The Philosophical Foundations of Le Royaume
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Our fundamental question in structuring an ontology of Le Royaume, the Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse, is to what degree its essence can be taught to others and its formal being shared. Is there an objectively based set of propositions that can serve as guides, or conversely, is this all simply the subjective imagination of one individual, one “I”? We rely heavily on St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) for our ontological inquiry.
“Is it possible to reach a systematic understanding within this classification? And is it possible to reach it “from below,” that is, starting from any things whatsoever given in experience’? Or can and should we come to it “from above”; I mean, is there some specification of the basic idea of “fullness”?
~ Edith Stein. Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) (Kindle Locations 1206-1207). Kindle Edition.
Our hypothesis is that it can be taught and shared with others in its own objective substance through a priori ideas and material intuition. Sharing the language of science with Edith Stein, this kingdom is representative of one of a multitude of species within a genus. If this is true, we must understand how its being “comes to be” in each individual. This would be best described using the Aristotelian and Thomist language of forms, potency, and act in addition to the scientific analogy of kingdom, family, genus, and species. Suppose the spiritual Kingdom of God is analogous to a family with genera, which have species. In that case, we can understand how Le Royaume might be described as a species comprised of the combined hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. The combined hearts are a member of the genus of St. Mary Magdalene’s House of New Bethany, bequeathed to her at the foot of the Cross and consecrated by the divine touch of Jesus on her forehead after his resurrection. The House of New Bethany is part of the family comprised of those consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We deduce these particulars through an a priori general understanding given to us by grace, a “divine glance” from God, which impresses his will on our souls and leaves us with an a priori material intuition from which we induce the general form.
“We could take them first as induction and deduction; that is, acquiring general ideas and items of knowledge from the particular experiences we bring together, or deducing more specific ideas from more general ideas and deducing truths about individual objects from general truths. Or again we could understand them as the contrast between a posteriori and a priori, which is not the same as that between particular and general.”
~ Edith Stein. Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) (Kindle Locations 1208-1212). Kindle Edition.
We understand the boundaries of the form making up our species through the infallible teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. However, knowledge, filled with the essence of this Kingdom, requires an intuition coming from the “divine glance.”
“Fullness implies first what is possible from the perspective of the form. Material knowing can only be derived from an intuition of the one or the many.
By virtue of this sort of intuition we can make a priori and general judgments and statements about these material ideas and their interrelations.”
~ Edith Stein. Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) (Kindle Locations 1216-1217; 1239-1240). Kindle Edition.
By the “divine glance,” we are led by our saintly sisters on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed from intuition to ideas and then to general a priori judgments. We come to “know the hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse” and from that union of hearts to see the Kingdom in the distance through our a priori general judgments. We begin to contemplate these “material ideas and their interrelations.” Uniting us with the hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse, the “divine glance” becomes an efficient cause of our development into the fullness of that Kingdom.