“St. Joan and St. Thérèse – together they are the most beautiful color in the heavens!”
“Fleur-Darc” now available!
“Fleur-Darc,” released in 2012, is a one-volume collection of all of S.T. Martin’s books described below and is published under his real name, Walter Adams. For those looking for the full set of writings, “Fleur-Darc” is a must. For those more interested in picking through S.T. Martin’s themes bit by bit, the individual books are very handy. Visit S.T. Martin’s author’s web page for all of his offerings. Visit his new blog “Fleur-Darc,” to learn more about the book, “Fleur-Darc.”
The development of the writings – how a seed was planted, grew, and bloomed
I had no idea in the fall of 2008 what was in store for me. Just six months earlier, that previous May, my wife and I attended the Cardinal Archbishop’s Mass for the unveiling of the magnificent, hand carved, one-of-a-kind, Iconic Monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in downtown Chicago. As I was leaving after the beautiful ceremony, I knelt down in genuflection before the Holy Eucharist held in the Icon and sensed these words from Our Lady, the Mother of God, deep in my soul, “Now it is time to go and grow in stature and knowledge,” words that reflected the testimony of St. Luke (and therefore likely of Our Lady herself) concerning Jesus as a young man.
Only two months prior to that event, in March of 2008, I had reconsecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her chapel inside the large, ornate cathedral of St. Louis the King in St. Louis, MO. One and three quarters years prior to that, in July of 2006, I was almost dead. It was on July 17, 2006 that I received healing of mind, body, and soul by the Holy Spirit through the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ and more proximately through the intercession of St. Joan of Arc with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
So, fast forwarding again to that moment of departure from the church of St. Stanislaus, and with all of this going on, what was I to make of, “Now it is time to go and grow in stature and knowledge”?
I found out that fall of 2008 while reading Mark Twain’s book, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. I felt a great urge to pray for guidance and strength to fulfill whatever was God’s will for my life, but this I could do only if I knew what that will was. Most of my adult life had been spent in wasteful, secular living which brought me to that point of near death mentioned above. Through those years I felt desperately that something greater was meant for me than the superficial, dishonest life I was nurturing to my own demise. Yet, until July 17, 2006, I had not the power to seek it or even to understand it if I had found it. By the fall of 2008, I was finally ready to ask. I truly wanted to “seek first the Kingdom.”
My prayer that evening went something like this: “Dear St. Joan of Arc, please help me to do God’s will the way that you did. Please pray for me, St. Joan of Arc.” That was it. I opened my book to read and quickly came to the part of her story that struck me like a thunderbolt from the heavens. She was addressing the cowardly Paladin, a childhood friend of hers, with whom she desired to ride alongside into battle. She said, “I watched you on the road. You began badly but improved. Of old, you were a fantastic talker, but there is a man in you, and I will bring it out.” Then followed a question that hit me even harder, “Will you follow where I lead?”
Life would never, ever, be the same after spiritually sensing that question come out of the book and stare directly into my soul. The answer was, yes, I would.
I set the book down as a powerful desire to write welled up in me. Moving to my computer, I began to tap out the very beginnings of a draft for my first book, “Journey to Christendom – The Freedom Dance.” As I stated at the very beginning, I had no idea what was in store for me. There was no way to know then that I would be writing five books over the next few years, including one of poetry and one of meditations and prayers in honor of Sts. Joan and Thérèse. Nor could I have known that the development of the devotion “The Dove and Rose – St. Joan and St. Thérèse,” a core theme in my spirituality, awaited me. Least of all did I dream that it would all lead, through an inductive process of experiential learning grounded in the objective truths of my Catholic faith, to the development of a whole new world view complete with guiding concepts for my journey to the Kingdom of God. It was the beginning of, and now is, the outward manifestation of that growth toward which Our Lady, the glorious Queen of Heaven and earth, had prompted me that evening the previous May. The seed of the Kingdom was beginning to grow.
