The Philosophical Foundations of Le Royaume
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The Le Royaume Program outlines the five phases of walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérese. Each step is associated with one or more of my books written in the exact chronology. Here we add one more critical component: the methodology of making the journey through each phase. Developing the method aims to assist those who might walk this Trail with our saintly sisters, Joan and Thérèse. We explain the methodology to follow them, understand the dynamics underlying each phase, and actively engage and cooperate with God’s grace in reaching the “Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse.” This means reaching the Kingdom of God, and our symbolism shows how this method works.
The methodological foundation:
The Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse is a phenomenological understanding of the Kingdom of God. It is symbolic while at the same time objectively real. Seeking the Kingdom of St. Joan and St. Thérèse, we seek the Kingdom of God; however, we also seek the very objective manifestation of God’s Kingdom through the subjective spirituality of their combined hearts. Edith Stein, a phenomenologist who converted from Judaism to Catholicism, struggled to find a methodological bridge between modern philosophical thought as represented by her phenomenology and the centuries-old scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas. Therefore, we rely on Edith Stein to guide us and ask her to pray for and assist us.
“As a phenomenologist she knew that everything objective must be accessed appropriately so that it can show itself as what it is.” ~ Edith Stein. Introduction to Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) (Kindle Locations 207-208). Kindle Edition.
And this is our aim, that is, to allow God appropriately to show us his objective Kingdom for what it is. We do this through the analogical method favored by both Aquinas and Stein, as well as by the symbolic theology of Dionysius, which Edith Stein covers extensively in Knowledge and Faith.
“We must be content to point out how symbolic theology should be interpreted as a way to know God, and that now seems to have been fairly settled: symbolic theology is speaking about God in images taken from the world of sense.” ~ Stein, Edith. Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 8) . ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.
There we sense the shadow of Edith Stein’s bridge, which is the connection between the need to know something as it is and the gift of symbolic theology revealing to us actually, though incompletely, what that is. This is the “Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse.” It symbolizes something objectively and phenomenologically real through the hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse.
The method defined:
Edith Stein puts before us the fundamental dialectic that forms our method.
“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.” ~ Edith Stein. Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) (Kindle Locations 425-429). Kindle Edition.