Chapter 1 – The courage to write – “C’est pour cela que je fus nais” (It was for this that I was born) – St. Joan of Arc

Journey to Christendom
This post is part of a new edition in progress for my book Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance published in 2009. In time I will publish this new edition. For now it is available only here online. The current edition is available at my author’s site: JoanandTherese.us

All of my adult years I lacked the courage to write a book about the God inspired purpose of my life, its whole meaning and driving force, as well as the relevance it might have to others. Were you to read only to the end of this first chapter, or perhaps only to the end of the next few paragraphs, you might see why this is so. People in today’s morally relativistic culture generally do not make the dogmatic religious statements that follow, at least not away from the privacy of their family dinner table.

The prevailing spirit of the modern world is often arrogant and dogmatic about its own philosophies, which demand that we allow anyone to do anything by which they feel “affirmed.” This affirmation typically results in sliding down a continuum toward deadly anarchy; yet, this same spirit seems to demand that religious people remain in their place and be quite politely relativistic when it comes to religious belief. It handcuffs religious discussion, so to speak. The spirit of the world insists on the objective absoluteness of radical individual rights of rebellion, called freedom of expression, while it simultaneously insists that no religion can be believed with a similar objective absoluteness were it to deny some people the right to any of this “freedom of expression.” In other words, the rude spirit of the world believes that the only objective truth is that there is no objective truth, excepting of course, the objective truth that one must not cross the spirit of the world.

The story of my spiritual journey through Catholicism that I am sharing with you in this book will say quite the opposite. I will tell you how I did cross the spirit of the world and came to know that the modern world is wrong and that the ancient Catholic Religion is right and how I have been resurrected in spirit, mind, and body as the result of acting on this understanding.

Our Lady of the Sign

Given that I am going to say things as bold as I have outlined above, I feel compelled to tell you first what this is about, my purpose in writing it, why I am writing it now, and what were the recent circumstances that led to my inspiration. If I do that, it might help you better understand the full story of my conversion and possibly reap more benefit from it. Therefore, I dedicate this first section to laying out the foundation for the rest of the book. The following encapsulates my motivation:

“This is what we have heard from him and are declaring to you.” (I John 1:5a – New Jerusalem)

In other words, this is a testimony about an objective, universal authority outside and above all of us, and I desire to persuade you of the authenticity and validity of that authority more than to influence you with my personal way of thinking. If I do that, then I have accomplished my goal. However, at times this work might rub raw, like Joan of Arc trying to persuade the English of the authenticity of Charles VII as King of France! There were disagreements about that, and Joan of Arc burned at the stake for her role in that little discussion! Now you know why it takes courage to say what I am going to say. I am going to continue crossing the spirit of the world; I am going to tell the spirit of the world that it is a deadly imposter; I am going to tell the spirit of the world that my religion is right and can be proven so by the life-giving fruits that this belief produces when acted upon!

Now to begin building the foundation for what it is that I am writing in this book.

God has given me an abundance of gifts over my lifetime; yet, despite this, courage to speak from the heart, the real heart that burns in my soul, remained lacking. I have been miserable as a result. For many years now, and growing more acute recently, I have had the pain of feeling that I am missing my calling, or, rather, my duty to God to share my life’s journey for the benefit of other souls whom God is calling. This journey of which I speak consists of freedom, joy, and ultimately, I hope, salvation given to me freely and without having earned it. These gifts have been given to me by the objectively real triune God, the Second Person of this one Trinity being the Savior of the human race, through whom all things were created. He has a physical body, born of a woman into history at a specific point in time, and is now in resurrected glory in heaven. He has an objective will and design for our world of his very own, a will to which we are to conform as opposed to trying to shatter him on that broken edifice that is the modern willfulness of man over which is scrawled man’s own subjective, meaningless, secular, and powerless philosophical slogans.  This is the God whose revelation, including all that was written about him and all that was not, can be found in its fullness only in the Dogmas, Creed, Scriptures, and Sacred Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church that has protected this treasury of doctrine and dogmas through the ages. I am including Sacred Scripture as being a child of, as having been born from, that very Church and am not supposing that churches were ever intended to be born from the Book, as regrettably began with the great tragedy called the Reformation of the 16th century, resulting in a seemingly endless stream of denominational mutations.

