In this series I will relate the story of my journey on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux through the lens of the Carmelite spirituality of St. John of the Cross.
As St. John of the Cross’ writings are far too rich and deep and substantive in truth for me to understand functionally, I will be relying on The Science of the Cross by St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) as my reference. At this juncture on my own journey, a secondary resource is most helpful. Even though my intellect can assess the genius of St. Teresa Benedicta no more effectively than it can that of St. John of the Cross, the former developed her manuscript with weaker souls like me in mind. Having glimpsed the Ascent of Mt. Carmel as what would appear to be a peer of St. John’s, Teresa Benedicta descends in charity to the rest of us that we might have more spiritual clarity and make progress more effectively and quickly through her insights into St. John of the Cross. For that, I am eternally grateful.
As intimated above, this series will not be academic, nor will it be anything other than the testimonial of a regular soul that desires to share its experience. This desire to share is driven by fraternal charity; however, it would be dishonest not to reveal that the ultimate driving force behind this writing is to systematize St. John within the framework of my own experience so that I might follow better the Divine will and love God more thoroughly. In short, writing is one of the critical activities that moves me along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with my saintly sisters, Joan and Thérèse. I need to write because my instinct is to organize and synthesize my thoughts in a kinesthetic, inductive process in order to understand what the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is trying to teach me. God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, builds on our nature rather than destroys it according to St. Thomas Aquinas.
So, this will be the same story I have told in previous writings; however, this time it will be told through the more specific lens of Carmelite spirituality and only as a soul with no more gifts than mine can describe it.
The reason for this Carmelite focus is that my spirituality by nature and by the grace of God is an amalgam of the combined spiritualities of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc. Their combined spirituality is for me “the most beautiful color in the Heavens.” It is through their intercession, sisterly care, sharing of spiritual gifts, guidance, and protection on my journey that they serve for me as a proximate means of God’s love through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It should not be a surprise that St. Thérèse and St. Joan, kindred spirits themselves and both being Secondary Co-Patronesses of France, would lead me through the salvic Dogmas and Doctrines of the Church using the Carmelite spirituality of John of the Cross as a light on our path toward the Kingdom I was told to seek by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
My objective, beyond what I have explained above, is quite simply to inspire souls to seek the Kingdom themselves with the aid of St. Joan and St. Thérèse through a dogmatic confession of the Catholic faith and in total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.