Have you ever had an intimate encounter with God? Did this encounter advance from a single inspiration to years of conversation? Did the conversation develop the way a skyscraper grows one building block at a time to a towering, formidable testament in the heavens? Did the ideas involved form, inductively, a construct that was beyond anything you had ever contemplated? Did you write down the substance of this encounter such that you were able to step back from time to time and see what it is that God was telling you? If so, then you will understand the nature of my book Le Royaume.
The encounter I am referencing here is a particular one. I could go back to the time of my conversion on October 1, 1984, the Feast Day of Ste. Thérèse on the new calendar. That life story of conversion, healing, and restoration is covered in my first three books, Journey to Christendom, Seek First the Kingdom, and The Dove and Rose. These all can be found on my publications page at Le Royaume, as well as on my author’s website, The Dove and Rose. However, I refer here to a particular encounter that occurred in October of 2008 while sitting before the Blessed Sacrament being held in the Icon of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy at the Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago.
I sat quietly contemplating. A mental image passed through my mind. I was walking in a field with the Blessed Virgin Mary. She said to me, “If you have something you feel you need to say, you should probably think about saying it.” I sat and thought for a bit. “Yes. I believe I do have something I would like to say now,” I mentally replied. That image and that conversation were the seeds of what would become Le Royaume. I should say they were the foundational building blocks. Of course, I did not know it at the time. Each time I completed a “block,” I would think that it was a stand alone structure. Over time I began to see how each block was carefully constructed to fit with the others. Eventually, I saw the edifice, at least as much as one can see here on earth. Like most tall edifices, it was covered at a point by the heavens.
The efficient agent of change was Ste. Thérèse de lEnfant Jésus. I created a video for YouTube that included Thérèse’s poem “To Joan of Arc.” I had a profound and irreversible spiritual experience with that poem. Thérèse’s interpretation of the life of Ste. Jeanne d’Arc left me spiritually overwhelmed. That spark of Thérèse’s wisdom ignited a fire of love and devotion in me for Ste. Jeanne, a love and devotion that only has grown over the years.
When you are drawn in devotion to someone, you eventually desire to think the way they think, to take on their worldview. Over the course of roughly two years, that is precisely what happened to me. My previous mental images about the Church, society, and politics began to fade and were replaced with new ones, mental images that I can in no way attribute to Ste. Jeanne d’Arc personally but can attribute to her influence. In other words, I do not speak for the saints. I only speak for my own thoughts and views. I like to say that Ste. Jeanne is a good teacher, but I am poor student. Do not blame her if my grades are poor.
Even more than with Ste. Jeanne’s singular influence, I could see that it was really the combined spirituality of Ste. Thérèse and Ste. Jeanne that so moved me. I called this combined spirituality “the most beautiful color in the heavens.” It is in the light of this holy, combined spirituality that Le Royaume came to be.
The first major “block” has to with the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation. This section is titled “Vérité,” or, “Truth.” It is subtitled “Seek the Kingdom.” A foundation built on sand will not survive. Our foundation must be built on Truth. Importantly, this section deals specifically with the Catholic doctrine of Justification, or Sanctification. We must understand how we are truly sanctified if ever hope to seek and enter Le Royaume, which is a mystical metaphor for the Kingdom of Heaven. The second part of “Vérité – Seek the Kingdom” discusses how Ste. Jeanne and Ste. Thérèse taught me the importance of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Eucharistic adoration in ensuring that we have a firm foundation in our Catholic faith.
The second major “block” deals with “Beauté,” or Beauty. It is subtitled “Love the Kingdom.” This section reflects on that holy, beautiful combined spirituality of Ste. Jeanne and Ste. Thérèse and the impact “the most beautiful color in the heavens” has had on me. Here, I describe how these two sisterly celestial companions influenced the way I see the world and my understanding of Love, that is, true Love in God Who is Love.
The third major “block” introduces “Bonté,” or Goodness. It is subtitled “Defend the Kingdom.” Here we see the dramatic influence Ste. Jeanne d’Arc had on me in reformulating my understanding of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Ste. Jeanne’s devotion to the royal Kingdom of Catholic France became for me, not a mere matter of historical interest, but a matter of modern relevance. I felt Ste. Jeanne teaching me not simply about what her times were like but about the model I need for my own times. The Counterrevolutionary and Royal Army of America was born.
The book concludes with my favorite prayers to Ste. Jeanne and Ste. Thérèse as well as to two other key figures in Le Royaume, St. Philomena and St. Mary Magdalene.
Finally, the epilogue discusses the possibility of forming Le Royaume communities and just what those might look like.
I hope you are inspired by Le Royaume. No matter what your destiny with God is resulting from your own encounter, I hope that Le Royaume inspires you, inspires you to either join Ste. Jeanne and Ste. Thérèse yourself or to seek the substance of God’s Kingdom that you know is part of you.
God bless you and may the Virgin Mary with Ste. Jeanne and Ste. Thérèse pray for you always!