The Jehannian-Thérèsian Pearl of Great Price
The Jehannian-Thérèsian approach is an empathic sharing in Joan’s own noematic field of meaning.
I have written extensively about empathic devotion to St. Joan of Arc. Our Lord and Our Lady have transformed my life through this uniquely powerful relationship. The Holy Spirit has willed to provide the sanctifying grace I need in hierarchical fashion, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then through St. Joan. I have been fascinated for over a decade as to the process and mode of this grace. It feels as though I am called to think it through for whatever mysterious purpose that thinking out, that modeling of the grace, serves the Kingdom of God.
The key aid has been St. Edith Stein. Stein was a pre-conversion phenomenologist who, post-conversion, reconciled phenomenology with the scholasticism of the Church. The result has been a treasury of knowledge for my cause. Edith Stein integrated modern philosophical thought with the ancient tradition of the Church. She is modern without being a modernist, a spiritual talent sorely needed in contemporary society.
Her description of the need to engage a mentor, even across time and space, by studying their thinking from “grounds to conclusions” overwhelmed me as being most appropriate for understanding my own devotion to Joan, my mentor.
Philosophical understanding is different. The philosopher must not only be able to see and show the fact that someone else went about it in such and such a way; his insight must not only extend to the connections between the other's grounds [Grund] and consequences. The philosopher must also grasp why his predecessor went about it like this. He must get down into the grounds themselves and grasp them. And this means that the grounds must grip him and best him in the sense that he decides to accept them and retraces within himself the path the other followed from grounds to conclusions, perhaps even going beyond him. Or else he must best the grounds; I mean, he must decide to get free of them and take another path.
It was my first reflection on empathy from Edith Stein’s perspective and the beginning of my articulation of “empathic devotion.” I began to realize that it was empathy, in the Steinian sense, that I felt with Joan of Arc. I wanted to go where she goes, to follow in her footsteps to the pearl of great price. This empathy, this tracing of footsteps, when understood through the harmonization of the revealed truths discovered in this communion, also can be described as an empathic sharing of Joan’s mode of being. It is a union of heart, mind, and soul with Joan through empathic harmonization with her "internal horizon," her thematic field of French, Catholic, and Royal perceptual noematic meaning. We are interested in understanding Joan's mind, heart, and soul by reducing her life's story to its transcendent meaning and sharing her point of view. In this way, we truly can follow her to that pearl of great price from "grounds to conclusions."
 Stein, Edith. Potency and Act - Studies Toward a Philosophy of Being. Washington DC: ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 2009. locs. 425–429.