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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Find your spiritual idiolect at Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network

by Connie Rossini
John Writes to Sardis and Philadelphia from the Bamberg Apocalypse (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Everyone has an idiolect--a collection of personal speech habits that is different from anyone else's. Have you ever thought about your spiritual idiolect? Since your soul is unique, you have a personal way of speaking to God that no one else completely shares. Today I am announcing the creation of a new blog that will help you find and fine-tune your spiritual idiolect.

Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network is a community of Catholic bloggers who have come together to promote growth in Christ. Each of us has his or her own blog on authentic Catholic spirituality. Some of us are Carmelites. Others are Benedictines. Some practice Ignatian spirituality. Others' blog posts are more eclectic. We hope that by sharing our spiritual idiolects, you will find yours.

You have a secret name known only to God


Jesus told the Apostle John, "To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it" (Revelation 2:17). Your relationship with Jesus is different from anyone else's in the history of the world. Your temperament, upbringing, talents, and life experiences make you a unique individual.  When you were reborn in baptism, God granted you this "secret name"--your personal identity in Christ. No one else can relate to Him in just the same way you do. You can give God a gift that no one else ever can--yourself!

God has a specific plan for your spiritual life. He will always lead you in accordance with the teachings of the Church. But the Church gives us wide berth in spiritual matters. There have been saints from nearly every walk of life. Reading their teachings and life stories, you may find a kindred spirit. Encountering the spirituality of a religious order, your heart may answer, "Yes!" Or you might weave together Catholic wisdom from many sources to create a new pattern.

The members of Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network are committed to helping you develop your spiritual idiolect--your secret language for heart-to-heart talks with God.

Please re-blog this post to help us spread the word about our new venture. God reward you!

Share with us: What is your spiritual idiolect and how did you discover or develop it?

This post was simultaneously published at Contemplative Homeschool.


  1. Connie, thank you for introducing me to a new word, "idiolect." At first I though that perhaps you had fabricated it, but I checked my dictionary and found it!

    I will have to give some thought to your question about my spiritual idiolect. There have been a variety of Catholic influences in my life. I often say I've been Catholocized, Dominicanized, Franciscanized, and Caramelized.

    1. I especially like the word "Caramelized"--for more reason than one! "Idiolect" was a term I learned in linguistics in college. Applying it to the spiritual life was my idea, however.

  2. You've introduced me to a new word, too, Connie! It's really making me think, although I don't have to ponder the idea long to have an answer. God has formed me quite a lot through the spirituality of Sts. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal. I love their emphasis on living "in profound humility toward God and great gentleness toward the neighbor." It is a one sentence "call" to me. I also am a HUGE fan of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.. life-changing! I also have been majorly influenced by the writings of St. Teresa of Avila.

    I constantly read and pray with writings of all the saints (whose writings I can find!). This is a good exercise, because through it we can each take a look at our own unique Catholic "blend." !

    1. For me, it's the Carmelites, of course. As OCDS, my name was Mary Francis of the Divine Mercy. Francis de Sales has long been my favorite guide for practical spirituality. Temperamentally, I am drawn to God's mercy and acts of mercy towards others. And I need His mercy so much myself. I as you know, I am working on trusting Him more.

      The prevailing thought of many is that since the Bible was not canonized until sometime between 300 and 400 A.D. that the church of Christ did not have New Covenant Scriptures as their guide for faith and practice. That is simply factually incorrect.

      The Lord's church of the first 400 years did not rely on the man-made traditions of men for New Testament guidance.

      Jesus gave the terms for pardon 33 A.D. after His death and resurrecting. (Mark 16:16) All the words of Jesus were Scripture.Jesus did not have to wait for canonization of the New Testament in order for His word to be authorized.

      The terms for pardon were repeated by the apostle Peter 33 A.D. on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-42) The teachings of the apostles were Scripture. The words of the apostles were Scripture before they were canonized.

      The apostle Peter said the apostle Paul's words were Scripture. (2 Peter 3:15-16...just as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures...

      The apostle Paul's letters and words were Scriptures when he wrote and spoke them. Paul did not have to wait for canonization to authorize his doctrine.

      John 14:25-26 'These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said to you.

      The words and writings of the apostles were Scripture and they did not have to wait for canonization to be deemed authoritative. The apostle did not use man-made creed books of the church or man-made oral traditions to teach the gospel of the New Covenant.

