How Le Royaume operates in light of the Classifications of Grace

We described Le Royaume in light of the hierarchy of Causes of Grace. Now we seek to understand the operation of grace. We will use the Classifications of Grace outlined in Dr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Section on the Doctrine of Grace, Part 1:3.

We will begin with the higher divisions, that is, uncreated grace, Who is God the Creator, and then to created grace, a supernatural gift distinct from God. By doing this, we share the traveler’s inductive, experiential journey in the intellect and will on the journey with Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux on the Freedom Dance along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed.

All the Faithful can process the Journey’s Catholic Dogmas deductively through study accompanied by grace. However, through the inductive learning process under the guidance and co-patronage of our heavenly sisters Jehanne and Thérèse, grace creates in us a regenerated person in Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The inductive, day-by-day, experiential process is a journey down the mystical path of the Dogmatic Creed. It is the process of repeatedly being awe-struck by something beyond our nature, the supernatural. The inductive process is that by which we see our royal destiny vaguely in the distance before us. We also see that Our Lord, true to the words of Scripture, graciously moves us for our good, no further and no more quickly on our way than we can handle. By understanding the journey, even if very imperfectly and only “dimly as in a mirror” and not “face to face,” we nevertheless see how all things work for the good of those who love God.

Given these characteristics, we call the journey with our saintly sisters “The March of Hope.” Faith opens our intellect, and Hope excites our will. Love is our principal end, and God is love. Love is the Kingdom we see so dimly before us now due to our sinfulness and concupiscence. Without grace, we will never reach the Kingdom, and our situation is hopeless. With grace, all is possible. 

We begin with the sixth division: the sub-divisions of Actual grace.

Adoration of Jesus Christ in His real and substantial presence in the Eucharist with the Immaculate Heart of Mary enlightens our intellect and strengthens our will. The Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will inflame our souls and animate us on our journey under the noble patronage of our heavenly sisters, Jehanne and Thérèse.

With this action of the Holy Spirit, we experience that:

– antecedent and consequent grace precedes (antecedent) and accompanies (consequent) our deliberate efforts to follow Jehanne and Thérèse on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed.

– sufficient and efficacious grace gives us the power (sufficient) to perform this beneficial act and secures (efficacious) its completion.

Now fully engaged on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed, like children on a walk in the meadows, we enter into the fifth division: Habitual and Actual grace.

Habitual grace, or sanctifying grace, sanctifies us intrinsically and makes us pleasing to God. We are prepared for, maintained in, and increased in sanctifying grace because of our support through the actual graces delineated above in the sixth division.

The actual graces are temporary supports that excite our souls to the beneficial act of submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the patronage of our holy sisters and the loving, motherly care of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These temporary graces prepare us for, maintain us in, and increase a habitual state of justification, which is the prerequisite condition of the soul for journeying on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed.

The Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse leads us through Sanctifying Grace and, with the help of Actual Graces, to the fourth division: Charismatic Grace and Sanctifying Grace.

Le Royaume does not claim extraordinary charisms, such as prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, or the gift of miracles. However, we recognize that if these gifts become present on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse, they are for the building up of the Church and the faithful and not for our indulgence. They are not signs of personal holiness and are less valuable than sanctifying grace which is essential for justification and eternal salvation.

The third division now presents itself on our journey with our heavenly sisters, Jehanne and Thérèse: External and Internal grace.

The internal support received on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed through Actual, Sanctifying, and perhaps even Charismatic grace gains further strength through external grace. Here we begin to understand how those activities and influences outside us affect us morally and either enable or impede our journey as reflected through internal grace.

It is here that we become more discerning in our understanding of liturgy. We understand how the liturgy is an external grace that is, in its proper form as given to us by God in His Holy Catholic Church, a means of obtaining congruency and integrity between our outward expressions of religious faith and our inward spirituality. For example, Piety, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is inconsistent with, and cannot be nurtured by, impious liturgical abuses.

It is for this reason that we are sensitive to liturgical rubrics. It is not that we are legalists. We are sensitive because liturgy, as an external grace, is in the third division. The divisions of grace that follow in the fourth through the sixth are dependent on the third division. Our Lord carefully and organically developed our liturgy through His Body and Bride, over which He is the Head. The external grace of liturgy is fundamental to the rest. If we abuse the exterior graces, our internal graces will suffer. Our justification and eternal salvation will be in jeopardy. The order of grace dictates this.

For these reasons, Le Royaume finds herself traditionally minded and prefers the Traditional Latin Mass. The rampant abuses in the Novus Ordo are severe issues in light of the order of grace.

The Freedom Dance on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with Ste. Jehanne and Ste. Thérèse continues to the second division: Grace of God the Creator and Grace of Christ the Redeemer.

The love and mercy of our Creator bestow all subsequent graces through the redeeming merits of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, passion, death, and resurrection. God loves us, and Christ, as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, became man to redeem us.

These merciful graces elevate us to a supernatural order.

In thankfulness to God for His mercy and love as given to us freely through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, we submit ourselves entirely in the first division of grace: to God, Who is Himself grace, and through His supernatural gift of grace which is distinct from Him.

Through the river-like, cascading waters of grace, as outlined through the divisions above, our destination will be reached when we are finally able to enter into Heaven as redeemed children of God, worshipping Him forever and shouting:

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Rev 7: 10-12)

This describes Le Royaume. We journey joyfully to this Kingdom as pilgrims in this life in the sisterly care of Ste. Jehanne d’Arc and Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus with the most Holy and Blessed Virgin Mary in the Freedom Dance on the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed.

