This post begins an occasional series in which CSBN members explore their spiritual idiolects.
|Helen Keller (photo in Public Domain).
"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."
Here’s a question I never thought about until Connie Rossini at Catholics Spirituality Blogs Network asked, “What is your spiritual idiolect and how did you discover or develop it?”Helen Keller
She defined it for us:
“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.”
Though it took me a few days in prayer and waiting to hear from the Lord, I think I finally understand the question.
In the spiritual life, discovery is often a very slow and painful process. I don’t know why; it just is. I came to understand mine when the Lord reminded me of one of my childhood heroes.
As a young girl, the first time I saw the movie, The Miracle Worker, I remember being captivated by several things:
- the terrible tragedy of being born able to see and hear, then struck at 19 months with a disease that left her deaf and blind
- the desperation that set in because she was isolated and cut off from any understanding of language
- the miracle of Annie Sullivan who finally taught her to communicate by spelling words into her hands
In a small way, like Helen, I understand what it is to feel isolated and alone, trapped in a spiritual internal darkness and silence generated by tragedies in my life over which I had no control. There’s a scene in the movie where in an attempt to teach Helen that every object has a word to identify it, Annie begins spelling the word “m-u-g”, into her hand, but in utter frustration, when Helen can’t make the connection, she throws the doll Annie had given her as a present… against the wall.
Yes, there were many years as a young Christian I felt just such exasperation, because I didn’t know how to translate the spiritual language of my heart.
Continue reading at Caroline's blog Bell of the Wanderer