Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Scribes of God: The Spiritual Writer

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“Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go. Split people split up everything and everybody else. By the second half of our lives, we are meant to see in wholes and no longer just in parts.” ~Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr

Spiritual writing is a specific kind of writing. And as I understand it, there are two main modes of spiritual writing.

Writing About

The first mode is a ‘how to’ of belief and journey. Like: The Seven Simple Steps to a Perfect Life with God. 🙂 You may smile. Every spiritual tradition has been doing this for generations.

Richard Foster in his ground breaking book: Streams of Living Water, rightly I believe, divides these traditions down into six spiritual traditions rather than the structural traditions they formed. All of our denominations grow out of movements, but it’s their spiritual traditions that formed them.

  1. The Contemplative Tradition: the Prayer-Filled Life
  2. The Holiness Tradition: the Virtuous Life
  3. The Charismatic Tradition: the Spirit-Empowered Life
  4. The Social Justice Tradition: the Compassionate Life
  5. The Evangelical Tradition: the Word-Centered Life
  6. The Incarnational Tradition: the Sacramental Life

I encourage you to read this book to grasp the scope of spiritual traditions that make up the whole Church. These six traditions have been likened to the spokes of a wheel with Jesus as the hub and the outside rim as the Church.

Writing about each of these spiritual traditions, as you might imagine, is exhaustive.

Writing From

Now, the second mode of spiritual writing is what I want us to focus on. It’s about learning to write out of our spirit. It has the edge of the prophetic and the discipline of a monk. This type of spiritual writing isn’t about contending for the faith, or ‘promoting a theological agenda.’  Our analytical mind is left in the dust of our intuitive heart. This is about relationship, and love and our personal story with God. It’s about expressing God through us. This type of spiritual writing is about writing from our wholeness.

I want to empower you, and to give you permission as spiritual writers, to share your story and insight. The big idea here is that as we are learning, it’s best to make the big mistakes first, and learn quickly from them. Learning to write from your spirit is not about getting it perfect. Leave that up to God. It’s not a destination, it’s your journey with the one who created the heavens and the earth, and who loves you intimately. It’s expressing the journey of a lifetime and eternity as CS Lewis put it,”higher up and further in.”

Ways We Enter In

  1. Devotional Journaling. Journaling helps you to heal and grow and thrive.
  2. Writing to help others as a shepherd, elder or spiritual advisor.
  3. To clarify what we see or believe. It helps for internal thinkers to write down what they sense God is saying to them.
  4. We can write our way into a new revelation of God, just like the preacher can preach themself into a place they’ve never been before.
  5. Spiritual writing can be a way we express the creativity of God…in poetry, a story, or even a book.
  6. King David and a lot of us sing and write songs that come out of our spirit.
  7. Writing is a way to be contemplative in the presence of God.

For many of us, writing can be a wild adventure of the spirit.

What other ways can you come up with? Writing prayers? Writing down your dreams or visions?

Writing of this sort is a sacred journey.

Who do you know who writes this way online?

One of my favorites is: Ann Voskamp. Who are your favorites? I would seriously like to know.


We opened with a quote from Richard Rohr. I also posted it on Facebook ,and then this prayer appeared below the post from Alan J Munday of Beckenham, Bromley, UK, which I’ll close with for now:

 Lord, help us to see something of the whole picture that you see on the various aspects that touch our lives. Shine your light and peace into our own lives, so that we, in turn, can bring that light and peace to others, helping them to become the whole people that you created them to be. We praise, bless and thank you for your great love for us. Help us as we seek to bring that love to others as well. Amen.

Write well young master, and may God fill your words with himself.

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