Le Royaume’s Vision and Mission in light of the Causes of Grace

To present the Vision and Mission of Le Royaume in as clear a light as possible, we will demonstrate her place (as designated by parentheticals) in the general hierarchy of Causes of Grace. Dr. Ludwig Otts’ Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Section on The Doctrine of Grace, Part 1: 2.3 outlines this hierarchy. 

Le Royaume clearly states:

“Le Royaume does not assume Traditional French Catholicism to be normative for the Church as a whole nor superior to any other focused interest. On the contrary, our interest in French Catholic spirituality leads us to appreciate the richness of cultural expression throughout the universal Church. The more we love Le Royaume de France, the more we come to appreciate the unique roles other cultures play in the Church and what the Church does in uniting us all as a family in the Faith.”

The purpose of communicating Le Royaume in the light of the hierarchy of Causes is to demonstrate the point above such that we understand her contribution to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We further show that Le Royaume does not see herself as normative for the Church at large. Le Royaume does not aim to create something novel; she seeks only to inspire openness in others to the possibility of actual graces from God, which excite the soul to salutary works. These works increase habitual, sanctifying grace in the soul.

The Principle Efficient Cause is the grace of God, Who is the most Holy Trinity, as revealed to us through Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterial teachings of the Holy Catholic Church.

The Principle Efficient Instrumental Cause is Christ’s humanity and the sacraments of the Church He founded and alone through which He established our means of salvation.

The Secondary Efficient Instrumental Cause (Le Royaume), stemming from Christ’s humanity as the God-man, is the divine motherhood of Mary, ever Virgin, Immaculate in Conception, Queen of Heaven, and the Mediatrix of all Grace.

The Third Efficient Instrumental Cause (Le Royaume) is devotion to, and the intercession of, Saints Jehanne d’Arc and Thérèse de Lisieux as the secondary Co-Patronesses of France.

The Fourth Efficient Instrumental Cause (Le Royaume) is the mystical relationship between the temporal Kingdom of France and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

The Meritorious Cause is the God-man Jesus Christ through the Redemption.

The Principle Final Cause is the glory of God.

The Secondary Final Cause is the eternal salvation of man.

The Third Final Cause (Le Royaume) is the Reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the hearts of all men.

The Fourth Final Cause (Le Royaume) is an increase of devotion in hearts so inclined to Saints Jehanne d’Arc and Thérèse de Lisieux.

The Fifth Final Cause (Le Royaume) is devotion to the Social Kingship of Christ in the collective hearts of men. They will form peaceful earthly societies, worthy governing bodies, and just laws that are in harmony with the will of God as expressed through His Holy Roman Catholic Church and the Natural Law.

Thus, as seen above, Le Royaume sees herself only in the context of the graces God bestows on us through His only means of salvation: The Holy Catholic Church. Le Royaume sees herself wholly subordinated to the Church as a personal devotion. She is entirely obedient to the Church and that Dogma.

My Statement of Faith – Concluding remarks

I have found these and other claims of this Church to be valid. I will testify with my life that they are authentic claims. While following this narrow but exhilarating and joyful path through life, I have found my experiences to be remarkably in sync with those who have done likewise throughout the centuries. The Church proclaims and has historical validation backing it up that Christ founded her as His mystical body on earth to lead all generations to life. I will tell you again; my testimony is that this is true.

 Jesus said that one could demonstrate no more extraordinary love than by giving one’s life for another (John 15:13). It is purely out of this love that I go about fulfilling, however poorly, my duty as described above in the introductory remarks. I can only point toward the path leading to the heavenly Kingdom. I did not create it, find it on my own, or ever was asked my opinion. Our Lord showed it to me. Take it or leave it. And, using an act of my free will, I did go about selling all I own by way of reputation to obtain it one day (Matt 13:44-45).

The conversion experience described above was the pure grace of Jesus Christ, obtained through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,[1] resulting from the intercession of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.[2] Years later, in 2006, another truly miraculous event happened to me through the powerful intercession of St. Joan of Arc, which would not have been possible without the power, glory, and authority of Christ’s very own, authentic Church.

“That afternoon I was chosen to read the ‘Act of Consecration to Our Lady.’… I put my whole heart into it and begged Our Lady to guard me always…I knew all I owed her; for it was she herself, that morning of the 8th of May, who placed Jesus in my soul…”[3]

“How many souls might reach a high degree of sanctity if properly directed from the first. I know God can sanctify souls without help, but just as He gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them Himself, so He wishes to use others in His cultivation of souls.[4]

“I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.”[5]

 This subject matter is too important to ignore. It is, in fact, a matter of eternal life and death. We are already at a point in our society where good is called evil, and evil is called good. We will likely soon have the blood of Christian martyrs running through the streets of America as anti-Christian “spiritual” humanists continue to seize power and proclaim the golden new age of nonsensical spiritualities and the necessary death of Christian dogma. Theirs, though, is a madness that will lead to perdition. Sadly, many who claim Christ as Savior run hand in hand with His enemies through their animosity toward true religion, Dogma, and the Church. We must prepare to sing as we enter the lion’s den, for Christ has already conquered death.

