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The greatest gift we can receive from God is a single encounter the meaning of which we must spend our entire life discovering. This discovery is the pearl of great price for which one sells all one owns to acquire. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

The Dove and Rose began with an attempt to make sense of a single encounter. It is as if the trajectory of my entire life beforehand prepared me to receive it, and the purpose every day after has been to interpret its meaning. It began the search for my “pearl of great value.” The encounter was a phenomenon, a powerful moment of intuitive comprehension whereby St. Joan of Arc permanently entered my life story through the Jehannian hermeneutics of St. Thérèse’s plays and poetry. I refer to it, using Thérèsian terminology, as a “divine glance”

and an encounter with the combined hearts of St. Joan (The Dove) and St. Thérèse (The Rose). This phenomenon led to a tireless search for its meaning. This search transformed my life as I sold all that I had to obtain the pearl.

The Dove and Rose is an attempt to explain the meaning of this encounter and the process of transformation that transpired in searching for it. It is not about St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux directly. It is about my life story with them and their influence on me. The Dove and Rose is a record of this intellectual and spiritual journey in union with their combined hearts.

Despite some of the philosophical language, the work remains highly devotional in nature. There are metaphysics and phenomenology but no attempt to make this “divine glance” a purely philosophical affair. The astonishing

moment imbuing my soul with a lifelong devotion to St. Joan of Arc is supernatural in nature and a grace from Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I have done my best here to explain its meaning which I hope will be an inspiration for a similarly powerful devotion to St. Joan and St. Thérèse in others.

The Dove and Rose
What is phenomenology?
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What is The Dove and Rose?

The Dove and Rose is a phenomenology of the combined hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux as given through their royal French Catholic spirituality. St. Joan is the “point of inquiry” on a journey through her noetic field of meaning to “mystical France” in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The “Jehannian hermeneutic” - our primary method of interpreting Joan’s life - is the heart of St. Thérèse as revealed through her poetry and plays.

The Dove and Rose is not the story of these saints but the spiritual phenomenology of their influence in my own life-experience. It is a Catholic phenomenological reflection centered on the life of St. Joan of Arc, the savior and heroine of France, which projects an empathic understanding of her mystical map of meaning. St. Thérèse, through her plays and poetry, is the authentic interpreter of St. Joan’s life. The Dove and Rose is a testimony and an invitation to walk phenomenologically with St. Joan and St. Thérèse into the mystical Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France.

This is all in obedience to the Church’s Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterial teachings and total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Dove and Rose is an anthological collection of reflections revealing the “appearance of the Kingdom appearing” as related through an eclectic array of devotional expressions. The expressions that emerge in the heart and mind of the reader remain to be written.


The Vision of The Dove and Rose is the combined hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux as a phenomenological prism through which the Holy Spirit reflects the metaphysics and spirituality of Our Lady’s Catholic and Royal France.


The Mission of The Dove and Rose is to project St. Joan and St. Thérèse’s intersubjective noetic map of meaning through every corner of our heart. This immanent meaning becomes our stairway to the transcendence of Mystical France in Heaven



The method of The Dove and Rose is phenomenology guided by Catholic metaphysics. It is to “contemplate how we think” to better “see what we have already seen”

through a single-minded phenomenological devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux within the context of the metaphysics of the Catholic Church, its sacred tradition, and magisterial teachings. Phenomenological devotion in this context means to receive, record, interpret, assert, and articulate what these saints give us faithfully and prayerfully. This method of discourse is our "journey" with the saints.


The goal of The Dove and Rose is “descriptive fidelity” to what is given to us through this devotion "precisely as it is given, and within the limits of how it is given.”


The outcome we seek through the Dove and Rose is a mystical friendship with St. Joan and St. Thérèse and a sharing in their abiding union with Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Joan of Arc at the coronation of King Charles VII in Reims.

My personal mission:

To help others be comforted, as though freed of a spiritual siege, by the divine virtue that resides in the combined hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

These writings are personal reflections on my spiritual journey through the Catholic Church.

