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My Journey with St. Joan and St. Thérèse – Overview
I will relate the story of my journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
In the following newsletters, I will relate the story of my journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux through the lens of the Carmelite spirituality of St. John of the Cross. The purpose of this testimonial is not to point back to me. It is to shine the light of God’s mercy in my life on Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the combined hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. My desire is to walk you through how this mercy restructured my life and oriented it toward True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and Carmelite spirituality. As Jean Lafrance points out in his book, My Vocation is Love – St. Thérèse’s Way to Total Trust:
The starting point is clear. We don’t have to rejoice in ourselves, or make a drama about our own person. What is important is God, his holiness, and, above all, his merciful love. Thérèse knew that her ultimate vocation, both on earth and in heaven would be to sing eternally the mercies of the Lord.
As St. John of the Cross’ writings are far too rich and deep for me to interpret competently, I will rely on St. Edith Stein’s The Science of the Cross. Even though my intellect can assess the genius of St. Edith Stein no more effectively than it can that of St. John of the Cross, the former developed her manuscript with weaker souls in mind. Having glimpsed the Ascent of Mt. Carmel as one who is a saintly a peer of John’s, Edith descends in charity to the rest of us that we might have more spiritual clarity and make progress more effectively and efficiently through her insights.
The ultimate driving force behind this account is a methodological need to systematize Carmelite spirituality within the framework of my own experience to better follow the Divine will and to love God more thoroughly. In short, descriptive writing is one of the core activities that moves me along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with my saintly sisters, Joan and Thérèse. Writing organizes and synthesizes my thoughts to understand what the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is trying to teach me. This will be the same story I have shared in previous writings; however, this time it will be told through the more specific lens of Carmelite spirituality.
The reason for this Carmelite focus is that my spirituality by nature and by the grace of God is an amalgam of the combined spiritualities of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc. Their combined spirituality is for me the most beautiful color in the Heavens. It is through their intercession, sisterly care, sharing of spiritual gifts, guidance, and protection on my journey that they serve as a proximate means of God’s love through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It should not be a surprise that St. Thérèse and St. Joan, kindred spirits themselves and both being Secondary Co-Patronesses of France, would lead me through the saving Dogmas and Doctrines of the Church using the Carmelite spirituality of John of the Cross as a light on our path toward the Kingdom I was told to seek by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
My objective, beyond what I have explained above, is quite simply to inspire souls to seek the Kingdom themselves with the aid of St. Joan and St. Thérèse through a dogmatic confession of the Catholic faith and in total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 Lafrance, My Vocation Is Love - St. Thérèse’s Way to Total Trust, 18.