Falling in love with God
Familial encounter with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse
I began writing on my devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux to understand how God loves me and how He gives me the grace, in turn, to fall in love with Him. He expresses his love for me as a call to His Kingdom, and I express mine by seeking others to join me on the journey.
This blessing comes to me through an unmerited yet majestic spiritual relationship with His creation, His Kingdom, and, through those social and familial relationships, with His own Self Who is both Trinity and One. The Second Person of this Trinity is Jesus Christ Who is the Savior of the human race, having destroyed death through His Crucifixion and subsequent very real Resurrection to eternal life. He is alive, as are the members of this Kingdom. The key social and familial relationships with which He has enriched my life are those of our saintly sisters Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux and, by journeying with them, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who is the Mother of God.
The End to which this journey leads, that is, to the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is where Jesus Christ is enthroned in all of His glory. That Heart is the mystical garden of paradise exalted in God’s Divine Love!
According to both Sts. Paul and Thomas Aquinas, Love, i.e., God, is the First Principle of the theological virtues of Faith and Hope and therefore the End toward which they lead us. St. Thomas goes on to tell us that the intellect is moved by the principle of truth (Faith) and the will by the principle of desire for happiness with God (Hope). What Joan and Thérèse demonstrated to me on the journey along what I call the Trail of Dogmatic Creed is that Love therefore is the supreme act of both our intellect and will and is most exalted by the complete oblation of ourselves to the Love of God. Surrender to God has its principle in mutual, sacrificial love between God and us. In other words, our supreme act on this earth is that of dying on our Cross for love of Jesus Christ and of the entire Blessed Trinity through Him. Only with that first archetypical principle of Love firmly established can we then truly love our neighbor.
What I have just described to you is the impact of Catholicism on my life. It is magnificent. It is alive. It is the repository, by Christ’s own authority, of the way that leads to this eternal Kingdom where these powerful and loving relationships reach their fulfillment.
Every person has the opportunity to fall in love with God. As for me, I am less than others in my spiritual life, and there is no merit in my call. The reason I can share my experience is simply because I responded. I proclaimed, “Yes!” and began the journey.
Furthermore, my writing is a subjective description of a transcendent objective reality. That means that others should know about it. If one is led to the finest soil for growing food or to the rivers holding the freshest waters for bringing forth life, then that person is obligated to share this with others as an act of fraternal charity.
Should you choose to engage this journey, you will discover an array of devotional expressions pertaining to those inspiring saints mentioned above, Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux! These two have a true spiritual kinship. They both have a tremendous influence on my life and are specific relationships given to me from Jesus through Mary’s heart. Through their sisterly care, I experience the beauty that is the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed through Roman Catholicism. They lead me through the meadows and over the creeks on a magnificent pathway toward a Kingdom where the saints lead us to Mary, and she leads us all to the very Heart of Our Savior!
I will start with the vision and mission as a way of introducing the descriptive phenomenology.
To bring joy and victory to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the glory of Jesus her Son through a renewal in the Church and the world that reflects the unique, kindred spirituality of Sts. Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux.
To fulfill this vision through a personal journey on the trail of the Dogmatic Creed with Sts. Joan and Thérèse toward the Kingdom of God in the mystical garden of paradise that is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where Jesus Christ sits enthroned as Son of God, God Himself, and Savior of the human race.
To then propagate devotion to Sts. Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux for the renewal of the Church and the world, particularly through their wondrous kindred spirituality and in total consecration to the Virgin Mary.
This devotion to Sts. Joan and Thérèse is animated by and has as its proximate end, the True and Perfect Devotion to Mary as prescribed by St. Louis de Montfort. The absolute end is union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the fullness of His Catholic Church with her sacraments and life-giving, authoritative Dogma. Our holy and blessed Mother Mary will lead us nowhere else but to the very heart of her Son. And Mary is singularly the safest and surest way to accomplish that. To Jesus through Mary in the friendship and sisterly care of Sts. Joan and Thérèse. Amen, so be it.