sister diane

SISTER DIANE BARDOL AND SISTER BRIDGET CONNOR

Two Catholic sisters have written a book that asks those questions to help readers find their most satisfying way to pray, according to a news release from Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.

“Personality and Prayer: A Reflective Journal” explores the human search for connection to God, through the process of understanding and embracing one’s personality type. Sisters Bridget Connor and Diane Bardol are Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, a congregation of sisters headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sister Diane is an educator who served in St. Mary’s School and parish in Kodiak from 1970 to 2007. During that time, she was principal of the school and director of faith formation in the parish. She is also the former director of the Murphy Initiative for Justice and Peace in Baltimore.

Sister Bridget is a professor in the School of Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore. 

The sisters’ book, available on Amazon, invites readers to discover how honoring their personality type can provide a richer and more satisfying prayer life as they travel their individual spiritual journeys.

“We each establish our own way of interacting and speaking to God,” Sister Diane said in the release. “The preference for a way of praying is as unique as individuals.”

An explanation of personality types is introduced briefly in the sisters’ book, through the lens of psychoanalyst Carl Jung and other personality type and cognitive style experts. The explanations are interesting and general, basically distilling into an exploration of whether an individual’s preference is for introversion or extraversion. An introverted personality may want to pray alone, in silence, while extraverts may have a need to pray with others.

“This book is an introductory prayer journal that hopes to give readers a freedom in their understanding and choice of prayer forms that are suited to their personality,” Sister Bridget said.

“People sometimes think that prayer is not for them. Or they struggle to fit into a prayer form that really does not help their personal journey toward God. Often, they do this because they are just not aware of the many ways one can journey with God. Knowing that God deals with us so personally can lead one to gratitude and awe, the perfect attitude opening one to respond to God’s love.”

The journal, arranged in a six-week format, highlights three styles of prayer and presents interviews with individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to prayer. Each speaks of his or her own style of prayer and how that enriches them spiritually.

The journal uses scripture, reflections, suggestions and reflective questions to engage the reader. There are blank pages for the reader to journal thoughts, questions and insights. Helpful suggestions for setting time aside for prayer, creating an environment for prayer and being open to the spiritual experience are included.

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