60) Use a spiritual journal to recognize the rewards of daily conversation with God

Across the ages, many saints have kept spiritual journals including St. Ignatius of Loyola, Mother Teresa, St. Therese of Lisieux, Sister Faustina, Pope St. John Paul II.

Beginning to keep a spiritual diary in which a man can record his meditations and insights received from God helps add a concrete aspect to the nature of his prayer; it can be a powerful source of insight and motivation to listen and speak to God through writing (either in paper form or electronically). Importantly, by self-reflection a man better recognizes and savors the rewards of his growing closeness with God.

Consider beginning a personal diary or journal to record your conversations with God and schedule time each day to listen and speak to God through writing in your journal. 

61) Take regular silent retreats to recognize the rewards of closeness to God

During the crushing responsibilities of the world, Jesus calls His apostles to “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while” (Mk 6:31) so they might rest in Him and be renewed in spirit and commitment.

The Church has stressed the importance of setting aside time to draw close to and rest in God. The Desert Fathers, those who launched the monastic movement (St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Dominic) and St. Ignatius of Loyola (The Spiritual Exercises) continued the tradition of listening and speaking to God in areas set apart for silent meditation, to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Every Catholic man can be blessed by setting aside periods of time for silent conversation with God in weekly Holy Hours and periodic multi-day retreats. These times set aside for God help gauge progress and strengthen the desire to continue to practice the Presence of God.

Set aside times of silent conversation with God on a regular basis during the week and year to assess and renew progress in drawing closer to God.