The Dove and Rose - Chapter 15
The Pedagogy of the Dove and Rose Devotion
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The pedagogy of The Dove and Rose (St. Joan and St. Thérèse) devotion is astonishing and edifying. The teaching of the Holy Spirit through the intercession, friendship, and kinship of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux can be best described as a super-humanizing experience that establishes the Kingdom of God in our souls on earth and then raises us in Faith and Hope toward that same Kingdom of Love in Heaven.
It is an experience that is both the serene actualizing of the human person in the form, or End Principle, for which that person was created in the mind of God, as well as a movement from the knowable toward an unspeakably beautiful "unknowing" (as a famous but anonymous mystic from centuries ago penned it). It is an outpouring of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to bring us into intimate union with Jesus Christ, her Son, through a family community, the communion of Saints. It is a devotion by which we run joyfully into what St. Louis de Montfort calls the new and mystical Garden of Paradise in Mary's heart, where Jesus Christ is glorified as Lord and King. It is an experience that brings us into contact with the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth and the promise of its fulfillment in Heaven. It is, in sum, Heaven on earth, the Eternal brushing up to the temporal in an embrace of Love. This is the devotion called The Dove and Rose: "to Jesus through Mary in the friendship and sisterly care of Sts. Joan and Thérèse."
Thus, since God the Father wishes to raise us up through His Son in the Holy Spirit by embracing and dignifying our humanity in Jesus and through the communion of Saints, that is, to work His grace through His creation which He has called "very good," we must, if we are to be brought into this fellowship, ourselves embrace the actions of the Holy Spirit with our entire mind and heart, that is, with our intellect and will. We must, in other words, return the embrace of the Holy Spirit with the actions and movements of our entire body and soul.
Heeding the counsel of Thérèse's (and our) Carmelite spiritual father, St. John of the Cross, we must not purposely seek this embrace with God through extraordinary revelations or visions (though we welcome whatever means He so chooses). Still, we must strive to embrace Him through the everyday, ordinary acts of our lives: family and community life, work, prayer, and study. We must become open-minded and adventurous in the excellent care of our saintly sisters Joan and Thérèse as they lead us to the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary while always being cautious to walk in the safety of the narrow but sure Trail of the Dogmatic Creed, which has witnessed the successful journeys of countless saints before us. We must journey in the motherly care of the body and bride of Christ, the Church, which has Mary as her mother and Christ as her head. We must never seek to find our way through the dangerous Dark Forest outside of holy mother Church's care.