MJTDC with St. Joan and St. Thérèse – Freedom through Carmelite spirituality

MJTDC Mont St Michel (1) with site and MJTDC

This is part of a series.

Now let us bring together the various Carmelite and de Montfortian influences that comprise this particular mystical Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse. This Trail and the surrounding Kingdom through which we journey are imbued with “the most beautiful color in the Heavens,” that is, the combined spirituality of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux emanating from the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary where Jesus Christ is enthroned in all of His glory.

Our heavenly sisters are mystically French, both being the secondary co-patronesses of France. Our Trail and this Kindgom are decidedly Marian, Jehannian, and Thérèsian in spirituality. This Kingdom is intrinsically good, being the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France, on earth as it is in Heaven. The primary substance of this Kingdom is Jesus Christ, He through Whom all things were made and Who defines Himself the very nature of our mystical relationships. Our love for Mary, the angels, and the saints is nothing less than the love of God uniting us. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, His Mercy, His Love, and His Justice, are the spiritual air we breathe here and his Heart inflamed in the Holy Spirit is the burning sun that gives us life. We are happy and free in our relationships with Our Lady and our saintly sisters because of this life-giving Holy Spirit Who fills us intellectually, affectively, and in our will through these heavenly desires.

Our Lady of the Sign

The castle on our mystical mountain top is the interior castle of St. Teresa of Avila. This is where Jesus lives in our souls. In our metaphor of walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse, we know this castle also to be at the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is the Kingdom of God in our hearts as it is in Heaven. Our Trail, as mentioned previously, represents the dogmas and the doctrines of the Holy Catholic Church. Staying safely “on the Trail” means being obedient to these dogmas and doctrines, as they are the path our Fathers in the faith have left as guide posts on our way. The Journey itself to this interior castle is St. John of the Cross’ Ascent of Mount Carmel through the Dark Night of the Soul. Being in the care of St. Joan and St. Thérèse as they lead us to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the de Montfortian spirit of True Devotion to Mary, all through the spiritual pedagogy of Traditional French Catholicism.

MJTDC 1789

The entire mystical panorama represents freedom. This is truly the freedom we are promised and the freedom we desire. It is the freedom to do the divine will.

“The soul has the right to make decisions that concern itself. It is the great mystery of personal freedom, before which God himself comes to a halt. He wants his sovereign authority over created spirits only as a free gift of their love… he does not want to take possession of her without her wanting it herself… to do this {she} must take up a position deep within herself: so deep, that the crossover resembles a formal transformation of the human being. And this may not even be possible in a natural way, but only on the basis of an extraordinary awakening.” ~ (The Science of the Cross by Edith Stein – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

My “extraordinary awakening” came through the intercession of St. Thérèse on her Feast Day in 1984. Having first “met” St. Joan of Arc at Mont Saint-Michel years earlier, my Freedom Dance on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed began with Thérèse through the obedience of faith, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and Carmelite spirituality, all of which I expressed many years later in the following poetic prose:

The Dance of Freedom – “C’est pour cela que je fus nais”

One day
I was walking
Through a forest

In an open field I saw
An unusual scene
There, a group of bright,
Smiling people were dancing

I should say
They were travelling
For they were dancing
And moving toward
A destination I could not see

They were happy
And danced with freedom
You could sense the grace
In their movements
I had never seen such beauty

A young girl noticed me
She danced to me and took my hand
She was not afraid that I was filthy
I balked but she insisted “Come join us.”

“Are you free?” she queried
“Of course,” I walked along
“I have lived the way I wanted”
“I have travelled where I wish”
“But are you free?” she
Danced with happiness

I stared “But I am free”
“Freedom is doing what you wish
Following no creed but
The creed of self” I insisted
She merely danced with me some more

I could not help but
To follow with wonder
Foolish and awkward-like, I
Moved to the group’s rhythm
I kind of liked it

I ran to catch up
With the young woman
And her friends

“But how are you so free?”
I cried over her shoulder
She turned, her eyes were filled with grace
“Obedience” she smiled

“To God” she continued
She swirled and danced
“Impossible! God is not one
Path-but many!” I cried back

“We follow this single path – called
The dogmatic creed” she was firm
“This way we travel together with
Certain knowledge
Of the path of our Fathers – who
Have arrived to our destination”

“Through light and darkness”
She went on
“In safety and in danger
In joy and in heartache – we
Stay on the dogmatic path”

“You are a slave to your path!”
I was in disbelief
“That is not freedom”
“It is not rational to follow a
Dogmatic path – I make my own path”

“Are you not free to consent to believe?”
She pulled me along the path
“Are you not free to choose obedience?”
“Is your freedom only freedom to rebel?”

“You are free to choose” she continued
“And only you can do that”
“For your will is yours, and it is free”

The group continued dancing
Joyfully through the day
And into the evening
As they journeyed through the land

Confused, I could not help
But follow along, for truth be told
I had been lost when I stumbled
Across these saints

I stood alone in a broad field
I looked back into the dark forest
Like from where I had come

I remembered how it was I was lost
Individualism, rebellion, relativism
Believing everything can be believed
Therefore, believing nothing

I cried as I had to make a decision
Yes, I was free
Free to make a choice

As I struggled and watched my new
Friends dance on
Another young woman, a warrior
Approached me
“C’est pour cela que je fus nais”
She whispered to me

Yes! “C’est pour cela que je fus nais!”
I turned toward my friends
I ran fast, stumbling through the grass
To join them on their path

I made my decision
In total freedom
And now I dance with them –
Seeing now the destination

Those at the front
Who are getting close
Break their rhythm – and run
Toward it with joy

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Atavist image reign of Immaculate Heart