5: The Beginning

Mary Magdalene by Jan Van Scorel. Public Domain.

On a brisk October day in 2008, St. Joan of Arc unfolded in my life and established a new paradigm by which I lived in the world. She “appeared” instantly like a sentinel, a herald, bearing within her Being a language that compelled me to gather as my own. Her heavenly language was both a gift and an invitation. Our mystical friendship became defined by this ongoing gathering of language corresponding to our shared Logos, Jesus Christ, as “the Word” who gathers all creation to himself. Through this “gathering in the Lord’s gathering” over the years, Joan oriented my life toward the Good as revealed through the holy Catholic Church - the Kingdom of God on earth and the only means of salvation for mankind.

My encounter with Joan resulted from the Jehannian plays and poetry of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. A beautiful heavenly light surrounded their Combined Hearts, slightly apparent through Thérèse’s mode of expression. Thérèse’s words were likewise a gathering of Being imbued with Joan’s language. The heavenly hue was a “gleaming” phenomenon. The light lit their two hearts like a prism. The gleaming of the Combined Hearts unfolded as a divine egress from the darkness of subjective consciousness to an aletheian gateway opening the Kingdom of God. Advancing into the depths of that light where the earthly clouds of the ontic world gave way to the Being of the Kingdom itself, I perceived that it was the Mystical Kingdom of France in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I spent the next fifteen years gathering that Kingdom to myself by reaching for the language of the Combined Hearts of Joan and Thérèse. Turning away from self-will, I projected myself into the aletheian unfolding of the Combined Hearts resulting in their “physis,” or “becoming” in my world from their celestial heights. I gave up everything to assist the Holy Spirit in unfolding this pearl of great price, to bring the Combined Hearts of Mystical France “on earth as it is in Heaven.” In doing so, I hoped to be gathered within the Combined Hearts of Joan and Thérèse and brought to life in the Mystical Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France, the lily of Our Lady’s heart.

My efforts began with descriptive writing. I described what I saw as the gift of Being in God shining around, behind, and through the Combined Hearts. I rejoiced in the aletheian physis, the “becoming in truth” and “that which is” as the kingdom appeared on the horizon through their hearts. The Combined Hearts invited me to join them on a journey with Joan as my leader and Thérèse at my side. After writing four poetic prose that same October expressing my initial experience, my search took the form of journaling. The four prose contained the seeds of everything that followed over the fifteen years. This entire story I am revealing to you can be found hidden in those initial four poetic prose. Everything else is simply elaboration and the gathering of a language that symbolizes it.

A metaphor emerged immediately, the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed, representing the journey of union with St. Joan and St. Thérèse toward the Kingdom. The Combined Hearts compelled me to follow them to the Kingdom in the distance. I could not resist the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that ordered the shimmering light surrounding their hearts. Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed in friendship with St. Joan and St. Thérèse became my persistent theme, as expressed in the following poem written a couple of years later.

The Ballad of Thomas Ox

A tiny village in Christendom 
Is where this tale tells on
Down dusty trails into the town
I found a man anon
So worn from travel, three of us
Pursuing rest and cheer
Thérèse with Joan of Arc did fuss
As I ventured off to hear
This man stood in the square and sang
His name was Thomas Ox
I left my saintly sisters praying
To tell Sir Ox my thoughts
“Good cheer my friend!" I bowed in need
“We travel by your way
On this the trail, Dogmatic Creed
We march in hope today!”
“You see, our young Thérèse found me
Alone and lost in fear
From darkest woods I soon was free
To dance in sunlight clear”
“And as we waltzed toward the sun
In prayer with silent hearts
How pleased was I to come upon
Her friend, dear Joan of Arc”
“Sent from Our Lady's throne so sworn
 These two to lead me home
They've said this trail through here is worn
By saintly steps of old!”
“Indeed,” spoke Ox, he widely grinned
“What troubles you then lad?”
I glanced toward my saintly friends
Who make my heart so glad
“I heard you sing, Sir Thomas Ox
That God loves more or less
Your words were sweet, they were not lost
I felt their soft caress”
“I see the beauty of my saints
I know I’m not the same
I sing their praise because God paints
More beautifully their name”
“But on some days, I do complain
I'll never make their lot
That makes me sad and filled with pain
What say you, Thomas Ox?”
“Now son,” said he, “do dry your eyes
I also shared this hymn
While God makes souls of different size
He fills each one to brim”
“Our Lord and Lady love you dear
To pour from larger casks
Like those of your two sisters there
Into your heart that lacks”
“God loves the same in that each soul
He fills up to its crest
Some overflow to make His goal
Of filling all the rest”
Rejoice! My heart then felt aflame
This was the secret key
To love that I am less than them
Prepares me to receive
Right then I saw that love's not far
When reaching high from low
And loving those among the stars
God's raised from here below
God favors those in whom he makes
Abundance for the rest
His favors to my saintly mates
For me is bounty blessed
I ran toward my sisters dear
Was time to move in haste
My heart now filled with joyful tears
From God’s cascading grace
We journeyed on, toward the sun
Thérèse and Joan with smiles
“Dear man, come on! “ they pled in fun
Our Kingdom’s many miles!” 
I think God loves them very much
I’m filled when I do too
And that is what I learned with such
Engaging, prayerful muse
I strolled behind and made them leap
By kicking a small rock
They laughed and kicked it back to me
As I waved to Thomas Ox