 True religion is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Jesus Christ gave authority to no other. The authorities crucified Christ, not because he said to love one another nor that it is “nice to be nice,” but because He claimed to be the “I AM,” God Himself! And as God, He is resurrected! Jesus Christ is the King and moral authority over all lands and all peoples. It is He who establishes what is right and what is wrong. And the Catholic Church is His very own, established by Him on the foundation of the Apostles (Eph 2: 19-20).

 “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.” (Heb 13: 7-9a)

 “Teach them to carry out all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you until the end of the world!” (Math 28:20)

Amen, so be it. Come, Lord Jesus! “And so it was, and that is the truth.”[6]

[1] CCC, paragraphs 487-507.

[2] CCC, paragraphs 956, 2683.

[3] The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. Edited by Mother Agnes of Jesus, Translated by Michael Day, Cong. Orat. (1997) Rockford, IL. Tan Books and Publishers. pp 52-53.

[4] Ibid. p.79.

[5] Ibid. p.213.

[6] The Retrial of Joan of Arc: The Evidence for Her Vindication, Regine Pernoud, (2007), San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press. P 294.

My Statement of Faith – Detailed Comments

Detailed comments

 In 1984 something happened to me that is so marvelous, undeserved, and challenging to communicate that I have difficulty writing about it in such a short space. It concerns those subject matters that are ultimately the most important ones we will all have to face at one point or another. These matters involve religion, spirituality, and our end.

 Without searching for anything other than self-gratification and while being a man of no consequence in the world, the Catholic Church unexpectedly (Rom 10:20) and convincingly demonstrated itself to me in significant splendor as the Kingdom of God on earth.[1] This phenomenon was no small revelation. And yet it came from completely outside my own mental or psychological capacities. I saw in one moment that Jesus Christ instituted this Church, which has been faithfully handed down to us through the ages in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the magisterial teachings of the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, and the Bishops in communion with him. Immediately after that moment, I knew that the Eucharist is the real and substantial Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Who is God Himself, consubstantial with the Father and Holy Spirit. In about two seconds, this revelation permanently altered my life from a descent into paganism and hedonism toward a newfound journey of joy and hope based on the following propositions:

Christ founded His Church, and none other, to reveal the Kingdom of God (Matt 16:18; Eph 1:22-23 and 2:19-22). It is this Church that is the pillar and foundation of truth (I Tim 3:15), not “scripture alone” (II Thess 2:15; 1 Cor 11:1) nor one’s individual “spirituality” (II Tim 4:3-4). That this Church would go into apostasy or error over the ages is impossible (Matt 16:18 and 28:20, John 14:16-17). We have Christ’s promise on that.

 This Kingdom is the one of which Christ spoke when He said that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Matt 4:17). This Kingdom is not fully realized here on earth (Matt 13:24-30) but will be at the end of time and with the glorious second coming of Christ (Rev 21:1-4).

 There is no other Lord, Savior, King, or rightful Kingdom. All other religions, sects, denominations, spiritualities, and beliefs are either partial to Catholic teaching in faith and morals or are patently false and deceptive.[2] Not all belief systems lead to the summit; only one does (John 14:6; Mark 16:15-16)[3]

 We must proclaim this gospel dogmatically (Mark 16:15-16; Matt 28:20).[4] The resurrected Christ did not instruct His disciples to go to all the nations, affirming them in their goodness. He said, “Teach them to observe all I have commanded you.” His commands reveal to us that, contrary to the creed of today’s creed-eschewing culture, it does matter very much what one believes if we are to love God and our neighbor truly. It matters whom one follows if one is to find authentic Faith, Hope, and Love, i.e., the Kingdom. Since that “Whom” founded a Church, it matters to which Church one belongs. It all matters very much, indeed. To show us what we should believe, how to know it is Him Whom we follow, and which Church can guarantee that we are doing so, Jesus gave us His instructions and institutional foundations. For this purpose, He instituted the Papacy (Matt 16:18-19; John 21:15), the priesthood, and the ritual of the Mass. “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:14-20; I Cor 11:23-26). Only Christ can truly show us the Father’s will and how to love Him and our neighbor (Mark 12:30-31). “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

 That is Dogma. “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching” (Heb 13:9a). And He warned that the world would hate this Church and its Dogma as it hated Him (Matt 10:22; John15:18-25). Paul makes a striking and almost humorous reference to the necessary authority of the Church’s Dogma: “I am confident of you in the Lord that you will not take a different view, and that the one who is troubling you will bear the condemnation, whoever he may be. Would that those who are upsetting you might also castrate themselves!” (Gal 5:10, 12).

 This last point of authentic Dogma originating in the mutual love between Christ and us is of paramount importance. It is Dogma based on our freedom to love, not on oppression. Dogma leads to valorous martyrdom rather than cowardly compromise (John 19:9-11). It is magnificently contradictory to today’s moral relativism and “self-affirming” spirituality that is only imprisoning self-love. Most modern “feel good” spiritual leaders would have struck a deal with Pilate. Crucifixion is typically not on the list of spiritual “happy places.”

 This self-seeking, subjective spirituality has been created and formed by man in his image ever since the prideful and rebellious Protestant Revolution with its ally against legitimate Church authority, the secular “Enlightenment,” and even more since the intrusion in the West of the pantheistic Eastern New Age. The Jesus of the New Age guru is a “feel good” fabrication. The Jesus of the Protestant is the head with no suffering body to secure the glorious claim of “co-heir” (Rom 8:16-17; Eph 1:22-23; 1 Cor 6:2-3).

