The Heart of St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Thérèse is possibly one of the greatest Doctors the Church has known.
St. Thérèse, the other half of The Dove and Rose, is a Doctor of the universal Church. Her devotion to Joan of Arc is well documented in her images, plays, poetry, and autobiography.
She was eight or nine years old when she first discovered the heroine of France. She felt illuminated, filled with enthusiasm; the discovery of Joan affected her deeply: "a grace which I have always looked upon as one of the greatest in my life," she would recall in 1895 (Ms. A, 32r). There were both similarities and differences, but the little girl began to grasp her own destiny.
Thérèse is possibly one of the greatest Doctors the Church has known. Her role in the mystical body of Christ is vast and rich. One specific Thérèsian feature relating to the fundamentals of this project is her integration of Catholic metaphysics and modern phenomenology. Though a bright student in her youth, she never attended the university. Yet, she naturally emanated brilliant phenomenological insights grounded in the magisterial teachings of the Church.
He (Jesus) showed me the book of nature, and I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtide beauty, and the fields would no longer be enameled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our Lord's living garden. He has been pleased to create great Saints who may be compared to the lily and the rose, but He has also created lesser ones, who must be content to be daisies or simple violets flowering at His Feet, and whose mission it is to gladden His Divine Eyes when He deigns to look down on them. And the more gladly they do His Will the greater is their perfection.
She also boldly proclaimed phenomenological discovery of that which is new yet not theologically novel.
I must bear with myself and my many imperfections; but I will seek out a means of getting to Heaven by a little way--very short and very straight, a little way that is wholly new.
Thérèse is a model for the modern world. She understood subjectivity as it relates to the dogmatic teachings of the Church and their associated metaphysics. She courageously walked through the valley of modern mind/object dualism into a world of phenomenological wonder filled with meadows, flowers, springs, and lakes. She could discern the necessary structures of the mind that extended beyond the material world through which she journeyed. She discovered a “way that is wholly new” without falling into novel modernism. All the while she was grounded in the Church. Thérèse was alive in the fullest sense of our Catholic faith.
She also has the role of interpreting Joan of Arc’s life for us. Her interpretation is the “Jehannian hermeneutic” for The Dove and Rose.
For Therese, the highest point of the epic of Joan of Arc was neither Orleans nor Reims, but the bonfire at Rouen. From historical science, she borrowed the facts. From the Word of God, she asks the meaning of this humanly incomprehensible fate.
St. Thérèse is the spiritual and philosophical foundation of The Dove and Rose. She is our “little mother, Queen, and saint” walking beside us as we follow St. Joan into our own wonder-filled phenomenological world grounded in Catholic metaphysics.
 Thérèse, The Plays of St. Thérèse of Lisieux - “Pious Recreations,” loc. 561.
 Thérèse, The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, 22.
 Thérèse, 151.
 Thérèse, The Plays of St. Thérèse of Lisieux - “Pious Recreations,” loc. 1029.
Lovely! Do we know which books specifically (if any) Therese would have read about Joan?