Aug 23 • 19M

S3E4 - Lost in the Dark Forest

When my way of understanding the world interfaced with St. Thérèse's - her way endured while mine collapsed.

 
0:00
-18:58
Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

The Dove and Rose
A podcast discussing my model of a holy expression of Jehannian-Thérèsian Catholic Spirituality. The Dove and Rose is a phenomenological journey through the heart of St. Joan of Arc in the company of St. Thérèse. Also subscribe to The Dove and Rose podcasts on Anchor, Apple, and Spotify.
Episode details
Comments
Royalty free image from Pexels.com. Alex Mihis photography.

Share


Season 3 Episode 4

We are in the Dark Forest. We entered through a disconnect between our worldly reasoning and that of St. Thérèse. Through the “Thérèsian affect” we understood without knowing. We turned our being toward her. We empathized. However, we did not know what constituted this “understanding,” “meaning,”and “being-toward.”

Now we are deeper in the Dark Forest, experiencing immense spiritual, emotional, and physical suffering as the result. The “unreflective certainty” at the moment of conversion endures, while in our old mindset - we collapse. The Dark Forest is scary, and we encounter this “enduring meaning” by directly facing our own temporal death.

There is a way out. It will require help from friends. We need to leave the Dark Forest reconstituted in order to join St. Joan of Arc on her mission to the Kingdom. Next episode!


Reflective question

Have you experienced the “Dark Forest”? Can you describe your experience?


This is the third of my four prose that began my journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse. The first six stanzas open this episode. All four prose can be found in my first book, Journey to Christendom - The Freedom Dance.

The Dance of Suffering –“The Dark Night of Enlightenment”

The Dance of Freedom had
Crossed
The Bridge of Reason
But I was not prepared for
What came next

In fact, I am not sure how to
 Tell it
My new saintly sister and my
Friends
Led me to the valley of necessity

The Valley of Tears
How can I begin?
Except to tell you I have
Never seen such courage

The clouds grew dark
And began to cover the
Sunlight
A storm was coming – and not
Just any storm

The wind began to pick up
It was becoming harder to dance
Though I pretended to 
Smile, I was afraid

The sun began to set
And a terrific and awful
Feeling overpowered me
I felt as if the sun would not
Rise again…

My saintly sister Therese was peaceful
But somber
She looked at me not with 
Dancing eyes

But with suffering eyes
Not sad eyes
But powerful, courageous
Suffering eyes

I shook, for this was my
Journey as well
I braced myself for the
Challenge
The challenge of courage

And nobility
And honor
And virtue

Attributes, characteristics
I had never known before in a
Life of self-indulgence
This would be like dying, in
Fact this was dying

Therese and her friends spoke 
With me as we
Prepared to descend
Because if I were to find my
Purpose

If I were to meet my destiny
The Valley was the path
In fact, it was the Apostolic
Path of the Dogmatic Creed

It was, she explained
Uniquely the path of the
Fathers, the Apostolic Fathers
For others who wished to
Reach our destination

Tried other paths
Paths that avoid the valley
Paths that only seek
Pleasure – and many fell lost

It would be absolutely critical, she
Added
To stay on the path of the Creed
For only orthodoxy and the
Dogmatic path would be visible in
The storm

And so
Down we went
To the Valley of Darkness

Therese and her friends held
Their cloaks
Tight
As the gale force winds began
To hit all around us

They told me, to give me courage
That on the other side of the 
Valley
Were the King, the Queen and my
Destiny

As I began to stumble and
Fall
For the earth shook
They held me up

Therese yelled through the blasting
Rain
“Your strength and your power, that of 
Yourself are not your safety!”
“Your safety is Fidelity, Faithfulness
To the path – stay on it!”

I could see nothing but the
Path
The Dogmatic Path of the 
Creed was all
Around it was darkness

I crawled and cut myself
I was bleeding
And cold, feeling near
Death

As the storm raged
Therese explained to me
The nature of the malady
The reason for the Valley

“In your dark forest” she began
“You blasphemed the very 
Science and Reason
That you sought to worship”

“For by stretching the material beyond it’s
Noble place” she came down to me
“You attempted to make it a first
Philosophy
You defined all from that start
And in the dark forest you fell!”

“And in that dark forest” softly 
Spoke Therese
“Of misguided first-philosophies
Your evolution became involution
Enlightenment became darkness!”

“Now” Therese stared through me
“You must be
Created in the True First
Philosophy”
I felt my eyes close, in sleep or in
Death, I could not be sure

I woke suddenly
The sun was shining, I was alive!
My clothes were new, my body
And spirit filled with enormous
Strength

My saintly sister Therese and
My friends
Were there smiling again
They beckoned me to hurry, to
Stop dragging my feet

But I needed to turn and stare
At the dark valley behind me
The young warrior woman
Appeared again and with
Therese stood next to me

“That path had been closed to all”
Said the warrior, The Maid of Orleans
“Until the One, the Logos, the
Reason, Love itself
Opened it for all by suffering through
It, now we are free”

I turned toward the light
Distant, I saw a beautiful place, a
Palace on our path hence
I ran after my friends again, being
Newly made, and heading to my
Destiny next…

I am also the co-host of the Heroic Hearts podcast devoted to a spiritual adventure with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux! Join us on the journey!


Share