      Did the early church have written New testament Scriptures? Yes, and they were shared among the different congregations. (Colossians 4:16 When the letter is read among you, have it read in the church of the Laodiceans and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodica.) Paul's letters were Scripture and they were read in different churches.

      They were New Testament Scriptures long before they were canonized.


      Matthew A.D. 70
      Mark A.D. 55
      Luke between A.D. 59 and 63
      John A.D. 85
      Acts A.D. 63
      Romans A.D. 57
      1 Corinthians A.D. 55
      2 Corinthians A.D. 55
      Galatians A.D. 50
      Ephesians A.D. 60
      Philippians A.D. 61
      Colossians A. D. 60
      1 Thessalonians A.D. 51
      2 Thessalonians A.D. 51 or 52
      1 Timothy A.D. 64
      2 Timothy A.D. 66
      Titus A.D. 64
      Philemon A.D. 64
      Hebrews A.D. 70
      James A.D. 50
      1 Peter A.D. 64
      2 Peter A.D. 66
      1 John A.D. 90
      2 John A.d. 90
      3 John A.D. 90
      Jude A.D. 65
      Revelation A.D. 95

      All 27 books of the New Testament were Scripture when they were written. They did not have wait until they were canonized before they became God's word to mankind.

      Jesus told the eleven disciples make disciples and teach them all that He commanded. (Matthew 28:16-19) That was A.D. 33, They were teaching New Covenant Scripture from A.D. 33 forward. The apostles did not wait to preach the gospel until canonization occurred 300 to 400 years later.



      AS A MATTER OF FACT! When God said "Let Us make man in Our image, (Genesis 1:27) it was God's Word. God's creation of man was true before it was canonized 6000+ years later. The book of Genesis was Scripture the moment it was written. Man-Made oral tradition was not, nor will it ever be Scripture.

      YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  3. Hi Connie! I found your wonderful blog from Nancy Shuman. Like her and the others, I have learned a new word too! I joined your facebook page and look forward to future posts..

    God bless,


    1. Welcome, Lisa! Thanks for following us. You'll get all Nancy's new posts through our facebook page, in case you aren't following her already.

  4. My spiritual language or idiolect is Theresian - Theresa of Avila whom I love, but also and most importantly Therese of Lisieux. I do not feel I am as strong as Theresa of Avila, but I know that I am as weak and as small as St. Therese felt she was, and God used her weakness to bring her "Little Way" to those of who feel we cannot do great things. The "Little Way" is my inspiration to trust in God's love and mercy and keep doing little things that may seem insignificant on the outside, but on the inside of me begin to bring about change for the Good, to bring me closer to Him who is All Good. The language of the Psalms and prophets also deeply affect me and of course the most wonderful love letter of all - Song of Songs.

    1. Amanda, you must have a poetic soul. I'm appreciating St. Therese more and more these days, since reading "The Way of Trust and Love" by Jacques Philippe. I know I have to trust God more before I can really grow in my spiritual life.

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. Interesting! I have learned something new! I think I am more Carmelite, the words of the Little Flower never fail to move me. Especially how she was able to rest in God's great love for her with such gratitude, even when she felt rejected by her peers. Although I have not delved too much into his works, Saint John of the Cross is someone that I am drawn to. Jeremiah, Hosea and the prophets really speak to me with their passionate words...I must like drama! Is that a spiritual language? Thanks Connie.

    1. Oh, you do sound very Carmelite. John of the Cross scares a lot of people. The Discalced Carmelite motto comes from Elijah: "With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts." Calling fire down from Heaven--how's that for dramatic?

  6. I love the idea that we each have a unique spiritual idiolect! (Thanks for the new word...lol.) Your post is inspiring! Thanks you, Connie, for starting this great new site!

    1. Thanks for joining us. I'm really enjoying sharing everyone's great posts.

  7. Hi Connie! This sounds fascinating! Love the "new" word. I think I need to get to know Amanda Rose, because I could identify with everything she wrote. When I read The Story of a Soul, I knew Therese would be my inspiration. I love her trust and confidence in Jesus, and her passionate love for Him. Another dimension of my spiritual life is a very strong attraction to the Eucharist. I have been involved in Eucharistic Adoration for 20 years now, and feel so at home there with Jesus. As an OCDS, I also love the writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, but do not feel the kind of connection with them which I have with Therese. Looking forward to getting to know more about this subject. Will reblog your post soon. Thanks for such a great idea. God bless you.