 Both the New Age and Protestantism share an enmity for the Church at their core. We must avoid both to find the Kingdom. It is as essential to understand what one must avoid as it is to know what one must pursue.

 Paul tells us that faith, not our works, is the principle by which God justifies us (Rom 3:27 and 9:32), but he also points out that this principle of faith requires an active, cooperative response from us, which is more substantive than a mere verbal “OK” at the local Bible Church (Rom 2:5-8). John tells us that one who “claims ‘I have known him’ without keeping his commandments, is a liar” (John 2:4). We must use our free will to actively cooperate with the grace of Christ to do God’s will (Matt 7:21; Rom 11:22 and 12:1-2). We are speaking of sanctifying grace.[5] Our “work” has nothing to do with the gratuitous gift of the first grace or call, as Paul points out in Rom 9:10-16 and John in John 1:12-13.

“This flower, in telling her story, is happy to make known all the gifts that Jesus has given her. She knows quite well that He could not have been attracted by anything she had of her own. Purely out of mercy He gave these gifts.”[6]

God’s kindness in calling us is His invitation to repent (Rom 2:4). Many misinterpret that unmerited call as “assured salvation.” We must still repent. “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

 This repentant, obedient faith must be a living force that transforms our lives, forming Christ in us as a prerequisite for full justification (Gal 4:19).[7] “What does all this lead to? Just because we are not under the law but under grace, are we free to sin? By no means!” (Rom 6:15 also see Gal 5:19-21 and 1 Cor 6:9-10). It is a faith that leads us on a journey of life-changing justification by grace through the merits of Jesus Christ. “But now that you are freed from sin and have become slaves of God, your benefit is sanctification as you tend toward eternal life” (Rom 6:22). We “tend” toward eternal life as grace sanctifies us; we do not arrive there at the altar call.

 To further emphasize this point, Paul reminds us that whereas “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as justice” (Rom 4:3b) and “justice comes from faith, not works” (Rom 9:32), this faith must be lived out as “obedience which leads to justice” (Rom 6:16b). “Through him we have been favored with apostleship, that we may spread his name and bring to obedient faith all the Gentiles” (Rom 1:5). “Consider the kindness and the severity of God – severity toward those who fell, kindness toward you, provided you remain in his kindness; if you do not, you too will be cut off” (Rom 11:22; also see 1 Cor 10:12). John would add, “This is the way to see who are God’s children, and who are the devil’s. No one whose actions are unholy belongs to God, nor anyone who fails to love his brother” (1 John 3:10). There is no duality in Paul and John’s meaning. This explanation is not an argument about “faith versus works,” as many Protestant critics assume. It is about what “saving faith” really means. The Apostles are unequivocal. We must cooperate with God in our sanctification and obey Him for that faith to be a “saving faith.”[8] The Apostles are unequivocal. We must cooperate with God in our sanctification and obey Him for that faith to be a “saving faith.” Jesus was just as unequivocal. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matt 7:21).

 The Lord summarizes justification in the parable of the silver pieces (Matt 25:14-30). The master gives each man silver coins (unearned, unmerited graces of our call, which are gratuitous and unearned through “works of the law”). We note that the master is not egalitarian. Based solely on the design of the Master, one receives five thousand, another two thousand, and a third one thousand. Yet, despite the differences in allocation, the master seems concerned with only one thing: how did they do with their “investment” of grace? To the first two who made an acceptable return, the master says, “Well done! Since you are dependable in small matters I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come share in your master’s joy!” To the one who had the least and did nothing with it, the master is severe. Despite freely handing the servant his silver, the master commands, “Throw this worthless servant into the darkness outside, where he can wail and grind his teeth.” Our Lord warns us, “You are the salt of the earth. But what if the salt goes flat? How can you restore it to flavor? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matt 5:13). Also read Matt 21:28-32, the parable of the two sons. “Words are not enough. Deeds are required.”[9]

“I know that she (Joan) was good, simple, pious, fearing God and his saints; she went often and of her own will to church and to sacred places, caring for the sick and giving alms to the poor; this I saw myself, for when I was a child I myself was sick and Joan came to comfort me.”[10](Joan’s childhood friend)       

 Paul echoes this sentiment in his writings. “We are truly his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance” (Eph 2:10). “He will repay every man for what he has done” (our merits based solely on the merits, the free graces, of Jesus Christ) (Rom 2:6), “eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing right” (the “return” on Christ’s merits) (Rom 2:7), but “wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness” (burying the grace of conversion and baptism to follow the spirit of the world) (Rom 2:8). Paul particularly warns believers against overconfidence in 1 Cor 10:1-12. We might also add, “What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others I myself should be rejected”(1 Cor 9:27).

“Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she (Joan of Arc) replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.”[11]

 Paul tells the Corinthians that “Circumcision (i.e., requirements of the “Law”) counts for nothing, and its lack makes no difference either. What matters is keeping God’s commandments” (1 Cor 7:19). Interestingly, he did not say that all that matters is that you “Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior to be assured of your salvation.” It is “keeping God’s commandments” that matters. Truly making Jesus your Lord and Savior demands the obedience of faith, which requires our cooperation. “So that the just demands of the law might be fulfilled in us who live, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit” (Rom 8:4). These are not “works of the Law” but are works of sanctifying grace which is necessary for our salvation. “For if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Faith in the heart leads to justification, confession on the lips to salvation” (Rom 10:9-10). We are not saved by our efforts to work the “Law,” but neither are we saved by mere intellectual assent or verbal expression of “accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.” That is the first step in justification, yes. However, we are ultimately brought into the Kingdom by a profession of faith in Jesus Christ that leads to justification through His sanctifying graces given by Him in the sacraments of His Catholic Church.

