Understanding our life-story through the life-stories of St. Joan and St. Thérèse
The Jehannian-Thérèsian model of the French royal hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux was developed through the influence of the life of St. Joan of Arc, Thérèsian Carmelite spirituality, and the philosophical lens of Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). Its aim is Faith, Hope, and Love "on earth as it is in Heaven" through the majesty of French Catholic spirituality and True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its means is personalized, phenomenological devotion to the combined hearts and spirituality of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Our Mission is the sanctification of souls through devotion to St. Joan of Arc, St. Thérèse of Lisieux , and the renaissance in our hearts of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Catholic and Royal France.
The sovereign establishment on earth as it is in Heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France bathed in the mystically beautiful light of the combined spirituality of Sts. Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux.
Allowing St. Joan of Arc to be our "point of inquiry," we contemplate a meaning-fulfilled intuition-of-presence with St. Joan and St. Thérèse which consciously harmonizes their guiding principles through a spirit of Holy Realism. Through their life-stories, we make their combined hearts the object of our intentionality. We follow in their footsteps "from grounds to conclusions" to an experiential union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the pedagogy of the Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France.
The goal of Royaume France is to help us unite our hearts, minds, and souls with the two celestial patronesses chosen for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother, the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary. These two proximate figures are St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. More specifically we refer to their combined French Catholic spirituality, the Combine Hearts of Joan and Thérèse, as the means Divine Providence has chosen for us that we might become fully who we are destined to be in the mystical, beautiful panorama of the “landscape of souls,” to use St. Thérèse’s metaphor. Rephrased, the goal is the salvation of our souls by being intuitively “present” to Joan and Thérèse as they are to each other in clarity of mind, agility of thought, and pureness of heart as they lead us through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Sacred heart of Jesus in His Holy Catholic Church.
As clarity, agility, and purity are manifestations of glory revealed in the body of the resurrected Christ which we are promised as heirs with Him, our project invites our saintly sisters to form these same attributes in us through their intercessory care. We draw closer to them through a phenomenological understanding and transcend to know them ever more fully here on earth as they know each other in Heaven through clarity of intuition and agility of correlative insight whereby we contemplate an ever-expanding panorama of unified ideals. We call the modeling of these "categorical" intuitions "following the science of the Saints," or in our metaphorical language, "Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse." Thus, this work is about bringing the Father's Kingdom "on earth as it is in Heaven" in union with our saintly sisters, Joan and Thérèse. Through grace we ascend the Dionysian staircase by these Heavenly attributes of clarity, agility, and pureness so as to unite ourselves with Jesus, Mary, and the saints in one panorama of unity and wholeness.
How do we make this phenomenology of Joan and Thérèse a reality? How do we "walk the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed" with them to the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary? We share life-stories “about” them so as to share transcendence “with” them. Sharing transcendence with them is a way of being in communion with them. Through this communion, they lead us in contemplation of the self-evident truths held within our own life-story. These self-evident truths unite into meaningful, higher level categorical intuitions. Through a "Holy Realism" we construct our new world view. With that, our liturgical, spiritual, and religious lives become the material by which our intuitions build a bridge to Heaven. They become the very means by which we come to realize our place in the Kingdom of Heaven with Joan and Thérèse, as much as possible here, and to be fulfilled entirely only in heaven.
Yet, more than being simply “our” place, it is where we fit in community with others, in the communion of saints; it is our place in the panorama of the Kingdom. And this is what we all are looking for in our liturgical, spiritual, and religious lives - to come to understand who we are in the Kingdom.
Thérèse influences us through the ascent of the soul in mystical prayer while Joan influences us through the ascent of understanding the nature of the Kingdom. Together they lead us to a deep realization of who we are in the mind of God and where we fit in this Kingdom.
I still have the image in my mind of the high plains outside of my childhood home of Guymon. I'm talking about Guymon of long ago, the one that has almost faded into the mist of my aging memory. The land and the sky both were as big and wide as the whole earth, at least it seemed. Occasionally, big dark clouds would form way out in the distance, and you could see the shadow beneath them made up of the rain falling over some distant acreage. The occasional flash of lightning would result in a low rumble maybe five seconds later. The clouds were ominous but not threatening, as they were miles away.
In my life-story, the land and these experiences infused into me the spiritual model I would come to actualize over the course of my life. What I received from the land was a sense of divine order. My response was a form of "empathy" with that land.
Later this empathy was catalyzed through St. Thérèse of Lisieux' descriptive metaphor of spirituality as a panoramic landscape. Through her I was introduced to Joan of Arc who, I discovered, had the exact relationship with her land that I did with mine, only hers was at a much more profound level. This led to an immediate sense of kinship and to an "empathic devotion" to Joan of Arc, whom I trusted could develop and fully actualize Thérèse's panorama in my soul. I could trust no other at her level in the created order. Only she could lead me, and this by command of the Divine Will.
This empathic devotion with Joan led to an understanding through her eyes of Catholic and Royal France as a representation and incarnation of this divine order. Joan's Catholic and Royal France became for me the event horizon between Heaven and earth in this divine order.
That is the story of how I became introduced to the Jehannian-Thérèsian model and came to understand my own story as reflected in the stories of Joan and Thérèse. The nature of this devotion came about through a sharing of ideas with the French heroines, Joan and Thérèse, and an understanding of how their self-evident truths revealed the truths of my own life.
In a single moment, a "divine glance," one day in October of 2008, Our Lord and Our Lady imbued my soul with a preeminent and life-long devotion to St. Joan of Arc. It was a thunderous spiritual moment that struck like a lightening bolt and with the same intensity that Joan displayed in her short life on earth. Already established decades before in total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, I entered into a spiritual journey with Joan of Arc on what I call The Trail of the Dogmatic Creed to the mystical kingdom of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Catholic and Royal France. My books are testimonies to that journey and that Kingdom. My sites organize that content into a programmatic approach, the development of which serves as a translation of my subjective experience into an objectively-based system that can be followed by anyone of goodwill.
