The Philosophical Foundations of Le Royaume
Phase 1 – Journey to Christendom
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The first phase begins with the first grace of conversion through the congruous hearts of Our Lady and St. Thérèse and concludes with a “divine glance,” leading to the second phase, The March of Hope with St. Joan of Arc.
The first phase of Le Royaume, the Journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse, is a life-changing act of grace by Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is a nuanced position. Instead of explaining how to make a life change, we start with those who already have had one. Only God can initiate such an act, which we call with St. Thomas Aquinas the first grace. According to Thomas, no one can condignly merit the first grace for themselves or another; one may only merit it for another congruously.
“Hence it is manifest that no one can merit for himself the first grace.”
“And therefore it is clear that no one can merit condignly for another his first grace, save Christ alone.”
“But one may merit the first grace for another congruously; because a man in grace fulfills God’s will, and it is congruous and in harmony with friendship that God should fulfill man’s desire for the salvation of another…”
~ Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (Part I-II, Q 114, p. 556). Coyote Canyon Press. Kindle Edition.
One may deduce that the Le Royaume Program can begin only by God’s initiative, even if congruously merited by another. Therefore, we assume in Le Royaume that first grace and previous dogmatic conversion to the Catholic Faith. In my case, as explained in my first book, Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance, that dogmatic conversion happened instantly and through the congruous participation of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I call this moment The Great Event.
“It was the first Monday in October of 1984. The day of the Great Event arrived though I was completely unaware that something big would happen….
Recall the story of my birth, where I refer to a nun who saved my life even though she died over sixty years earlier. Her name is St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and her Feast Day in 1984 was the first Monday of October, the day of the Great Event…
In about one second after the meaning of apostolic succession descended upon me, a number of key claims made by the Church splashed in living color onto the canvas of my mind, and, as if the splashing colors gave life itself to the picture, the entire Church opened up to me as a colorful, living, breathing entity.”
~ From my book, Journey to Christendom: The Freedom Dance .
Through Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, this event altered the course of my life first through the heart, as referenced in the Preface, then through the intellect. I intellectually experienced and accepted the objective truths of Catholicism as they presented themselves, then attempted to bring new life from them as I was trained to deliver facts. Therein was the issue for the next twenty years as I wandered in the Dark Forest while still receiving the first grace of conversion. The first grace was an act of St. Thérèse’s congruous participation with God to bring me a dogmatic conversion to the faith. This was the first part of my coming-to-see. The second part would come much later after my experience with St. Joan of Arc and her new point of view.
“And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees, walking.” Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.
~ Mark 8: 23-25
The dichotomy between my mode of understanding and the Holy Spirit’s mode of bringing us to understand created years of painful missteps. I could see, but not the way things really were. “Men looked like trees, walking.” Only through Joan of Arc later in my life did the Lord again lay his hands upon my eyes, and my sight was restored. Joan gave me a new worldview, God’s point of view. From that juncture, the rivers of grace cascaded downward over my soul through the hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. I wrote a poem about this flow of grace through St. Thérèse’s heart.
St. Thérèse. My little mother, queen, and saint. My little mother, queen, and saint A little flower I found one day Thérèse, whose fragrance none can hide Sweet, from above, where she abides My little mother, queen, and saint Whose petals hold the dew and rain Of grace from God that falls up there That makes its fields so pure and fair My little mother, queen, and saint Who lets me drink that I’ll not faint Each time my lips are moist, refreshed It seems that more of me is fetched ’till nothing’s left, is what I pray But that which falls Thérèse’s way And somehow changes beautifully Me, that is, where I can see I wish that I could run right now All through those fields, I see, and how I’d not come back, but stay to thank My little mother, queen, and saint ~ From my book, Little Flowers and Fiery Towers: Poems and poetic prose in honor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc.
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