Journey to Christendom - Chapter 12
The Dance of Destiny – “Joy”
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Chapter 12 is the conclusion! I hope you enjoyed it. Going forward, you will see chapters from my second book, Seek First the Kingdom - The March of Hope. Seek First will lead you further along the Freedom Dance with St. Joan and St. Thérèse! Enjoy!
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The Dance of Freedom was joyful Again Conquering the Bridge of Reason and Through the Dark Valley we survived We were far from the Dark Forest From where I had come My saintly sister Therese and My new friends Danced on with a particular Lightness My destiny was at hand! “How is it dear sister” I was Energized now “That this path of the Dogmatic Creed Is so durable? So trustworthy?” “It is neglected today, dare I say, Rebuked!” “For I would never have dreamed,” I Ran with them up the mountain “That the path of the Apostolic Fathers could have navigated The Bridge of Reason and the Dark Valley, both” “Oh you see, dear brother,” she Slowed for me “It is the very certainty that makes you Free” “You are free to act, others only to Speculate” “For so many in the Dark Forest From where you came” she cried out “Are slaves to useless arguments And words” “Always wondering if they are right, Never free to dance” “Or so often” she continued on “They wear the chains of power Driven arguments” “Trying to prove, no less, to Themselves their own thoughts” “For they see” she finally stopped to Look at me square “All things in themselves, they are Their own gods, you see” “Lost to mortality and speculation, But we have a certainty we trust” “For no man is his own god!” her Eyes lit like dancing flames “His noble reason, and I speak with Reverence to it Is obscured by the ill-fated First Philosophy of self” On we danced I was happy now, joyful The young lady and her Friends, brighter than I first Thought We started to slow down Therese held something in her Hand A golden edged folder, Glittering in the sunlight I begged her What was it? She would not tell, and Pointed to the palace below There, below Was the palace I silenced myself, this was More powerful than me Down the open air steps Came the King to greet me The Logos, Love and Reason, all in One Behind Him came the Queen Mother of the King, Mother of God She greeted me with an Intensity of love… She looked at Therese and Therese’s eyes danced with light It was then that I realized I did not find them, why, they Had been looking for me! “Yes” the Queen and Mother bent Down to me “I was with you in the field, at the Bridge, in the valley To strengthen you, and help you Home, you are home son” The King approached me I fell to my knees My face to the ground The Master of Reason, Love and Creation Smiled toward Therese and nodded Therese brought him her golden Edged folder The folder was for me, it was My destiny Therese had had it all the time But it was up to the King to Decree my purpose for me “My Mother the Queen” “I ask you to wipe her tears, to love Her” It was for this that I created you, No more pleasure can you bring Me” He handed me the golden edged Folder Inside was His request for my life Sacrificed to the Heart of Mary, For His almighty pleasure I knelt before her, tears in my Eyes This was my meaning, my purpose I was no longer lost, I swore to her My life And I looked to thank My dear Therese and my new Friends Who had searched for me to the very World’s end
The time has come to bring to you some closing thoughts about this journey, this Dance of Freedom through the dogma and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, a journey that has been the great gift of my life. I have discovered the general purpose of my life, and more is being revealed to me, though I am not yet at my final destination. The meaning and purpose of my life were shown to me as demonstrated through the prose at the start of the previous chapters. I did not discover them. I had to be led by friends I trusted, and on a path I trusted, or I would have never found my way out of the Dark Forest. Our destiny is heaven, that glorious place of beatitude where we are allowed to see the very face of God and experience a life free from the slavery we bring on ourselves in this world. The modern mind and the world it has created no longer believe in the truths of Catholicism, the truths that built that great civilization known as Christendom, but which are significantly and eternally more important than it. These truths go beyond the earthly realm of a society upwards to the entirety of the City of God. And those truths have not changed even though the world has.
I'd like to tell you one more marvelous thing. Here is something that astounds me, and when I take the time to be grateful to God, I begin to feel that I must shout out my joy. I have been brought by the Freedom Dance more deeply into reality while simultaneously being opened to the wonderment of being in a fairy tale. I agree with G.K. Chesterton, who wrote an entire chapter in his book Orthodoxy called "The Ethics of Elfland," that:
“It seemed to me that existence was itself so very eccentric a legacy that I could not complain of not understanding the limitations of the vision when I did not understand the vision they limited. The frame was no stranger than the picture. The veto might well be as wild as the vision; it might be as startling as the sun, as elusive as the waters, as fantastic and terrible as the towering trees.”
Perhaps some fairy tales do exist, I wonder! I will show you how this could be so. Do we not suffer much because we know that there is something better than what we experience in this life? Do we not see that paradise must exist? We must understand this if for no other reason than that we suffer its absence. So, we know heaven must exist. It must be a reality, just as much as our reality. Think of that other life as a fairy tale; only this one has been revealed to be authentic. So, our spirits soar with feet on the ground here in our suffering world but reaching arms and hands to the reality of heaven. We have a reason to live, but even more importantly, we have a reason to die. We do not hesitate a moment to storm the castle walls to free a country or to storm the gates of hell to free our neighbors. We are now free ourselves. This is what we would call hope. Hope is the great cousin to faith, and with love, they all three sever and destroy the chains that bind us.
We too often think obeying God in the dogma of the Catholic religion is slavery. We must be free to do anything we wish, to self-actualize in whatever way makes us feel self-affirmed. No more religious guilt. Then I am free! But, soon enough, we will discover this to be a path where we are not free, only free-falling. Obedience to God is the path of joy and life. How do I know what God wants me to obey and by whose authority? I should not have to comment on that anymore, for that has been the essence of this book. Perhaps the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be a good start, along with the Lives of the Saints.