I hold an undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.

I am married and the father of one child. Though raised a Methodist in the Bible Belt and surrounded with evangelicalism as a youth, I converted to the Catholic Church prior to my marriage in 1985.

Touched deeply by the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and imbued with a filial love for Mary, I set out on a life-long spiritual journey to "seek first" Christ's Kingdom with Thérèse as my guide.

Eventually led to confront my inner most being on that lonely, mystical hill of Calvary, I discovered through Mary's maternal guidance and Thérèse's sisterly care that Jesus had called another mighty saint to walk with me and to protect me through that dark and awful night of self-confrontation that leads us in Christ to true freedom. That saint, a spiritual sister to Thérèse, was Joan of Arc.

~ Walter Emerson

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Check out The Dove and Rose podcast here and on Anchor, Spotify, or Apple.

Check out the Heroic Hearts podcast on SubstackSpotify, or Apple. Heroic Hearts is a podcast about healing, enchanting, and elevating our hearts through the stories and spirituality of St. Joan of Arc and St. Therese of Lisieux. Co-hosted with Amy Chase.


Matthew 13:45-46. The Didache Bible - with Commentaries Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Ignatius Bible Edition. San Francisco CA: Midwest Theological Forum - Ignatius Press, n.d.


“I want to console you for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of you to take away my freedom to dis­please you. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.”

Also note Edith Stein’s term, “unreflective certainty” which I often use for a more philosophical presentation in place of the “divine glance.” “The certainty of being is an unreflective certainty, and it precedes all our rational knowledge.” ~ Edith Stein. Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) Kindle Location 484.


“Phenomenological Reduction - A Peer Reviewed Academic Source.” Accessed December 3, 2022. “There is an experience in which it is possible for us to come to the world with no knowledge or preconceptions in hand; it is the experience of astonishment. The ‘knowing’ we have in this experience stands in stark contrast to the ‘knowing’ we have in our everyday lives, where we come to the world with theory and ‘knowledge’ in hand, our minds already made up before we ever engage the world. However, in the experience of astonishment, our everyday ‘knowing,’ when compared to the ‘knowing’ that we experience in astonishment, is shown up as a pale epistemological imposter and is reduced to mere opinion by comparison.”


An explanation of and rationale for the phenomenon of “Mystical France” and similar variations are presented in The Science of The Dove and Rose. For more on the special role of France in God’s Kingdom see Discourse of Pope Pius X, 13 December 1908, on the Day of Joan of Arc’s Beatification in Orléans, France.


See Stein, Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 8). Kindle location 1701. “A thread runs through all of Dionysius's writings that have come down to us. In the prologue of his commentary on Dionysius, Albert the Great summed it up in a quotation from Ecclesiastes: Ad locum unde {69} exeunt flumina revertuntur ut iterum fluant [the streams return to the place whence they have issued to again flow forth]. This flowing should be taken first as the order of being: every be-ing issues from God as from the First and returns to him again. Iterum fluere [flowing forth again] after reuniting implies not a separation but an inclining to what lies below in order to raise it up. Like the law of issue and return of which it forms part, hierarchy is not only an order of being but also an order of knowing.”


Detmer, Phenomenology Explained - From Experience to Insight. p. 18. “Its (phenomenology) aim is to help us to see more clearly what we have already seen…”


Ibid. p. 18. “One of the principal goals of phenomenology, then, is simply descriptive fidelity. The aim is to describe accurately what is given in experience precisely as it is given, and within the limits of how it is given.”


Pernoud, Régine, and Marie-Véronique Clin. Joan of Arc - Her Story. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. p. 41. “But they felt already comforted, as though freed of the siege by the divine virtue that they were told resided in that simple Maid…”

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The Dove and Rose is an epic phenomenological journey to the mystical Kingdom of France through the combined spirituality of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.


Walter Emerson (Adams)

Recounting an epic spiritual journey with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.