In accordance with c. 827, permission to publish is granted on January 13, 2010 by Very Reverend John F. Canary, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Permission to publish is an official declaration of ecclesiastical authority that the material is free from doctrinal and moral error. No legal responsibility is assumed by the grant of this permission.
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Seek First the Kingdom – the March of Hope
The March of Hope is my second book, written on the heels of Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance. After completing Journey and thinking that I had written all that I was to write, more inspiration tugged at my heart:
“I have the most remarkable claim to make to you in this book. On the heels of The Freedom Dance, the story conveyed in my previous book Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance where I spoke of the marvelous journey of conversion out of the Dark Forest of the revolutionary, rebellious, atheistic, and New Age modern mind with its associated culture of death and mental illness toward real freedom and life on the path of the Dogmatic Creed of Roman Catholicism, I have been led to a land of the highest value, a panoramic view that elevates one beyond joy, a place for which you would sell all you have to obtain, in fact, a destination that, if you truly grasp it, you will want to give your life to secure it.” ~ From Chapter 1
That theme of spirituality represented as a land, or Kingdom, with a panoramic view was the seed from Journey that began to break forth in March of Hope. Little did I know that I was witnessing in my own writings the development of spiritual unity and regal panoramic beauty as I made my way along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse:
“As I have traveled over the mountains and onto the plains, across the rivers, and through the valleys on the astonishing Freedom Dance along the trail of the Dogmatic Creed of Roman Catholicism, experienced specifically as the rich, colorful, mystical pathway to destiny through the ancient Tradition of True Devotion to Mary, I have been led to a place where I have caught what I believe to be a glimpse of why the first apostles left their fishing nets, walked straight way from their fathers and places of work, why they and others over the centuries would offer themselves as martyrs, and why beautiful saints such as St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, would give up any hope of earthly gain to enter a convent for life. I have seen a view from the broad, peaceful plain leading upward to the City of God that would, in my mind anyway, explain why St. Francis of Assisi would embrace Lady Poverty and walk in contempt of worldly desire in order to see creation through a different eye glass. I have caught, I believe further, even the smallest glimpse of why Joan of Arc would surrender to death in the fire of men’s hatred, jealously, and worldly envy rather than to betray the mission given her by her Voices from heaven.
What I have seen is Hope, Catholic Hope. I have caught sight of the force that drove the saints to move with clarity and purpose, untiringly, with hearts full of love to a place they had not seen but that they knew was their final destiny and home. I have been shown by my heaven sent companions on this journey why it is that Catholicism is so attractive, why it is that the “worldly” life of power, wealth, and comfort becomes meaningless, and why all else pales when compared to the promises mentioned by St. Paul:
“But it is as scripture says: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualize; all that God has prepared for those who love him.”
 See Mathew 4:18-22
 1 Corinthians 2:9 (New Jerusalem)
~ From the Introduction
The theme of spiritual unity – whereby the astonishing beauty of each individual soul finds its proper place in the Divine Order to create a magnificent landscape – broke forth.
If you have ever had the privilege to stand on a beautiful, remote hillside, perhaps overlooking a field covered in wild flowers and grassland, taking in a view of distant rivers and streams running into fresh lakes that reflect off their waters the soft images of the landscape around them, you will be able to understand and master the language of this entire next section well.
As we move forward, here and through the next two chapters, I would like for you to continue painting this scene I just described in your imagination as I do my best to develop imagery for what happened going forward on my March of Hope with Joan of Arc and Thérèse. In effect, I would like for you to take this time to contemplate.
Imagine now that you are standing on this hillside, far from the noise and bustle of our civilization. It is very early on a cool, summery morning, and a very soft but deep mist is covering over the beauty, the distant hills, the meadows below, the rivers, and the lakes. You see the panorama before you only very partially. The scene is slowly absorbed into your spiritual being with a great sense of mystery and anticipation. You are happy there, even though much remains hidden.
Now let me add a very important condition to this contemplative vision you are forming in your mind. This condition is that you have not been here before; this is your first time seeing the place. You crossed over a threshold on a hilltop, and you are seeing for the first time ever this hidden and mystical landscape. Because you have not been here before or ever seen it fully in the bright sunlight of day, it remains a mystery, a partially observed phenomenon.
You can surely imagine in your contemplative musing that it is completely possible, even natural and intuitive, to have a sense for the greatness beyond. You feel astonished by the view though you are quite unable to peer through to capture the full color and hue, to observe the details of the scenery, or to describe it sufficiently in words. In short, you know it is magnificent even though you cannot see it in its entirety.
As the sun rises and its brilliance streaks over the landscape, the mist begins to retreat as if a veil were being pulled back, or as if a curtain were rising over a great stage. The beautiful scene now becomes even more astonishing. Mystery has given way to a subjective exhilaration driven by the nobleness of the objective beauty before you. Time stands still, and you temporarily break through to eternity before dropping back into the realm of time and space. After a few moments of taking all this in, you run down the hillside to tell others.
The March of Hope can best be described with this imagery.
~ From chapter 7
Unknown to me then, this theme would further flower in my heart over time into the entirety of the Mystical Kingdom of Catholic France. But that was all to come forth in future books.
Seek First the Kingdom – the March of Hope is available on Kindle (below)