The third phase is a walk along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse over the majestic mountain peaks in a union of heart, will, and desire for the Kingdom of God. Here they prepare us for the grandeur of what will follow in the next. It is about joy, heavenly desire, and love of God with his angels and saints.
The third phase of Le Royaume is the heart. This is most important. Le Royaume’s deep intellectual understanding will follow as we move forward. Our minds will have more than enough to absorb in the next phase. We then will have the most edifying embrace of intellects with the saints and God himself to the degree that our finite humanity will allow. However, that embrace is predicated upon the movement of the heart in phase three.
The nuance here is that without the movement of the heart along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse, our understanding will never fully be integrated into our core substance. To be fulfilled intellectually, we must first fill our hearts with goodness and good will. Through this goodness, our saintly sisters will show us the path of understanding.
(Excerpt from The Fields of Christendom, Part 2)
I looked at Joan of Arc, as we stood to move along
The mystery of her life no longer locked away
Her soul and that of Thérèse, both given to God in love
By sacrificing all for Him
Asking, neither one, for anything save union with Jesus
We started forward again, in peaceful silence
My feet were dry, and I felt well rested
I had never spoken a word, and this was good
For looking up ahead I could see majestic mountains
With snow and treacherous passes
My spirit’s desire, the Heart of Mary
For the glory of Christ the Savior
Lay beyond those heavenly peaks
And so, it was good not to speak
For I would need to be silent while guided over there
~ Adams, Walter. Little Flowers and Fiery Towers: Poems and poetic prose in honor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc (pp. 85-86). Joan and Thérèse Publications. Kindle Edition.
Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse over the majestic mountain peaks means a union of heart, will, and desire for the Kingdom of God. This phase of Le Royaume prepares us for the grandeur of what will follow. It is about joy, heavenly desire, and love of God with his angels and saints.
“Love permeates the atmosphere in the mystical Kingdom. Even more than that, Love is the very substance of that Kingdom. Just as we bask in sunlight and breathe in fresh air while standing on a hilltop over-looking a majestic valley with flowered meadows, fresh streams, deep lakes, and distant mountains reflecting off the waters; Love in the Kingdom embraces our exterior and draws inwardly to our souls. God is Himself that immutable and infinite love in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through the Son, the Word Who is Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, true God and true man, all things came to be, and He is therefore the substance of the Kingdom Himself. Jesus Christ defines there the very nature of our relationships with one another. To love each other in the Kingdom is to love each other in Christ. There is no other way to exist in the Kingdom, just as there is no other way to exist on earth than to breathe in the air.”
~ Adams, Walter. The Dove and Rose: Personal reflections on devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux (pp. 137-138). Joan and Thérèse Publications. Kindle Edition.
Here we are focused on desire for God and his Kingdom, on faith, hope, and charity. We allow our hearts to run freely through the meadows taking care only to avoid the Dark Forest on its fringes. Our freedom and joy as we walk along the mystical Trail is Augustinian Platonic in its “heart-first” modality while being Aristotelian Thomist in its intellectual reasoning of where the boundaries to our freedom lay.
We desire to be part of this heavenly family with Joan and Thérèse. We want to love as they do and to think as they do.
“St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux are to my own spirituality what wet is to water, or light is to the day. My entire journey out of the Dark Forest of despair and happily into the sunlight on the narrow but magnificent pathway of the Dogmatic Creed has been faithfully led and energized by these two ‘saintly sisters.’ “
We want to live in eternity where they live. Therefore, we want to understand as they understand.
I have loved what you have loved
I have loved what you loved
I have raised my eyes
Been moved by your example
Followed as you led
Had faith because you did
You cared about me
You fought my battles for me
And I miss you
And honor you
You shared your treasure
Now I am filled with hope
Now love consumes me
~ Adams, Walter. Little Flowers and Fiery Towers: Poems and poetic prose in honor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc (p. 44). Joan and Thérèse Publications. Kindle Edition.
In the next phase, we will bring that Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.”