The Dove and Rose - Chapter 13
The Dove and Rose Devotion
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The reason that I expend so much energy in sharing with the world my love and devotion for St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux – The Dove and Rose – is that I desire to share my passion for God, for Mary, and for the Kingdom of Heaven with those two in eternity. I hope with all my heart to worship the Holy Trinity with them forever. I will tell you here why this is so.
Love permeates the atmosphere in the mystical kingdom. Even more than that, Love is the very substance of that kingdom. Just as we bask in the sunlight and breathe fresh air while standing on a hilltop overlooking a majestic valley with flowered meadows, fresh streams, deep lakes, and distant mountains reflecting off the waters, Love in the kingdom embraces our exterior and draws inwardly to our souls. God is Himself that immutable and infinite love in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through the Son, the Word Who is Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, true God, and true man, all things came to be, and He is the substance of the kingdom Himself. Jesus Christ defines there the very nature of our relationships with one another. To love each other in the kingdom is to love each other in Christ. There is no other way to exist in the realm, just as there is no other way to live on earth than to breathe in the air. I love St. Joan, St. Thérèse, the entire communion of saints, the Holy Virgin Mary, and the whole angelic court with this Christ-centered love. This is why I travel the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with these two saintly sisters. God created us as family, and I wish to share my joy with those I love and with whom I share spiritual blood through the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is the essence of the kingdom, yet He is also our divine King, exalted brother, and worthy redeemer in His person. He is our High Priest. There is no other. We not only absorb His warmth, breathe in His sweet fragrance, and sustain ourselves on His flesh in the Holy Eucharist, but we love Him personally. All of us in the kingdom are unified by Him and through Him as the End Principle, the Formal and Final Cause of our being, the Alpha and the Omega.
We are as uniquely varied as the flowers and trees in the fields of the earth; each of us is formed and situated in the mystical landscape to create a unified panorama that glorifies the Holy Trinity. This kingdom is not of this earth; it reaches down to earth and joins us in a unity consummated in love. “It is consummated,” were the final words of Christ before He died in His redemptive act of ultimate love.
This phrase, spoken at the height of His agonizing passion, astonishes us with its mystical beauty and power. His love for us was “consummated at the apex of suffering.” That divine act on the Cross bound us in love with the Father through the Holy Spirit. After this consummation and its first fruit of the resurrection, the Holy Spirit at Pentecost then gave birth to the Church through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, the Virgin Mary. Forever before us with this birth is the mystery of suffering for the love of Jesus. We are “consummated” in love with God through suffering. The lives of the saints bear out both the truth and fruitfulness of this mysterious divine proposition. St. Joan and St. Thérèse lived it to its completion.
This Church was consecrated in the Holy Spirit through Christ’s suffering and resurrection as the seed of the heavenly kingdom on earth. Heaven and earth embrace at the Cross, in the resurrection, and by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Heaven will now walk with us through the valley of tears so that we might obtain our final End Principle, Who is God. Mary is the mother of the Church and ours by Christ’s divinity and mystical brotherhood with us. He is our Divine King, and Mary is our mother and Queen. I expend so much energy loving St. Joan and St. Thérèse because I want to share this experience of Divine Love with them.
Moreover, to the real point, St. Joan and St. Thérèse are, in fact, the ones who taught me this. They brought this Love to me in the first place so that I could walk with them and share it with them. They first came to me.