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Aletheia and Veritas - the Combined Hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse
1.0 The Beginning
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On a brisk October day in 2008, St. Joan of Arc unfolded in my life and established a new paradigm by which I lived in the world. She “appeared” instantly like a sentinel, a herald, bearing within her Being a language I was compelled to gather as my own over time. Her heavenly language was both a gift and an invitation. Our mystical friendship became defined by this ongoing gathering of language corresponding to our shared Logos, Jesus Christ, as “the Word” who gathers all creation to himself. Through this “gathering in the Lord’s gathering” over the years, Joan oriented my life toward the Good as revealed through the holy Catholic Church - the Kingdom of God on earth and the only means of salvation for mankind.
My encounter with Joan resulted from the Jehannian plays and poetry of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. A beautiful heavenly light surrounded their Combined Hearts, slightly apparent through Thérèse’s mode of expression. Thérèse’s words were likewise a gathering of Being imbued with Joan’s language. The heavenly hue was a “gleaming” phenomenon. The light lit their two hearts like a prism. The gleaming of the Combined Hearts unfolded as a divine egress from the darkness of subjective consciousness to an aletheian gateway opening the Kingdom of God. Advancing into the depths of that light where the earthly clouds of the ontic world gave way to the Being of the Kingdom itself, I perceived that it was the Mystical Kingdom of France in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I spent the next fifteen years gathering that Kingdom to myself by reaching for the language of the Combined Hearts of Joan and Thérèse. My faithfulness to the aletheian unfolding of the Combined Hearts resulted in their “phusis,” or “becoming” in my world from their celestial heights. I gave up everything to assist the Holy Spirit in unfolding this pearl of great price, to bring the Combined Hearts of Mystical France “on earth as it is in Heaven.” In doing so, I hoped to be gathered within the Combined Hearts of Joan and Thérèse and brought to life in the Mystical Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France, the lily of Our Lady’s heart.
My efforts began with descriptive writing. I described what I saw as the gift of Being in God shining around, behind, and through the Combined Hearts. I rejoiced in the aletheian phusis, the “becoming in truth” and “that which is” as the kingdom appeared on the horizon through their hearts. The Combined Hearts invited me to join them on a journey with Joan as my leader and Thérèse at my side. After writing four poetic prose that same October expressing my initial experience, my search took the form of journaling. The four prose contained the seeds of everything that followed over the fifteen years. This entire story I am revealing to you can be found hidden in those initial four poetic prose. Everything else is simply elaboration and the gathering of a language that symbolizes it.
A metaphor emerged immediately, the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed, representing the journey of union with St. Joan and St. Thérèse toward the Kingdom. The Combined Hearts compelled me to follow them to the Kingdom in the distance. I could not resist the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that ordered the shimmering light surrounding their hearts. Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed in friendship with St. Joan and St. Thérèse became my persistent theme, as expressed in the following poem written a couple of years later.
The Ballad of Thomas Ox A tiny village in Christendom Is where this tale tells on Down dusty trails into the town I found a man anon So worn from travel, three of us Pursuing rest and cheer Thérèse with Joan of Arc did fuss As I ventured off to hear This man stood in the square and sang His name was Thomas Ox I left my saintly sisters praying To tell Sir Ox my thoughts “Good cheer my friend!" I bowed in need “We travel by your way On this the trail, Dogmatic Creed We march in hope today!” “You see, our young Thérèse found me Alone and lost in fear From darkest woods I soon was free To dance in sunlight clear” “And as we waltzed toward the sun In prayer with silent hearts How pleased was I to come upon Her friend, dear Joan of Arc” “Sent from Our Lady's throne so sworn These two to lead me home They've said this trail through here is worn By saintly steps of old!” “Indeed,” spoke Ox, he widely grinned “What troubles you then lad?” I glanced toward my saintly friends Who make my heart so glad “I heard you sing, Sir Thomas Ox That God loves more or less Your words were sweet, they were not lost I felt their soft caress” “I see the beauty of my saints I know I’m not the same I sing their praise because God paints More beautifully their name” “But on some days, I do complain I'll never make their lot That makes me sad and filled with pain What say you, Thomas Ox?” “Now son,” said he, “do dry your eyes I also shared this hymn While God makes souls of different size He fills each one to brim” “Our Lord and Lady love you dear To pour from larger casks Like those of your two sisters there Into your heart that lacks” “God loves the same in that each soul He fills up to its crest Some overflow to make His goal Of filling all the rest” Rejoice! My heart then felt aflame This was the secret key To love that I am less than them Prepares me to receive Right then I saw that love's not far When reaching high from low And loving those among the stars God's raised from here below God favors those in whom he makes Abundance for the rest His favors to my saintly mates For me is bounty blessed I ran toward my sisters dear Was time to move in haste My heart now filled with joyful tears From God’s cascading grace We journeyed on, toward the sun Thérèse and Joan with smiles “Dear man, come on! “ they pled in fun Our Kingdom’s many miles!” I think God loves them very much I’m filled when I do too And that is what I learned with such Engaging, prayerful muse I strolled behind and made them leap By kicking a small rock They laughed and kicked it back to me As I waved to Thomas Ox