Seek First the Kingdom - The March of Hope - Chapter 1
Heaven and Hope
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I have the most remarkable claim to make to you in this book. On the heels of The Freedom Dance, the story conveyed in my previous book Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance, I have been led to a land of the highest value. The panoramic view elevates one beyond joy, a place for which you would sell all you have to obtain, in fact, a destination that, if you truly grasp it, you will want to give your life to secure it.
I did not create this place, nor did I construct it through the philosophical musings of my own mind. It is objectively genuine. I have been led to it through over twenty-four years of consecration to Mary, the Mother of God, and by my heavenly friends, particularly my devoted Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and the magnificent St. Joan of Arc. I received the promise of it during my conversion to Catholicism at the hands of the Virgin Mary in 1984.
The Freedom Dance led me from the smoke-filled forest of anarchy in the modern world to the great walls of the castle that is the Catholic Church. I passed beyond the mighty gates of that castle. This journey led me through beautiful, colorful, sunlit fields to a mountaintop, and I must tell you what I see over its ridge and how I came to see it. I must tell you about a kingdom over there, the ultimate destination of The Freedom Dance. Climbing the mountain on the other side of the Catholic gateway has been a purposeful march, something I call the "The March of Hope" or "The March of Joan of Arc," as I stated above in the Introduction. This March is the story of what happened after I entered the mystical and life-giving land of Catholicism. The March brought me to the place with such a magnificent view.
I am to be likened to a man who has followed the giant footsteps of several saintly souls destined by God to guide him on a path through a marvelous and beautiful land, to the top of a heavenly mountain, overlooking a magnificent vista of rivers, lakes, meadows, tall mountains distant, and deep echoing valleys between. The path of faith he follows obediently with them is the Dogma of the Roman Catholic Church; the breathtaking kingdom in the distance is the mystical body of Christ, the Kingdom of God. The footprints he leaps into, one by one, with his desire to reach the kingdom, represent his hope. I will speak about those steps in this book. This book will document in some rough manner the critical junctures I have passed once inside the borders of Catholicism, those key milestones that have led me to this breathtaking view. If The Freedom Dance is the story of a journey from a dark forest to the giant gates at the castle walls of Catholicism, then the March of Hope is the story of the ensuing journey inside that land toward God's Kingdom.
This man we are imagining now peers through the mist and into the sunlight showering down on the grassy plains below. Suddenly, astonishingly, he comes to an understanding of what it is that he sees; he turns to his saintly friends, the ones who have shown him the way, for he is incapable of finding it himself, and they smile at him; their eyes are dancing with life and happiness; in fact, their entire demeanor approaches that of joyous laughter. Below is the land where they have been leading him. Below is the treasure, the goal for which he began searching over two decades previously when The Freedom Dance on the trail of the Dogmatic Creed began. He was then promised that he could go to this destination and enjoy its life; he was even given these lovely friends to guide him. Even still, he has failed to stay close at times; he was, over the years, often found roaming the dark woods lost and alone, having taken his eyes off of the path to chase shamefully after the worldly sirens of the dark and thereby periodically releasing his grip from those heavenly hands taking hold of him. But with all of this in account, he is now standing there, looking at the next stage in the journey. And with what he is viewing and soaking in, the entire Freedom Dance becomes worth every struggle, pain, loss, and cross to get there.
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