Season 3 Episode 5
In this episode we escape from the Dark Forest of despair and suffering through the devotion and prayers of my family and the help of the saints. Encouraged by my wife to attend a six day silent retreat in the Poconos, I found myself before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary where I was healed - mind, body, and soul. A couple of years later, I came across the following poem written by St. Thérèse in honor of St. Joan:
To Joan of Arc When the Lord God of Hosts gave you the victory, You drove out the foreigner and had the king crowned. Joan, your name became renowned in history. Our greatest conquerors paled before you. But that was only a fleeting glory. Your name needed a Saint's halo. So the Beloved offered you his bitter cup, And, like Him, you were spurned by men. At the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains, The cruel foreigner filled you with grief. Not one of your friends took part in your pain. Not one came forward to wipe your tears. Joan, in your dark prison you seem to me More radiant, more beautiful than at your king's coronation. This heavenly reflection of eternal glory, Who then brought it upon you? It was betrayal. Ah! If the God of love in this valley of tears Had not come to seek betrayal and death, Suffering would hold no attraction for us. Now we love it, it is our treasure. ~ St. Therese of Lisieux. The Poetry of Saint Therese of Lisieux (p. 177). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.
That was the moment I received the “unreflective certainty” regarding the role St. Joan was to play in my life. St. Thérèse’s Kingdom was before me as a mystery, partially hidden. My journey was toward that Kingdom. St. Joan was to be my guide.
Can you describe a time when you felt Our Lord’s call, one that has endured through the years?
This is the fourth of my four prose that began my journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse. The first two stanzas open this episode. All four prose can be found in my first book, Journey to Christendom - The Freedom Dance.
The Dance of Destiny – “Joy” 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
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!