The Writing Road to Sainthood

Advice From Father Hardon

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by Charlotte Ostermann

Today’s advice is from the late Fr. John Hardon, S.J., who believed that daily writing helps us make a “giant stride on the road to sanctity.” Why is writing such an asset of the spiritual life?

According to Father Hardon, writing provides discipline for the mind, “gives direction to our thinking,” and “helps us to master our faculty of thought.” Writing cultivates intellectual humility. It exposes “the vagueness of my thinking, the inconsistency of my logic, the triviality of my life.”

Writing creates a record of graces received, and helps fix thoughts and spiritual experiences in memory. “Whatever is memorized becomes a part of the treasury of our mind,” Father said. “Our memorized thoughts contribute to everything we think, say, or do for the rest of our lives.”

Father Hardon said that writing even contributes to excellence in speaking. “The effort and grace required to write down our thoughts are a major contribution to mastering our speech.”

Writing is a means of sharing the gifts of the soul with others, to bring them closer to Christ. “Charity is, above all, sharing with another what I have, in order to enrich the person whom I love…We should make a written memo of the parables in our own life, to share them with others.”

Fr. Hardon advised his Marian Catechists to develop their writing apostolates through letters to editors, articles, and books. He particularly emphasized the importance of writing letters. “The writing apostolate…must include the writing of letters, not only to those who have written to us, but especially to those from who we have never received a letter, and who may never correspond with us in return.”

Inspired by St. Ignatius, he “trained his followers to write, write, extensively, write daily, write through correspondence, and write for publication,” and to keep a daily moral inventory in writing.

Fr. Hardon’s quotations are from the article, «The Writing Apostolate of the Marian Catechists.» You can find many helpful articles about writing at the Marian Catechists website at

This post originally appeared at the Catholic Writers Guild blog,

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