 Therefore, our merits and good works matter very much for our sanctification (Eph 2:10), which is required to reach the Kingdom (Rom 6:22; 1 Cor 3:12-15)[12] but these actions are not mere, legalistic “works of the Law.” Sanctification comes only through the purely gratuitous gift of grace flowing from Christ’s own merits on the Cross and institutionalized by Him in His Church for each generation. This grace is the word of Jesus Christ. We can merit nothing on our own;[13] however, “In him who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything” (Phil 4:13).

“When I think that if God were to give us the entire universe with all its treasures that this would not be comparable to the lightest suffering! What a grace, when, in the morning we feel no courage, no strength to practice virtue; that is the moment to put the axe to the root of the tree. Instead of wasting our time gathering a few baubles, we can dip into diamonds, and what a profit at the end of the day…”[14]

 What is the point of merit in God’s plan for us? It is that out of His infinite love for us, He desires that we share in His glory (Rom 8:17)! And how do we merit? We merit through love empowered by the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. And what is love? It is sacrifice, suffering, even to our death (Rom 5:7-8) for the love of Jesus. In other words, it is that combination of loving, sanctifying effort with Jesus’ transforming grace flowing from His redemptive work on the Cross. “I solemnly assure you, no slave is greater than his master; no messenger outranks the one who sent him” (John 13:16). “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps” (Mark (8:34). Where do those steps lead? They lead to Calvary, the pinnacle of Love. Love drives us to obey; it is the driving force behind our merits, striving, and efforts to “obey” the faith! Love, authentic Love leading to eternal beatitude with God, and demonstrated by Christ on the Cross, is the goal of our efforts! One of the greatest parables to show justifying faith through obedience in Love is that of the penitent woman in Luke 7:36-50. Her loving repentance transformed her, and our Lord blessed her total giving of self with, “Your faith has been your salvation. Now go in peace.”

“It is true that sometimes, for a few moments, we look with scorn at gathering our treasures, and this is the difficult moment. We are tempted to leave all behind, but in one act of love, even unfelt love, all is repaired, and Jesus smiles.”[15]

“Love can do all things, and the most difficult things don’t appear difficult to it. Jesus does not so much look at the grandeur of actions or even their difficulty as at the love which goes to make up these actions…”[16]`

 Without the “obedience of faith,” even if in just the small and ordinary affairs of daily living, we cannot find the heart of Love on Calvary nor the Kingdom it opens for us. The madness of our love for Jesus drives the Catholic to “work”! We “work” not in the Law but in the “obedience of faith” that we might “imitate” our Lord by “carrying our cross” and “giving up our life” for Jesus Christ![17] It is a tragic error of the Protestant view of justification that diverts them after conversion to say, “I am saved. I need no more.” (No more for salvation, that is. Yes, they might do more to receive blessings and a happier life, but they do not recognize this, as Catholics properly acknowledge it, as a privileged and necessary call for merit, grounded in Christ’s own redemptive merits, leading to glory as adopted sons and daughters and as “co-heirs.”)[18] It is likewise a tragic error of the New Age view that diverts them from acknowledging that they even need justification! What sadness! The treachery of the evil one misguides and distracts them from the path of merit and glory for those who love Jesus or seek the Kingdom!

“I knew that to become a Saint, one had to suffer much, always aim at perfection and forget oneself. I saw that one could be a Saint in varying degrees, for we are free to respond to Our Lord’s invitation by doing much or little in our love for Him; to choose, that is, among the sacrifices He asks.”[19]

 St. Thomas Aquinas puts it succinctly while most beautifully hinting at how it is that the New Testament speaks of both faith and works, “Therefore man is justified by faith, not as though man, by believing, were to merit justification, but that, he believes, whilst he is being justified; inasmuch as a movement of faith is required for the justification of the ungodly” (Summa Theologica; Question 114, Article 5, on Merit). And Paul might say, “Amen!”

 Only the Church has the fully authentic doctrine on the justification required to enter the Kingdom. Only the Church has our Lord’s full seven sacraments established by Him so that we might fully receive His sanctifying graces to be justified according to Scripture.

 However, we are faced with a dilemma once we leave the superficial comfort of the artificial doctrine of “assured” salvation at the altar call or of the mere need to be “self-affirmed.” Christ’s promises are assured. (Rom 11:29). But can we be so very sure about our use of free will (Rom 11:22)? Can we be certain that we will not willfully separate ourselves from Christ to seek the sinful pleasures of the world and therefore be “cut off” as Paul warns?[20] What happens when we stumble in the weakness of our fallen nature as we inevitably do? Christ instituted the sacrament of confession to heal us by grace and pick us up in His love again. Why confess to a priest, a mere man? We do it because Christ said to do it that way. “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (John 20:23). He entrusted this power of absolution to the apostolic ministry of the Church (2 Cor 5:18-19; Matt 18:18).[21] He told the apostles to go and preach to all the nations. Christ alone is the mediator with the Father, and He can authorize intercessors on His behalf if He so chooses. He did so choose. The “obedience of faith” demands that we obey.

