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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Spirit-filled idiolect and the dead battery

by Nancy Ward

File:Coter Pentecost.jpg
Pentecost by Coter (photo in public domain)

Each of us has an idiolect, a personal speech pattern uniquely ours. When confronted with the idea of my spiritual idiolect, “Spirit-filled”came to mind. But aren’t most expressions of spirituality filled with the Spirit? So this doesn’t fully describe my personal conversation with God, which is as unique as my soul. Only God knows the full implications of this short-cut descriptor.
Like language developed from listening and speaking to those around me, my Spirit-filled spiritual idiolect developed from listening and speaking to the Lord. My idiolect grew from my outer surroundings. My spiritual idiolect grew from my inner life in the Spirit.
My Protestant childhood and my first conversion experience as a young teen provided the baby talk of my spiritual idiolect. Then when I converted to the Catholic Church as a young mother, new words, sights, sounds and smells surrounded me. They infused my spirit with a richer understanding and closeness to God in my yearning to worship him.

But it wasn’t until my Oz Moment some years later that I discovered a new spiritual dialect within the Catholic language. This dialect, steeped in early Church tradition, emphasizes personal prayer, daily Mass, discipleship and evangelization. It flows from an authentic prayer life centered on the Eucharist. It encompasses the elements of Adoration, rosaries and novenas.

The expression of my Spirit-filled idiolect rises with the dawn with quiet personal prayer of repentance, surrender and songs of praise. Then the Eucharist quickens the gifts of the Holy Spirit in my soul. In scattered conversational prayer I talk to God during the day about events as he guides me smack dab into his surprises. He’s there right beside me to share my joy or consternation, depending on the nature of these surprises. He gives me the confident assurance of his presence whether or not I see him working.  I’m especially aware of his presence in his gift to me of writing, but also in caring for my family.  Often he calls me in the night, just so we can sing together. At sunrise, the joy of the Lord alive in my heart rises anew.

The biggest contributor to my spiritual idiolect for the past 40 years is my Catholic covenant community. The 150 covenant families nurture me, teach me, laugh and cry with me. They evangelize my children. They have prayed a million prayers for me and I for them. That community spirit overflows into share groups, Bible studies and ministries in our individual parishes throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Read the rest at Nancy's blogs  Joy Alive in our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing that a covenant community has thrived for 40 years. I lived in a Catholic young woman's covenant household with everything held in common and before that with a married couple when I came into the church for a total of five years. My husband and I moved but the general movement of God was to break up large prayer groups into more intimate share, learn, heal and grow cell groups


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