With that prelude in mind, I will share with you, using both words and pictures, just how my books and the concepts behind this blog as well as those of all my evangelical work came to be. The following is what happens when one “seeks first the Kingdom” before the real and substantial Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist with Our Lady, St. Joan of Arc, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Let us begin with the concept map I introduced to you on my SJST Vision and Mission page describing the three fundamental points that currently make up my spiritual life and work:
The three focus points, or concepts, of “The Catholic Church is essential for salvation,” “St. Joan and St. Thérèse,” and “The Catholic and Royal Army” were born in common from the spiritual experience of prayer that leads to growth which then moves outward in love to evangelize the world and renew the Church. The seed of each concept had been planted in me on July 17, 2006 through the intercession of St. Joan of Arc. Rather, I could say that those seeds were always there as my very substance, and St. Joan had come by the will of Jesus Christ to bring them to fruition. For it would be the waterfall of God’s graces overflowing from St. Joan’s treasure filled font that would spiritually water those seeds. Her treasures from God were the substance that brought my own to life. The mysteries of God’s Kingdom are unfathomable.
So, this is where I ended up, but just how did I get here, and, specifically, how did my writing develop and prove to be the catalyst for this cohesive final form? How did the seeds that were brought to life in my soul on that life changing day with St. Joan break forth into the sunlight through my writing? To answer those questions, let us now take this concept map and assume it to be the output, or the flowering blooms of a tree:
Now, if the blooms, which represent not only the focus of my work but the development of the Kingdom in my heart, are what flowered, then what is it that makes up its trunk and roots? How did my writings influence their development?
When I began pounding away at my keyboards that fall evening of 2008 through the influence of St. Joan of Arc, I was unknowingly laying the foundation for something much more mature and robust to come. There is no way on earth that I could have known this at the time. I thought simply that I was going to write “a” book. So, I set out to write the story of my conversion, how it came about that I ended up almost dead in July of 2006, and how it was that I was healed. Finishing that book, “Journey to Christendom – The Freedom dance” led, in the Spring of 2009, to additional reflections that would end up being its sequel, called “Seek First the Kingdom – The March of Hope.” Together, those two books make up the foundation, or roots, of what was to grow. Again, there is no way on earth that I could have known this. I certainly did not map out this design. I was simply writing as St. Joan was encouraging me to do.
The Trunk – the forms of themes to bloom
My creativity began to open up. I found myself writing poems and poetic prose which eventually became my book of poetry, “Little Flowers and Fiery Towers.” The themes there were very focused on my great love for whom I would begin to call “my saintly sisters” Joan and Thérèse, and, of course, for Our Holy Mother and her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. They were visions of Kingdoms and Royalty, panoramic landscapes and beautiful colors, all representing the Kingdom of God. The forms of the key concepts that were to become blooms were hidden inside of my poetry, though I had no way at the time to see it fully. These poetic concepts, built upon the foundation of my first two books, held the seeds of the themes to bloom. These thematic influences drew me into more writing, which then led to my blog.
As my blog grew, I began to see with the eyes of my spirit the further development of what had begun in my poetry. It was as if I had been walking in a meadow during the dark hours just as dawn was breaking. The shadows were lifting, the mist was rising, and I was beginning to see the path laid before me and the magnificent, grand Kingdom in the distance. At that point, I began collecting those blog writings and organizing them into three additional books, “Testament for Love – The Pilgrim Dance” , “The Dove and Rose” and “The Catholic and Royal Army of America” which really represent all that I celebrate in my spirituality and associated evangelical work. Those three books represent the “blooms” of the growth which Our Lady had referenced that evening at St. Stanislaus before the Icon. I began to see how she had, with the help of St. Joan and St. Thérèse, taught me through an experiential, inductive process using each stage of my writing as the material and efficient causes toward the Final Form representing who I really am in the eyes of Jesus Christ.
I had imagined myself for so many years as an influential, highly paid, jet-set, worldly, and world traveling executive. That vision, purely of my own making, almost killed me. Jesus Christ with His Mother, the Holy and Glorious Virgin Mary, saw me in an entirely different way. With the assistance of my “saintly sisters,” Joan and Thérèse, they have taught me as we journey along the path of the Dogmatic Creed of Roman Catholicism, who I really am. Who I really am is neither influential nor highly paid, neither jet-set nor worldly, in fact, neither important nor for the most part visible. Yet, who I really am is maybe the happiest person on earth.
That happiness in moving toward the Kingdom where we will be all that we are is that towards which St. Joan and St. Thérèse continue to guide me, and it derives its spiritual source from somewhere deep, very deep, in the center of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. “To Jesus through Mary in the friendship and sisterly care of Sts. Joan and Thérèse”!
I hope you enjoyed my story of how my writings and spiritual concepts came about.