MJTDC with St. Joan and St. Thérèse – Our Journey as a relationship with God and the Saints

MJTDC Mont St Michel (1) with site and MJTDC

This is part of a series.

Our discussion of the Journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux requires an added dimension. Thus far, we have emphasized the Kingdom in the distance toward which we are traveling with our saintly sisters. This Kingdom is the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary where Jesus Christ is enthroned in all of His glory. The Trail itself is our sure guide and represents the doctrines, dogmas, and creeds of the Catholic Church, that is, the entire magisterial teaching of the Church through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Without this guidance we would no doubt soon be lost in the Dark Forest of man-made philosophies, ideologies, and the whole quagmire that is our fallen nature.

As we walk we sense a powerful human bond with our celestial sisters, St. Joan and St. Thérèse, along with Our Lady and the whole Heavenly Host. We are clearly in a relationship as we walk the Trail. We develop a union of spirit and soul with the Heavenly Host just as we do with family and friends in the natural world. Our love is both individual and communal, as people who share the same inheritance and belong to the same Kingdom. We are unified in spirit yet wildly diverse in our individual beings. Like a beautiful landscape is one in Form yet comprised of various flowers, trees, rivers, and creeks, we are unified as one Kingdom while being colorfully rich in our diversity.

MJTDC 1789

Yet, something much more significant is developing here. We sense, and know, that it is the Trinitarian God Who is the source and substance of our relationships. The familial love we have for each other is God’s love unifying us and bonding our souls. God is not simply another friend, God is the substance of friendship and love. When we love each other through God, we are loving God at the same time. God is mystically present and forms our relationships, and through those relationships on our Journey, we share in the merits and spiritual goods of our saintly sisters and our Heavenly Mother, the Virgin Mary. This is the essence of the Communion of Saints, that is, union of heart, mind, and soul in God and the charitable sharing of God’s goods.

Yet, there is more. God not only is the very substance of our relationships, He is Himself outside of us and One Whom we come to know directly and intimately in Himself and as He allows through an indwelling of sanctifying grace. God calls us by opening His own heart to us in the very depths of our interior, our heart, and our soul.

“But all of this is granted – again in an ascent by steps – to the human being by God in the third mode of indwelling, that of the mystical election. God grants him a personal encounter through a touch in his inmost region. He opens to him his own inner being through particular enlightenment about his nature and his secret decrees. He gives him his heart – at first in a momentary transport by a personal meeting (in the prayer of union), then as a permanent possession (in mystical betrothal and marriage).” ~ (The Science of the Cross by Edith Stein – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

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Thus, as the mist rises in the fields and meadows where we walk, and we see the majestic mountains, lakes, rivers, and streams across the distant panorama representing this Kingdom, we know that God Himself is sharing the secrets of His heart with us. Our love and friendship with the saints is substantively founded in God’s love; yet, the very illumination of the Kingdom before our eyes is God’s love and friendship given to us directly through grace. The Journey on the trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse is truly about relationships, that is, love. The doctrines, dogmas, and creeds of the Holy Catholic Church ensure our safe passage through these fields and meadows, while the rising mist across the panorama represents God’s own unveiling of His Heart.

Across the cresting hills this dawn

Across the cresting hills this dawn
Finds dreamy landscapes veiled by mist
Our Lady points through fields beyond
Amidst their haze a shadow sits

As sunlight breaks the shades turn true
The figure, clear, on horseback, too
Our Lady smiles, it’s Joan of Arc!
A saint to guide me to her heart

In Mary’s heart, Christ’s Kingdom’s found
The Maid knows well the pathway stark
By fire in glory she was crowned
That Kingdom loves God’s Joan of Arc!

This saintly Maid inspires my soul!
I follow Joan through fire or cold
Toward Christ’s Kingdom in Mary’s heart
Toward Christ’s Kingdom in Mary’s heart

 

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