When meditating on RoyaumeFrance, the question arises if, or even how, the model presented therein is generally applicable to others, or if it simply is an irreplicable individual subjective experience, the phenomenon of one man’s journey through the landscape of Catholicism.
In fact there is a general model implied in RoyaumeFrance that can be meditated upon and applied by anyone. That model is presented here as the “The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.” ~ Isaiah 40:3. The pedagogy of RoyaumeFrance, described in its own sphere as the “pedagogy of Catholic and Royal France” actually follows a general form that begins with one’s natural manner of reasoning, develops through the transformation of one’s heart, mind and soul, and finally manifests itself in the world in such a way that it blesses one’s fellow sojourners and returns to God.
There are five phases that make up this path that “prepares the way of the Lord” and “makes straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.” These phases are identified by gold fonts in the following diagram:
The first, Faith, refers to the first grace of conversion and is a gift only from God. There is no possibility of attaining this through human effort alone. However, faith comes from believing, and believing is unencumbered through the natural philosophical orientation of Platonic ultra-realism. Those of good will accept the truths of the faith and use those truths as guideposts to construct their phenomenological world. Here, the intellect submits to the will, heart before intellect, and this is the second phase.
Established in a Christianized Platonism, following in the footprints of St. Augustine, our heart and mind become integrated into one for the Love of God, allowing God to open both our heart and our mind to show us who we truly are in His sight. This Phenomenology founded on God and our Catholic Faith, completely reconciled with Thomist philosophy through the aid of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), renews us in Hope through sanctifying grace. Thomist Aristotelianism now plays its proper role in showing us where the boundaries and acceptable limits are of our Catholic Platonic Phenomenology. We note that our model does not reject Aristotle for Plato; though, it does warn that to begin with the Aristotelian mindset can threaten our journey and leave hidden in the wilderness the paths of our God. However, once established in faith, the Aristotelian model as put forth by Aquinas becomes an indispensable guide. This renewal of heart, mind, and soul that “prepares the way of the Lord” is our fourth phase.
Finally, in phase five, we go out into the world to bring the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in Heaven” thus returning God’s love to Him through love of neighbor.
The path defined by these five phases is outlined in blue. Conversely, in red we see the crevices and dark forests that threaten us on our way to union with God. Self-will, as opposed to good will, leads us to opinion rather than belief, skepticism rather than faith, incongruency of heart and mind rather than integration, inconstancy in devotion rather than perseverance, and, finally, despair rather than hope. The path in red is the dark forest of man-made philosophies and spiritual blindness. The path in blue is the journey to freedom in God.
Much is needed to explain this model fully. This merely is a cliff note. Perhaps in the future we can expand further on this important model that can make straight the path of our God that we might receive His grace with abundant efficacy.