Catholic Dogma, reviled by Eastern New Agers and materialistic atheists, is the true path of freedom, for we know that our Fathers went that way before us. Do not let modern "feel good" philosophers try to explain the meaning of the faith to you when they have no clue about it. They only aim to lead you into an Eastern-type spirituality of impersonal nothingness and non-judgmental relativism. We can know the path of our Fathers from Catholic dogma. How do we know that from Catholic dogma? We see this treasury of belief and Tradition has been carefully guarded from the time of the Apostles to the current day in the Catholic Church. We see the lives of the martyrs and saints, and we reach for that.
What good does it do to twist the lives of those who went before us to something that fits our selfish and sensuous modern philosophies but only leads over a precipice? Falling off a cliff while pretending to imitate the lives of the saints will not save anybody. Could I interpret the martyrdom in the lion's den of the early second-century St. Ignatius of Antioch in such a way that I may use it to justify building an influential career and accumulating significant wealth in a sort of worldly "success spirituality"? I could, but only at the risk of my eternal destiny. Or are things different today? Perhaps St. Ignatius would have followed a materialistic lifestyle if he had been fortunate enough to live in the super-progressive modern world. Perhaps St. Ignatius would be chanting "better living through science" today rather than begging his followers to not save him so that he may have the privilege of dying for Christ. Dear Lord, help us! None of that would be true at all, but what I could learn from his life is the desire to reject this world for the love of Christ and favor the new life in the next.
It is like this: imagine you are in the middle of a minefield, a terrifying place to be stranded. There are people outside the field who managed to make it out before you. They are yelling at you and telling you exactly where to step so that you may follow the sure path to safety that they took. Now I asked you. Would you follow their advice? Or would you tell them that you wish to find your own way? Your pride will take a back seat on this occasion, and you will obey! You will accept their dogmatic declarations and the very objective truths they proclaim concerning where not to step.
This is the crux of the matter. Only when one truly understands that he is in the middle of a minefield will he listen. He tends to believe he is merely finding his own exciting and "self-affirming" path. The Revolutionary spirit, that is, the spirit of the evil one, hates you. You need to know this part cold. The ancient enemy, the evil one, is the incarnate force behind all of the chaos in the world, and he hates you. He is the force behind the Revolutionary spirit of rebellion and anti-Catholicism. He sadistically enjoys telling you that there is no good or evil, no reason to believe in sin. He tells you to find your way through the minefield. Those on the sideline, yelling out dogmatic directions to the contrary, become irritating to you. So, you listen to the Revolutionary spirit, and then, boom. And as you lie on the ground dying of addiction, suicidal depression, or a physical breakdown caused by a selfish life of self-indulgence, he not only laughs at you, he mocks you as you die. Yes, he is the one who whispers sweet nothings of rebellion in your ear. I know all this to be absolutely true.
But still, how can these people on the side be so arrogant as to assume that they know the only way out of the field? It must be pure egomania to think that they are right and other paths are wrong. It is quite the opposite. They are freedom fighters! It is humbling to take directions, but it is also quite freeing. For on the path of the Dogmatic Creed, we follow the sure hand of Christ, and we can play and dance through the field with our marvelous friends, the saints, without worry. Our Father is leading the way, the way opened for us by the sacrifice of his only Son, co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the children can play as they journey out of the field, for they trust the hand of the One who leads them.
I do not, however, become presumptuous on this path. I could quickly go astray and step on a mine. It would be just like me to do that. But, and this is key, when I am on the sure path of Catholic dogma, then I am no longer anxious, for I do not need to speculate. So many sit and devise the most interesting theories about which path to take out of the minefield. They are all quite erudite and sophisticated. Boom.
The Eastern New Age or self-affirming thinker, who may even believe he is his own God, will say there are no mines. Or alternatively, he might say that if you find yourself with a leg blown off, that was the result of an "opposite" energy to the one that keeps it on, and you should not feel bad about that leg. You don't need to "own" that; it is the fault of the field-keeper. You should sue. Just ignore those troubling dogmatists on the side. After all, it just doesn't "feel good" to do what they say (never mind that it does not "feel good" to have one's leg blown off). Boom. The atheist believes in the field because he can see it, but he is unaware that there are real and very life-determining things lurking around that cannot be seen. Boom. These will be seen at some point, just as all will be known at the end of time. But at the end of time is judgment, heaven, or hell. Boom.
Immediately following my experience at the silent retreat in the Poconos, my life's course was altered. This was no simple return to normalcy, merely a life without illness. No, this was a new course. I was now on the Dance of Destiny, the part of my journey on the Freedom Dance that was to fill my heart with joy after so many years of suffering mental illness and the sinfulness I allowed it to lead me into and for which I was genuinely culpable. I now had new energy and vigor! More to the point, I had a new vision; I was beginning to see more of the image that had been previously limited.
A couple of weeks after returning, my wife and son left for a two-week trip to visit her relatives. I was left alone for two weeks, and this had to have been planned by the Mother of God, for I received another tremendous grace. I was a new person now, and I was already beginning to retreat from the culture of the modern world as one retreats his hand from a hot stove. I had already decided to turn off my television while they were gone, for who can follow the path of freedom while continuing to indulge in the filth coming from Hollywood? During these two weeks, I only turned on the television to watch Catholic programming. I turned it on during lunch for twenty minutes to watch the news; that was the only secular programming I viewed for the entire two weeks.
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