The true France of St. Joan of Arc is a Heavenly form in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Royal and Catholic France as a Heavenly form was founded spiritually by St. Mary Magdalene on the shores of Provence where she brought the apostolic spirit from the foot of the cross and the tomb of the resurrected Christ to what later would be known as France. This was the Providential design bequeathed to France through St. Mary Magdalene and which later would be defended by St. Joan of Arc and spiritually renewed like roses from Heaven by St. Thérèse.
Royaume France is the the Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse; its spirituality is the combined hearts of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Our community consists of those devoted to these two saintly sisters and their royal French hearts. We seek Our Lady's mystical Kingdom of Catholic and Royal France with them and in union with St. Mary Magdalene as our spiritual foundress. May the Father’s Kingdom come, his will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. May the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be quickened through this devotion.
The development of our life-story as we journey with St. Joan and St. Thérèse reveals the self evident truths of our lives in light of their own. These truths become axioms upon which we derive further insights. These axiomatic insights need philosophical underpinnings in order to create an enduring framework. Edith Stein, whom we know as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, is our invaluable and essential mentor in this effort. The reader will be challenged by the development of these underpinnings as the stories unfold and as the journey continues through the Jehannian-Thérèsian Model of Royaume France,
"While it is the task of theology to establish the facts of revelation as such and to elaborate their specific meaning and interrelation, it is the task of philosophy to harmonize those propositions at which it has arrived by using its own devices together with the truths of faith and theology. Only thus can reality be made intelligible in its ultimate reasons and causes." ~ Edith Stein, Finite and Eternal Being
Royaume France is the story of my own illumination stemming from this communion with St. Joan and St. Thérèse. The step-by-step mentorship of Edith Stein revealed it. The reader will encounter this challenging process as he or she moves through the content.
The development of Royaume France was in accord with the following principles:
"For Thomas, the first axiom of philosophy—if we wish to use the word—is that God himself is the first Truth, the principle and criterion of all truth. From God proceeds any truth we can get hold of. The task of first philosophy follows from this fact: it must take God as its object. It must set forth the idea of God and the mode of his being and knowing.
Then it must establish the relationship to God of whatever else that exists, in its essence and existence, and the relationship to the divine knowledge of the knowledge of other knowing beings. We must bring to bear on these questions everything we can know about them, taking what we should not only from natural knowledge but also from revelation." ~ Edith Stein, Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 8, Kindle locations 818 and 821)
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I have written extensively on the subject of empathic devotion to St. Joan of Arc. Our Lord and Our Lady have transformed my life through this uniquely powerful relationship. The Holy Spirit has willed to provide the sanctifying grace I need in hierarchical fashion, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then through St. Joan. I have been fascinated for over a decade as to the process and mode of this grace. It feels as though I am called to think it through for whatever mysterious purpose that thinking out, that modeling of the grace, serves the Kingdom of God.
The key aid has been Edith Stein, known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Stein was a pre-conversion phenomenologist who, post-conversion, reconciled phenomenology with the scholasticism of the Church. The result has been a treasury of knowledge for my cause. Edith Stein integrated modern philosophical thought with the ancient tradition of the Church. She is modern without being a modernist, a spiritual talent sorely needed in contemporary society.
Her description of the need to engage a mentor, even across time and space, by studying their thinking from “grounds to conclusions” overwhelmed me as being most appropriate for understanding my own devotion to Joan, my mentor. It was my first reflection on empathy from Edith Stein’s perspective and the beginning of my articulation of “empathic devotion.” I began to realize that it was empathy, in the Steinian sense, that I felt with Joan of Arc. I wanted to go where she goes, to follow in her footsteps to the pearl of great price. This empathy, this tracing of footsteps, when understood through the harmonization of the revealed truths discovered in this communion, also can be described as an empathic reduction. It is a union of heart, mind, and soul with Joan through a sharing in her "internal horizon," her thematic field of French, Catholic, and Royal perceptual noematic meaning. We are interested in understanding Joan's mind, heart, and soul by reducing her life's story to its core essence and sharing in her point of view. In this way, we truly can follow her to that pearl of great price from "grounds to conclusions."
Many years of research and writing have led me to conclude the following as a definition of philosophy. The sequence of discovery was spirituality through theology to philosophy. This definition of philosophy is the result of my journey; it is that which I am left to conclude. Metaphor and analogy are the necessary literary tools. The hashes demarcate axioms from which whole theorems have been developed in my writings explaining the deeper meaning of that particular order of words.
The definition of philosophy:
The proper arrangement of words (syntax)/ resulting in a science of thought/ that opens the heavens/, allowing the waters of grace to fall on earth/, refreshing the flowered meadows/, guiding us along pathways softly lit in the night/, and filling the clear blue tributaries in the landscape of souls.
The analogy to music:
The proper order of words resulting in true philosophy as defined are to the philosopher what notes on paper are to a composer. The visible manifestation of properly ordered words, like properly ordered notes on paper, brings transcendent life to the person.
The purpose of philosophy:
When pursued in the manner defined, true philosophy becomes the natural disposition for participating in, and for the reception of, the supernatural divine order yielding the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven; the Kingdom for which we were taught to pray, and which we are instructed to seek first.
The relationship of philosophy to theology:
In the eyes of Edith Stein, there necessarily is a complementary relationship between philosophical and theological reasoning. Both seek the same truth; therefore, both are dependent on and enrich each other.
Edith Stein is the Royaume France philosophical mentor
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