This is the God, the true God, Creator of man and all that is, and the God who founded not a religion but a Church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, to walk visibly with man in each generation on this earth; this is the God to whom I refer and who has brought me all these wonderful blessings. This writing is about these blessings of new life given by the God of the objective, life-giving Dogma institutionalized in his Church.

MM France cloud 8

As further clarification, these gifts are universal, supernatural realities shared in union with a real communion of saints and are not the product of mere subjective natural conditioning, be that assumed as psychological, biological, sociological or any other kind of purely natural cause.

 As a final note, I would add that these gifts from God include physical and emotional healings of what the materialistic, scientific mind would call naturally pre-determined conditions. In real layman language, I mean that God has intervened through the intercession of the saints of the Holy Roman Catholic Church in a miraculous way to save me from these conditions, most notably through the blessed and holy Virgin Mary, the beloved Doctor of the Church St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and the astonishing French heroine St. Joan of Arc. Stated even more succinctly still, God, through his Holy Roman Catholic Church, has intervened in the natural order of my life to work miracles.

Finally, the pearl of all these gifts, the pearl that Our Lord said would ennoble one to sell all he has in order to buy it (Mathew 13:45-46), the greatest article of all the treasures of God of which he has given me the slightest glimpse, is that of being transformed through suffering on that old rugged, wooden Cross where man dies to himself and then is elevated and reborn by the merits of Jesus Christ. There is no way to be reborn, to touch the heavens, or much less hope to get there, than by this Cross (Luke 9:23), folly to the world, as St. Paul tells us, but being the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18). Conversely, there are those today, as has always been the case throughout history, who desire to worship themselves and follow self-gratifying beliefs that all end at a precipice. Now, that is folly! I know; I stood staring into several of those precipices myself.

If you have survived reading up to this point, you will note that I have summarily stated that God, specifically through his Holy Roman Catholic Church, has given me, without any merit on my part, graces that are a living repudiation of virtually every major heresy and misguided, deadly spirituality and philosophy that curses the earth today.

Our Lord predestined my life to be a living repudiation of the useless, inane arguments driving the current modern mind and modern Western culture, having saved me from moral and religious relativism, atheistic materialism, rebellious individualism, and dark, misguided New Age spirituality. Just put forward, in comparison, the ideas of virtually any philosophy of the modern mind, a mind that man considers to be “progressive,” and you will see that my life runs obtusely across them and ultimately shatters them cutting through. God brought me into the objective reality of Truth in communion with his saints and then intervened in the natural order of affairs to restore and regenerate my health needed for this work. He further demonstrated to me that he has a will and a purpose for me and for this world that he created and loves.

KNIGHTS OF THE DOVE AND ROSE BANNER
Visit the Knights of the Dove and Rose

This Dogma of the Roman Catholic Church is burning alive in my soul. It is the very Dogma of Jesus Christ that he proclaims through the Magisterium, the teaching authority, of his only fully authentic body on earth, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, which he historically initiated and ordained at a specific point in history; yes, it is this blessed and life-giving Dogma that burns in my very being.

All other teachings are either incomplete, or are misunderstandings, or, worse yet and all too frequently, are purposefully distorted attempts to find a Christ who never did exist, who is the figment of the modern mind’s confused and wishful thinking, a Christ who bends his will to the whims of humanity’s depraved desires, who justifies and affirms us in who we are so that we might superficially “feel good” about ourselves, a Christ who is not concerned, then, with the obligation and necessity of being good and who only hugs us so we might feel good no matter what kind of life we lead. Christ, merely the great psychotherapist, or Christ, merely the great humanist, or Christ, merely the great optimist, such a partial, weakened, and “man-made” Christ did not exist. The true Christ’s only fully authoritative voice is the Catholic Magisterium receiving that handed down from the early Church Fathers and the original apostles through an unbroken apostolic succession.

Christ promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail over his Church, and he has kept this promise for over two thousand years and will keep it until the new earth and the new heavens appear.  This Dogma is the source of eternal life. This is the source of Jesus Christ himself who was crucified, yet was resurrected by the very power of his own, divine, sacrificial blood on Calvary.

That is the story of my life, and that is the substance of my book.