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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Helen Keller and my spiritual idiolect

 by Caroline

This post begins an occasional series in which CSBN members explore their spiritual idiolects.

File:Helen KellerA.jpg
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."
 Helen Keller
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?”

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


  1. Oh, if all you remember of Helen Keller is from the movie The Miracle Worker, you should read her spiritual biography, My Religion published in 1927.

    She says: "I am conscious of the splendour that binds all things of of earth to all things of heaven -- immurred by silence and darkness, I possess the light which shall give me vision a thousand fold when death sets me free."

    She was an extraordinary woman -- brilliant, politically active and an advocate for women's suffrage and the rights of workers -- who just happened to be blind and deaf.

  2. Anonymous...She indeed was an extra-ordinary woman...and I'm deeply humbled by her, hence why she is one of my miracle workers. : )
    Blessings always and +

  3. I'm having a hard time writing about my spiritual idiolect, especially after reading this post because it was so good! heh

  4. Rebecca, I will be the first to read what you write because I'm quite sure you have experiences with God I know nothing about...and only you can share that special message.
    Write it with confidence, because only you can tell it.
    Blessings and +


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