Aug 26 • 20M

S3E5 - From the Dark Woods to my moment with St. Joan of Arc

Receiving St. Joan through the heart and mind of St. Thérèse

 
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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.
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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.


Reflective question

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!


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