 Thus, we see why Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, knew that we needed a Church with singular authority. The Church is not only helpful to our finding salvation but also essential. That is why Jesus founded it, inaugurated it with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and continues to guide every generation through it. And this was the unified approach for the first one thousand years after Christ before the split with Orthodox Byzantium and for over one thousand five hundred years in the West before the revolution that resulted in a completely new set of doctrines called Protestantism.

 The only way is the way of obediently suffering with Christ on the Cross as one, unified, mystical body (Matt 10: 37-39; Phil 1:29; I Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22; Rom 8:17; Acts 14:22; and 20:23; John 17:20), relying upon His sacraments through His authentic Church, as faithfully proclaimed by His Church for two thousand years. Our willingness to suffer even to our death on the Cross in obedience to Christ’s Church assures us of following His truth and avoiding the seductive, honey-throated sirens of the New Age or other false spiritualities. St. Paul confirms that Christ gives us the unfathomable dignity to participate with Him as co-heirs. (Col 1:24) What a grace! What a mystery! “I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection; likewise to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10-11).

In summary, today, the Creed of the Roman Church is the Creed of the early Church. Follow it to your death. Amen, so be it.

“Joan showed such great contrition and such a fine repentance in her death as was a wonder to see. The words she uttered were so devout, pious, and Christian that all who watched her – and they were a great multitude – wept warm tears. Even the Cardinal of England and several other Englishmen were constrained to weep and were moved to compassion.

The pious woman asked, commanded, and begged me, since I was near at the end, to go into a nearby church and bring her the crucifix. This she made me hold up, right before her eyes until the moment of her death, so that the Cross upon which God hung should be continually before her eyes so long as her life lasted. Moreover, when she was surrounded by flames she continued to cry aloud and acknowledge the sacred name of Jesus and ceaselessly to implore and invoke the aid of the saints in paradise. And, what is more, as she gave up the ghost and bowed her head, she pronounced the name of Jesus. This was a sure sign that she fervently believed in God, as we read in the case of St. Ignatius and many other martyrs.”[22]

 Before His crucifixion and glorious resurrection, Christ would establish this Church through blessed Peter and the apostles (Matt 16: 18-19; John 20: 22-23) and authoritatively hand it down through the ages in an organized and institutional succession (Acts 1: 15-26; also read Paul’s letter to Timothy. For sources from the early Church Fathers, read Ignatius of Antioch, a personal disciple of John’s, regarding the Church’s immediate hierarchical development in accord with the Apostles. It is this authoritative hierarchy that we have inherited today. This Church is a sacrament; it is His body and temple built on the foundation of the Apostles (Eph 2: 19-20). Through this temple, He is present with us visibly in our world today and most notably through the Holy and Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is really and substantially His Body and Blood. This body of His is so maliciously scourged and crowned with thorns today by that same diabolical spirit that had Him crucified centuries ago. If you are persecuting the Catholic Church, you are persecuting Jesus Christ (Acts 9:4-5; I Cor 15:9).[23]

[1] CCC, paragraph 541.

[2] CCC, paragraph 890.

[3] CCC, paragraph 846.

[4] CCC, paragraph 88.

[5] CCC paragraph, 1989.

[6] The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. Edited by Mother Agnes of Jesus, Translated by Michael Day, Cong. Orat. (1997) Rockford, IL. Tan Books and Publishers. P.5.

[7] CCC, paragraph 2825.

[8] CCC paragraph 1989. “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.”

[9] CCC, paragraph 546.

[10] Joan of Arc: By herself and her witnesses, Regine Pernoud, Scarborough House (Maryland) 1994. p.17.

[11] CCC, paragraph 2005.

[12] CCC, paragraph 2092.

[13] CCC, paragraph 2016.

[14] Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux: Volume 1, 1877-1890. Translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Washington, DC. ICS Publications. p. 467.

[15] Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux: Volume 1, 1877-1890. Translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Washington, DC. ICS Publications. p. 467.

[16] Ibid. p. 468.

[17] CCC, paragraph 1709.

[18] CCC, paragraph 2009.

[19] The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. Edited by Mother Agnes of Jesus, Translated by Michael Day, Cong. Orat. (1997) Rockford, IL. Tan Books and Publishers. P.13.

[20] CCC, paragraph 2016.

[21] CCC, paragraphs 1446-1448.

[22] The Retrial of Joan of Arc: The Evidence for Her Vindication, Regine Pernoud, (2007), San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press. pp. 282-283.

[23] CCC, paragraph 862.

My Statement of Faith – Opening Summary

Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy at St. Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago.

Opening Statement

The following is true. It is the most important thing I have to say. This Testament will speak to the Church, which is the only means given to us by God to reach His Kingdom.

Preliminary remarks

Jesus often spoke of His Kingdom. It is my mission to give testimony to this Kingdom, though I have yet to arrive there fully myself nor can I claim any authority about it. I did not merit this mission, nor did I even seek it. Jesus handed it to me to fulfill. It comes as a duty born of gratitude for the journey on the trail of the Dogmatic Creed with Sts. Thérèse and Joan of Arc to the Heart of Mary, which is the Kingdom where we find the true Jesus. It is also born of love that is the direct result of being confronted by Jesus Christ. He challenged my self-made opinions, lifestyle, and philosophy for living, and that challenge kept motivating me to move forward on the trail with my saintly sisters and heavenly Mother.

