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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 lives 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.”1

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 my search for the “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”2 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 everything I had to obtain the pearl.

The Dove and Rose attempts to investigate the primordial ground of the “experience of the experience” and then constitute an understanding of its meaning. Thus, this exercise is not metaphysical but phenomenological. I have tentatively determined the ground of the experience to be a “psychically”3 transformative union in holy friendship4 with St. Joan of Arc. The plays and poetry of St. Thérèse were the opening for this phenomenon. The effect of this union is a sharing in St. Thérèse’s mode of being with Joan,5 which I call their “combined hearts.” The telos of this sharing in their combined hearts is my sanctification, conditioned on fidelity to grace. They lead me to the Kingdom, and I will not arrive without them.

The Dove and Rose is not a history of the lives St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux nor a reflection on their spirituality. The reader can find more on each saint at Heroic-Hearts.com, a podcast I co-host with Amy Chase. The Dove and Rose is a process of constituting “the experience of the experience” with Joan of Arc to reveal insights with universal applicability to the reader.

Despite the philosophical language in many of the texts, the work remains primarily devotional. I make no attempt to interpret this “divine glance” as a purely philosophical affair. The astonishing6 moment imbuing my soul with a lifelong devotion to St. Joan of Arc was supernatural in nature and a grace from Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I have done my best to explain the phenomenology of this encounter through my life story, which I hope will inspire a similarly powerful spirituality of St. Joan and St. Thérèse in others.

The journey with St. Joan and St. Thérèse to Magdalene’s Mystical France.

The development of The Dove and Rose was a hermeneutical phenomenology centered in the combined hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The tentative constitution of this phenomenon was a royal French Catholic spirituality grounded in a mystical relationship with St. Mary Magdalene on the shores of Provence, following the Western tradition of Mary Magdalene in France.7 Constituted further, Magdalene’s contemplative mission in France was a form in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mystical France is Catholic, Royal, and beloved by Our Lady. Devotion to Mystical France is devotion to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, through the combined hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse.

The contemplative, phenomenological endeavor to reconstitute Magdalene's mode of being, bringing this Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven, is an expression of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Bringing to light the manifested "gestalt” of Magdalene's axioms as a devotional lifepower,8 in obedience to the dogmas, doctrines, magisterial teachings, and metaphysics of the Church, constitutes the meaning of the encounter with St. Joan, who, with St. Thérèse guides us to this Kingdom.

The encounter with St. Joan as a psychically transformative union of friendship, like a lightning bolt, is the “point of inquiry” on an empathic journey through Joan’s glorified map 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. It is through St. Thérèse that we perceive Joan within the proper values, judge the experience of our encounter, and, at our most ontologically psychic level, yield to St. Joan’s friendship convinced that we must follow her to the Kingdom at all costs.

This project was initiated and constituted through 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. A story emerges in this process whereby Joan guides us in the soft light of Magdalene's glorified noetics, constituted through divine union with Jesus, her mystical spouse. St. Thérèse, through her plays and poetry, is the authentic interpreter of St. Joan’s life and the one through whom we learn the values prioritized in our judgment of the encounter with Joan. The project is a testimony and an invitation to walk phenomenologically with St. Joan and St. Thérèse into the mystical Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France embodied in the glory of repentant Mary Magdalene on the shores of Provence and her union with Jesus in Heaven. This is intended to be in obedience to the Church’s Scripture, Tradition, Magisterial teachings, and total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Experientially, the reader will find 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 project’s mission and vision are posited below based on the conclusion that the psychically transformative union in holy friendship with St. Joan of Arc, through the values learned from St. Thérèse, reflects a royal French Magdalenian spirituality which must be constituted in the intellectual and devotional life of the subject, within the framework of the Church's metaphysics and the spirit of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Vision

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 glorified syntax of Magdalene's heart, Our Lady’s Catholic and Royal France, throughout the world.

Mission

The Mission of Royaume France is to project St. Joan and St. Thérèse’s map of meaning, their combined hearts, empathically into every heart worldwide. The resulting transformation of our being becomes the transcendent stairway to Magdalene's mystical mode of being as the gestalt of France in Heaven.9 The result is the fulfillment of our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in whose heart this kingdom resides. It is the abandonment of our lives to the prayer Our Lord taught us, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is to “seek first the kingdom.”

Method

The method of The Dove and Rose is phenomenology framed by Catholic metaphysics. It is to “contemplate how we think” to better “see what we have already seen”10 through a single-minded phenomenological devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux in obedience to 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.

Goal

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.”11

Outcome

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


1

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.

2

“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.

3

“Psychic” in this model intends to be in the framework in which Edith Stein develops “psyche” in: Stein, Edith. Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities. ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 2000. Using Stein as the point of departure, and adding a Heideggerian influence, “psychic acceptance” in The Dove and Rose refers to an acceptance in the psyche rendering a powerful motivation to explore that which is accepted at the most fundamental, ontological level of one’s being. It is immediately life-changing. This is opposed to a superficial, emotional response where one accepts the phenomenon as “interesting” but not immediately life-changing.

4

“Friendship is born from one soul into another soul; and the soul has value only in itself. Once we meet there, everything else disappears. And yet, by an admiral privilege, time confirms friendship… like two rocks overhanging similar waves and showing them unwavering resistance, so do they notice the flow of years vainly attacking the unchanging harmony of their hearts.” Lacordaire, OP, Henri-Dominique. The Life of St. Mary Magdalene. Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, 2015. pp. 11-12.

5

“In either case, one spirit, by joining with another, comes to share in the other’s mode of being.” Stein, Edith. Potency and Act - Studies Toward a Philosophy of Being. Washington DC: ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 2009. loc. 2064.

6

“Phenomenological Reduction - A Peer Reviewed Academic Source.” Accessed December 3, 2022. https://iep.utm.edu/phen-red/#H1“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.”

7

“Jesus Christ had left his mother to Jerusalem, St. Peter to Rome, St. John to Asia; to whom would he bequeath Mary Magdalene? We already know; it was France that received from the hand of God that part of the testament of His Son.” Lacordaire, OP, Henri-Dominique. The Life of St. Mary Magdalene. Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, 2015.

8

“Lifepower” in this model is intended to be in the framework of Edith Stein’s development of the term in Stein, Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities. It is a life source within the psyche that can be influenced by outside forces.

9

See Stein, Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 8). Kindle location 1701 for the inspiration behind “the transcendent stairway to Magdalene’s mystical mode of being as the gestalt of France in Heaven.” “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.”

10

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…”

11

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.”