“Take as your guide those who follow the example we set.” (Phil 3:17)
Years ago while lost in some woods, I came across a group of beautiful, graceful, saintly souls journeying happily to a destination I could not then see (Heb 1:14).
A young lady with them called me out of the Dark Forest where I was at that time enslaved and dying in a confusion of anarchic philosophies, religious opinions, and deadly self affirmation. She took my hand, caring not that I was sick, and beckoned me into the sunlight where I met her kindred spiritual sister, a warrior.
Together these two encouraged me to follow their troupe through the valleys, over the mountains, across the bridges (Song of Songs 2:8-10), and toward a Kingdom (Matthew 6:33; John 18:36) ruled by a God-man, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of the human race. At His side was Mary, Queen of heaven and earth (Rev 12:1), His mother and therefore the Mother of God (Luke 1:43), Mediatrix of all graces (Gen 3:15; Luke 1:26-55, John 2:1-11), and our mother by adoption, too (Gal 4:4-5; Rev 12:13-17). From a distance as we came to the crest of a mountain, I could see that inside the Kingdom there was a joyful celebration (Rev 7:9-12) as huge gates opened to welcome multitudes of other, fellow travelers nearing the grand land and who were themselves accompanied by heavenly friends.
The saintly soul who called me out of the Dark Forest was St. Therese of Lisieux (Matthew 25:21). Her kindred spiritual sister, the warrior, was St. Joan of Arc. They were sent by the Queen of Heaven to beckon me out of the dark place and to lead me to her that I might rightfully know her, by Divine Order of the Son, as my sovereign Queen and Mother. Together these sisterly souls lovingly guided, protected, and cared for me on our journey (Phil 3:17; Heb 1:14). The narrow but awe inspiring pathway over which we traveled was called the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed (Heb 13:8-9a).
Along the way of the Dogmatic Creed, at a specific moment, all manner of evil left me and chains that had held me bound in the Dark Forest for years fell to the ground, and I was free (Mark 5:1-20; Luke 6:44). The saintly sister who cooperated with the Queen and her Son in freeing me from this bondage was St. Joan of Arc (Luke 9:1-2).