Furthermore, by the earthly measures of wealth, prestige, power, and influence, I confess that there is no reason at all that you should pay attention to me. I have none of these attributes and can do nothing to help you acquire them. Even within the spiritual and religious realm, I have no authoritative credentials, neither priest, pastor, nor theologian. Finally, my academic credentials are unrelated to this subject matter. Nevertheless, though I stand with no credentials or authority, like a bystander witnessing a magnificent event, I offer this testimony to you now. It is what I am supposed to do.


The only person, power, or sovereign in my life to be perfectly faithful to His words, claims, and promises without any deception whatsoever is Jesus Christ. He claimed to be God (“The Father and I are one.” John 10:30). After voluntarily and innocently suffering a brutal execution for the redemption of humanity, He proved this claim by rising from the dead. He was seen alive in resurrected glory by hundreds of eyewitnesses after His death (1 Cor 15:3-6). He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Mk 16:19). He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. His Kingdom will have no end.

While with us in space and time, He founded neither a merely “man-made” religion nor a purely spiritual movement. He did establish an institutional Church (Matt 16:18-19; Acts 1:20-26; 1 Tim 3:1; 1 Tim 3:15; Titus 1:7 and 2:15), founded on the Apostles (Eph 2:20), which is authoritative (Luke 22:29-30), dogmatic (Mark 16:15-16), with singular teaching authority (Matt 16:19; John 21:15; Acts 15:7-12 and 23-29; Titus 1:9-13). This Church has administrative and disciplinary jurisdiction within its domain (Matt 18:15-18). It has seven sacraments[1] (e.g., 1 Cor 11:23-27; John 20:23; James 5:14-16), and a priestly hierarchy[2] (Isa 61:6; 1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6 and 5:10; Heb 5:4). Through this hierarchy, He has maintained a sacramental (a visible sign of a spiritual reality) presence on earth which will last until the end of time. Through this sacramental Church, He gave us His real and substantial Presence in the Eucharist[3] (John 6:51-56; 1 Cor 11:23-27) instituted at the Last Supper and handed down to each generation through this priestly hierarchy in the sacrifice of the Mass (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-27).

The Mass makes the one, and only one, sacrifice of Christ on the Cross present to each generation.[4] God is beyond space and time. This one sacrifice is eternally present to Him (Heb 7:25-27). The Mass brings each generation into that same, one, glorious, eternally present reality of the sacrifice at the foot of the Cross. [5] The Mass is the most glorious privilege we can fathom. It is through this Mass, along with the Church who prays it, that we can find the Kingdom. This primacy of the Mass is most important.

One of the first actions Jesus took after His resurrection from the dead was to offer Mass (Luke 24:27-32). This blending of the eternal with the temporal is astonishing for many who do not understand the early Church. Jesus opened the disciples’ minds and hearts to the Liturgy of the Word in Scripture (Luke 24:32) and then demonstrated His Real Presence in the bread through the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Luke 24:30-31). He “vanished from their sight” after the breaking of the bread. That is because He is now to be found really and substantially in the bread itself, just as He proclaimed in the sixth chapter of John. And, as a side note, this claim of Real Presence led many to turn away from Jesus out of disbelief (John 6:66). On any account, the High Priest offered the first Mass. If you wish to be in His Real Presence, go to the nearest Catholic Church and kneel before the tabernacle, which holds the Sacred Bread.

Anyone who says that the Mass is an errant, artificial doctrine sacrificing Christ over and over either does not understand the true faith or refuses to listen due to an obstinate heart.

The description above is how the early Christians practiced Christianity. To say otherwise demonstrates little understanding of history, scripture, or Christianity. As early as the 2nd century, St. Justin Martyr wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius explaining the celebration of the Eucharist, which has stayed the same in substance throughout the ages. [6] The early Christians were, as a historical, Scriptural, and Traditional fact, Catholic. If you seek the Kingdom and the early Church’s true faith, you must follow the Catholic faith.

This Church was first called “Catholic” by the 2nd-century martyr Ignatius of Antioch, a Bishop of the early Church and a personal disciple of the apostle John. [7] This makes him what is known as an Apostolic Father. He was among the first line of the Church’s apostolically based hierarchy after the original Apostles. He urged Christians to obey Bishops and the Church hierarchy in general as they would obey Christ. The Roman Catholic Church today is the only institution on the face of the earth to have maintained this authentic apostolic succession while adhering to proper obedience to its head (Peter). Eastern Orthodox Churches have authentic succession but do not submit to the Pope’s authority. As a matter of historical record, Protestants have no apostolic authority.

 This lack of authority is essential. Jesus did not establish a Bible. He wrote nothing for posterity and did not even instruct the Apostles to write. He instructed them to teach (Matt 28:20). While the Bible is the true Word of God,[8] it was born from the Church over the first few centuries, not the other way around. [9] Nor did Jesus establish a mere “spirituality” that is “not religious,” for He came not to bring souls to some form of relativistic nihilism but to save them. He commanded ritual (“Do this in memory of me” Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26). The Church teaches divine revelation through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition[10] (2 Thess 2:15; 1 Cor 11:1 and 15: 3-6). To think otherwise demonstrates little understanding of history, scripture, or Christianity.

 Jesus established a Church. This Church is His institution and Body (Eph 2:19-22; and 1:22-23; 1 Cor 12:27-31). To lose the Church is to lose the fullness of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This relationship of Christ to His Church is precisely why every person on earth needs the Church. “No one can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, namely Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 3:11).

