A few years ago I read a wonderful little book by Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk and prior of Tarrawarra Abbey in Victoria, Australia. The book, "Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina", clarified a practice I'd already "accidentally" stumbled into on my spiritual journey. I'm a journaler, and in my journaling (another rich topic and practice to explore) I had discovered that there was great value for me in writing out, longhand, with a good pen, those thoughts, quotes, and scripture passages that resonated with me on any particular day. It's a practice that I'd found that forced me to slow down, reflect, and even internalize the passage that had touched me in some way.
As I read Casey's book, I found that there was already a name for this. He writes, "....we may wish to compile a florilegium as the ancient monks did, writing a verse or two of our daily readings in a book, so that gradually we build up an anthology of texts that have spoken to us."
In true Lectio fashion, these passages can become more than pithy quotes. They can become prayers for us. At least that's been my experience, and apparently the experience of many, many other pilgrims.
Florilegium sounds a bit Harry Potter-ish, doesn't it? (I actually happen to like that) A simpler name is "Collect". My Collect is a small, plain black book where I store those scriptures, quotes, poems, etc, that speak to the deepest part of my heart. When I need a pick-me-up, a solid reminder of what God has done, how He has whispered to me in the past, I can pick up my Collect and be quickly reminded and encouraged.
I think we all tend to collect things on our pilgrimage through this world, don't we? At this point in my journey, I'm looking for things to jettison. And...I'm also attentive to those gems I stumble across, the ones that illuminate my path and lighten my load. I enjoy putting them in my Collect. They weigh nothing at all. As you walk your path, in this season of your own journey, what do you collect?