The Dove and Rose: Personal reflections on devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux

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The Dove and Rose – Personal Reflections on Devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The Dove and Rose is my fourth book. The Dove refers to Joan of Arc based on the testimony of an English soldier at her execution who witnessed a white dove flying out of the flames and toward free France. The Rose refers to Thérèse who said that when she died, she would send a shower of roses (graces). Together, the Dove and the Rose have been my key Heavenly helpers leading me along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed toward Mary’s mystical Kingdom of Catholic France. This mystical Kingdom is a metaphor for the Kingdom of God.

While writing my first three books, I began blogging. My meditations were invariably centered around my love, affection, and devotion to St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. This devotion proved to be decisive in keeping me inspired to journey along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed. The friendship and patronage of these two great saints and Heavenly sisters were clearly great graces from our Lord Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I found their friendship to be indispensable.

“St. Joan and St. Thérèse together, in that very special kindred spirituality of theirs, have been defined by Our Lord and Our Lady as absolutely essential for me on my journey through the majestic, mystical world of the Catholic Church.

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.” ~ from the chapter “St. Joan and St. Thérèse”

The themes developed in my previous books continued to flower in my reflections on devotion to St. Joan and St. Thérèse. Astonishing individual spiritual beauty aligned by Divine ordination to create metaphorically a magnificent unified panorama of trees, rivers, meadows, and mountains became an ever more resilient insight that would ultimately burst forth as the mystical Kingdom of Catholic France.

“Each saint is individually her own remarkable and unique color imbued in the magnificent, metaphorical spiritual landscape that is the Kingdom of God; yet, together their souls create a colorful collage of even more astonishing beauty.

We could aptly extend this metaphor of the Kingdom to say that they are like flowers in that same landscape, each with individual brilliance; yet, together they form a set of blossoms that dazzles even more wonderfully our spiritual senses. Furthermore, as we raise our eyes, we see that this bed of flowers is itself part of a larger, unified ensemble of trees, meadows, lakes, rivers, hills, and mountains comprising that one landscape. If we are able to contemplate this scene as one who stands quietly on a hilltop overseeing this remarkably edifying panorama, we will then begin to appreciate God’s work of supernatural art that is the spirituality of Sts. Joan and Thérèse” ~ from the chapter “St. Joan and St. Thérèse Spirituality”

I realized that these themes were the key to our relationship with God and with each other. The Kingdom of God is ultimately about uniquely individual relationships nurtured by grace into unity of one heart, mind, and soul. This is the key lesson taught to me by The Dove and Rose.

“The brush strokes, melodies, and poetic images that are Thérèse and Joan make me feel small as a Christian when I am near them. I simply do not match up, and that is all there is to it. I am a caterpillar crawling through a flower bed of roses. But they make me want to fly despite the crudeness of my ways. And that is, I believe, why the Lord and Our Lady have established them so firmly in my heart. They all want me to keep crawling until one day I fly too. I can think of no better mentors, sisters, or examples.” ~ from “A commentary on St. Thérèse’s play, Joan of Arc”

The Dove and Rose is available on Kindle (below)

Dove and Rose Kindle May 2016