 Only in this Church, with Peter as its head, do we have the fullness of God’s revelation to man in Jesus Christ. Salvation comes only through the graces flowing from this divinely founded Church (John 14:6; Matt 16:18-19; Luke 10:16). Thus, the perspective of the teaching authorities in the Church is, “Hence, they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” [11]

 The Church and the sacraments are necessary for salvation.[12] This is an astonishing and even incredulous fact for Protestants subjected to modern-day defective and schismatic doctrines born particularly over the past five hundred years since the Protestant Revolution (Reformation).

 Those outside the Church can enter the Kingdom only by the power of sanctification and truth flowing from Jesus’ Catholic Church. “Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as a means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church.”[13] Therefore, if one outside the Church receives graces, they are efficacious due to the grace that overflows from Christ through His Church. Thank Christ in His Catholic Church if you are blessed in your local, independent Bible church. This great prerogative of the Church comes not from any mere mortal, be that Priest, Bishop, or Pope. That prerogative comes directly from Jesus Christ, the Divine Founder who promised never to abandon her through the ages (Matt 28:20).

 Jesus founded the Church to save souls for eternity. The Church is essential as Christ’s institution for salvation. There is no other. The world hates her (John 15:18-21) for this reason. Satan never ceases to attack her. The evil one knows where humanity finds the true Body and Blood (John 6: 51-56) of Christ. He knows that those who faithfully follow the Church will reach the Kingdom.

 Jesus Christ is true man and true God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is the Savior of the human race. His Church is the only fully authentic and authoritative institution and system of belief. There is no other Savior. His Church has no equal. Through Him, we can find the heavenly Kingdom, while without Him, we end up in hell by our own freely made decision and our willfulness to refuse God.[14]

 There is an important caveat. Being a “card-carrying” member of the Church and kneeling in the pew each Sunday is insufficient. To be truly Catholic, one must have a change of heart in accord with the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5; 4:3; and 6:16) that sanctifies (Rom 6:22). Mortal sin separates us from Christ, and we must not be thoughtless concerning sin or presumptuous about our ability to stay free from it. Being a routinely careless “drunk on Saturday night, in confession on Sunday” Catholic is not an advisable lifestyle for attaining heaven (1 John 2:15-16).

[1] CCC, paragraph 1114.

[2] CCC, paragraph 1554. St. Ignatius of Antioch, 2nd century, “Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as the image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them one cannot speak of the Church.”

[3] CCC, paragraphs 1357 and 1358.

[4] CCC, paragraphs 1364 and 1366.

[5] CCC, paragraph 1367.

[6] CCC, paragraph 1345.

[7] CCC, paragraph 830.

[8] CCC, paragraphs 105 – 108.

[9] CCC, paragraph 120.

[10] CCC, paragraph 78. “Through Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life, and worship perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.”

[11] CCC, paragraph 846.

[12] CCC paragraph 1129.

[13] CCC, paragraph 819.

[14] We must clarify that “This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church.” CCC, paragraph 847.

Introduction to Le Royaume


From the first moment I felt the desire to put my spiritual life into writing in the fall of 2008, I have been indefatigable in fulfilling it, or so it seems. Yet, never have I felt an inspiration that what I am writing is for anyone else. Still, I have consistently sought to lay out my thoughts over the years into concrete form.

What I have discovered by doing so is the Holy Spirit working in my life as a teacher through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and through the magnificent saints with whom she has blessed me, namely, St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I have come to realize that the only way to understand what God is trying to teach me about who I am and my destiny is to write so that the immaterial Form becomes an object to be grasped by my senses. Our nature is such that this is how we come to know things, that is, through the senses. I have written many pages; however, I have no idea what God desires from it all save my understanding of how He intends to prepare me for Heaven. Thus, all that I write has a particular risk to it. How to publicize and promote these writings as a testimony in the spirit of the “new evangelization” in the Church remains somewhat enigmatic.

I can only implore the reader to keep the above in mind. I am nobody who seeks to be nothing that the great gift of Le Royaume bequeathed to me by the Holy Virgin Mary with the Holy Spirit will come “on earth as it is in Heaven.” I am an insignificant Catholic layman seeking God’s will through the incarnation, life, passion, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. I am striving to fulfill my consecration to the Virgin Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort, a consecration I began decades ago.

Thus, I can only reiterate what I have written elsewhere: I seek many to join me, but none to follow me. Only God, through the Holy Virgin in His Church, is to be trusted. We follow St. Joan and St. Thérèse along the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed to the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. However, praise be to God if Our Lady sees fit to offer another person help on their journey through this or any other of my writings.

About Walter Emerson

These writings are personal reflections on my conversion to and ensuing spiritual journey through the Catholic Church.

I hold an undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University and a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.

I am married and the father of one child. Though raised a Methodist in the Bible Belt and surrounded with evangelicalism as a youth, I converted to the Catholic Church prior to my marriage in 1985.

Touched deeply by the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and imbued with a filial love for Mary, I set out on a life-long spiritual journey to “seek first” Christ’s Kingdom with Thérèse as my guide.

Eventually led to confront my inner most being on that lonely, mystical hill of Calvary, I discovered through Mary’s maternal guidance and Thérèse’s sisterly care that Jesus had called another mighty saint to walk with me and to protect me through that dark and awful night of self-confrontation that leads us in Christ to true freedom. That saint, a spiritual sister to Thérèse, was Joan of Arc.