings destroyed, but they were safeguarded and eventually published as invaluable insight into their spiritual lives.

While we gain so much wisdom from the personal writings of these saints, these spiritual diaries and journals seem to be most often recorded experiences of prayer (in retrospect).

The Prayer Journal

While most of us regular spiritual pilgrims don’t experience locutions or apparitions, a prayer journal can be a helpful tool to collect our thoughts and express our hearts to Jesus through writing. I can ask the Lord questions and guided by the Holy Spirit, I can write “in my own words what I think He wants me to say” (as articulated by Fr. Gaston Courtois).

For many of us, writing helps us to focus and articulate our innermost thoughts, our heartfelt desires, and our most personal prayers.
The Prayer Journal can become a tangible record of our intimate conversation with Jesus, and a useful tool to remember past struggles, answers to prayer and spiritual insights for future reference.

How easy is it to forget the moments of Grace we’ve received in the past when the present flurry of activity and concerns are pressing in. The truth is that I have recorded these moments of grace, these soft and reassuring, concise and emboldening messages gently placed in my heart. They’re all carefully transcribed in various prayer journals. Each prayer journal was diligently filled over time…and now sits buried in a box.


I believe that those messages and prayers are real. They’re real Prayer Transcripts: little snippets and quotes placed in my heart, nurturing my relationship with Jesus. They are words I have received in a quiet moment of prayer or spiritual reading, hopefully heavily infused with the Holy Spirit. There are also words I have spoken in heartfelt prayer, hopefully also infused with the Holy Spirit. They are the Living Word of Scripture that speaks to us poignantly and excerpts from spiritual reading (including wisdom imparted from the saints and theologians).

They can pierce us in the heart and move us in our own circumstances.

I just realized that I don’t want to bury those messages deep in storage… in that box full of doggy-eared, scrawled-in journals. By reviewing and collecting those messages and layering them over time in one scrapbooked journal, I can relive those moments of closeness and consolation and draw from them when my prayer life gets a little distracted or dry.

I’ve decided to collect them all in a new kind of prayer journal. I am scrapbooking them together with favorite holy images, screenshots of Scripture word art, words from the saints, and religious art. I’m slowly sorting through past prayer journals for just those words that are highlighted and circled because they continue to speak to my heart. Those words remind me of the living relationship I’m in with Jesus; they highlight the tiniest little insight I’ve been blessed to receive or those moments when His continuous Message finally got through.

And this albeit curated prayer journal can be a sort of heirloom for my kids, my legacy of faith!

Prompts to Pray

Many of the saints advise us to make prayer a real habit, practice the Presence of God, and “pray without ceasing” (Thes 5:17)
In our busy and distracted lives, it’s easy to forget to pray, but I think that we can develop a practice of using the things we see and hear, daily tasks and habits, and even our daily struggles as Prompts to Pray. Those struggles that we face every day and our littleness, (made obvious through those struggles) are very effective prompts to pray! They are completely customized to our particular personalities and circumstances…and are ever-present for maximum consistency!

Prompts to Pray can help us to pray more often, pray consistently, and to pray from the heart. While developing the habit of using Prompts to Pray can definitely transform our personal prayer lives, we can also strive to be prompts to pray, encouraging our loved ones, and as many people as possible, to turn to prayer at all times.

Imagine being remembered as one who always prompted others to pray! What a Legacy of Faith!

Monica McConkey is the author of Prompt Me to Pray, as well as a large collection of Catechism, Saint, Sacrament and Prayer-packed craft kits, quizzing cards and rubber stamps. You can check out her shop here: www.ArmaDei.com



For my Book Review of Encountering Signs of Faith and purchasing info, please visit this post at Equipping Catholic Families.

“What legacy of faith do you hope to leave in this world?”

Check out how others answered this question at Reconciled to You


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