    1. You will be happy to hear that Amanda is joining us. And what about you? Email me, if you're interested.

      That's wonderful about Eucharistic adoration. Remember us before our Lord.

  8. mine is a blend of tradtional contemplative Catholic from the classics, inner growth spirituality, kid language, Protestant both mainline and 'charismatic' and Psychiatry. I probably am scaring people away

    1. Ha ha. As long as you're orthodox, Melanie!

    2. very orthodox although I am not steeped in pre-Vatican prayers and tradtions

    3. Since you converted after that time, it wouldn't be expected--although some converts are really attracted to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, etc. I've never been to an Extraordinary Form Mass myself (did I just admit that in public?). I grew up in a Charismatic family. That's where I got my love for the Bible.

    4. I was raised Prebyterian and studied and memorized the bible till I was 16, had a powerful conversion experience with a Presbyterian missionary and became charismatic.The only good prayer meeting, after we moved to Saskatchewan, was a Cathoic one. The first time I went to mass at the university chapel in a Jesuit College, I was frozen in place with a gut wrenching hunger for the Eucharist.That was in 1974.

    5. I just reposted this article with a plug for catholic Spirituality Blogs Network


  9. Idiolect? I suppose some would say mine is "Idiotlect". A fool for Christ, I guess.

    My writings are mostly humourous, but I find they attract new readers who hopefully find God and get to love Him.

    1. Idiotlect--LOL. Victor, if you have individual posts that focus on things like prayer and virtue, you're welcome to submit them for cross-posting.

    2. Hi Connie,

      My Blog often carries serious articles about matters of Faith or Catholic teachings. I usually write fictitious stories featuring Father Ignatius, (a character from my book "Visions"), and use the priest to teach on various matters. For example today's article is on miracles - see: http://timeforreflections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/miracles.html

      If these are suitable for your Blog I'd be happy to submit articles from time to time. Please let me know which subjects you wish to cover/discuss.

      God bless.

    3. I'm really looking for more practical advice on how to grow closer to God, encouragement, Scripture reflections (not Catechesis), lives of the saints--that kind of thing. Your posts at Community of Catholic Bloggers will be linked in our "Members' Blogs" list.

  10. Congratulations on this new endeavor! I see from the sidebar that some of the contributors are already my friends and bloggers I enjoy!!I am looking fwd to getting to know the rest as well!

    Terrific post! I know I will really learn quite a bit from this blog....subscribing now!

    1. Thanks, Chris, and welcome! Yes, there are too many good blogs out there that should have a higher profile. And authentic spirituality should be easy to find on the internet. Spread the word.

  11. My idiolect is decidedly mystical and probably over-emotional sometimes. Focusing on angelology leads me to some odd places, but I always have St. Thomas Aquinas to pull me back in. ;)

  12. I guess my idiolect is Benedictine. Love the Holy Rule, the sanity of St. Benedict. But I have also a Carmelite spirituality, too. At my blog I often write reflections on Sacred Scripture, the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, lives of the Saints, etc., but I also mention how I am living a practical Catholic life. Glad you've got this endeavor going.

    1. Welcome, Barb! If you'd like to join us, send me your 3 favorite blog posts by email link, and I'll let you know what else being a member entails.

  13. Thanks, Colleen. The Carmelites appear to be awfully popular! No big surprise. We have one Benedictine member at this time. I'm hoping some Franciscans, Jesuits, and Dominicans will eventually join us too.

  14. Mine is Ignatian and Benedictine. They complement each other so well. I also have ocd (the illness, not the order, ha!) And have found souch consolation in both spiritualities.

  15. I love the concept of a spiritual idiolect! It "speaks" to our individual manner of contemplation and prayer. Saint Teresa de Jesus and Fulton Sheen have shaped my understanding of things prayerful. Teresa spaeks to the mystical aspect of my spirit while I derive more tangible word concepts from the writings of Archbishop Sheen. I have learned so much from CSBN and am grateful to be a member.

    1. Lora, several other members have written original posts for CSBN on their spiritual idiolects. Maybe you'll consider doing the same?


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