Love is chaste (part 2)

by Craig on January 18, 2011

It’s a letter

from Joan of Arc

a little fiction

on why she believed love is chaste…

Part one is here.

…I knew what I wanted.

I knew what I wanted to avoid.

I set the rules for my whole army.

Nobody, including myself, would stray from the course.

And let me take a second to clear up a confusion. You may have heard that my name is Joan – Joan of Arc.

“Non. Il n’est pas vrais!”

When I was born my parents named me Jeannette. When I was a child I didn’t mind it. But it’s the name of a little girl. When I began God’s mission to save my country I dropped my baby name, and chose to be called Jeanne.

In Italy I’m called Giovanna – not bad. The Germans call me Johanna – a little hard in their German way, but nice too. But the English, my enemy, when not trying to kill me, or referring to me as “witch” or “harlot” – they called me Joan.

I hate the name  Joan.

My name is Jeanne – pronounced like “one” but with a soft French “J” and a lingering, and also French, “n”. Please don’t call me by that other name. Keep in mind that when I heard the name Joan, I usually turned hard – with sword in hand.

Now where was I?

My Heroes.

Everybody needs heroes, people to admire, look up to.

Mine?

Let’s start with the Mother of Our Lord, our sweet Mary. So different from everyone, so much like us all. She had little of what the world offered. But she didn’t want what the world offered. She was rich anyway. No?

I know when you think of me you think armor and steel. But there is something you don’t know.

I grew up, not in armor, but in my one, my beloved. simple. red. dress.

I’ve seen the most elegant gowns of France floating gracefully in a Royal ballroom. For a while I wanted them all – and the rings, and the necklaces, and the perfume, and the hair, and the shoes. For a short time in my life I actually had them all. But in the end I would have traded all of it for one more day in the fields of Domremy in my ratty old red dress.

Simple is better.

Our Blessed Virgin knew this much better than me.

Her papa was never able to afford any more than mine.

But who needs all the refinements?

We just need to be refined.

What was good enough for our Mary was good enough for me.

I wonder if the other girls mocked her because she was so ‘holy’? But she loved God – and I love him too. They may have gathered together on the side, and whispered gossip, or spoke just loud enough to be heard – and to hurt. But Our Blessed Virgin talked only of Our Lord. When they compared themselves with others she only compared herself against the perfection of God.

I wonder if they chided her just because she wasn’t doing what they were. It must have hurt as much as it always hurt me. But she didn’t betray God by taking another road before she had a chance to take the divinely appointed one. I had a divine appointment too and I couldn’t be persuaded to take another road before my time.

She remained chaste.

She set aside her dreams to fulfill God’s plan.

She is the best woman of us all.

I love her.

To be like her in this one small way?

This is a joy to me…

——–

Please come back tomorrow for part three.

In God’s Love.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 18, 2011 at 2:53 am

I’m enjoying this. Keep writing. :)

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 8:12 am

It’s funny, this blogging thing. I find that I don’t write for me so much. I write for you guys who read. When you’re happy with it, I’m happier too. Have I thanked you lately for reading Michelle? Have I thanked all of you?

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JennaFarelyn January 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

I love how tenderly you view Jeanne. How your historical fiction shows that you identify with the way she was probably viewed, and how she remained devoted and unwavering despite the cruelty her ears absorbed. She was a curious mix of strength and frailty, being a woman with the heart of a warrior. A great heroine. One of my favorites from my Catholic school days.

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

“a curious mix of strength and frailty” —–YES that is Jeanne of Arc

More books have been written about her than any other historical figure – with the exception only of Our Lord. Maybe one day a publisher will allow me to add to the pile :)

A man can dream…

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Anonymuss January 18, 2011 at 10:50 am

This is inspiring…I am looking forward to more.

Craig, is the picture of the girl done by the same artist as the one who painted the picture you showed some time past, the one you said you were saving up to buy? It is perfect for this post!

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Anonymuss January 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

The second picture-the girl in the red dress, that is.

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

No A. The second one is a century or two old – hanging in the Louvre I think – or somewhere smarmy and probably French. The red dress was very important to Jeanne. She gave it to a person in town to keep and hold before she left on her mission to save France.

She is inspiring isn’t she?

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Anonymuss January 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Craig, I didn’t realize the red dress wasn’t part of the fiction. There is so much about her that touches me. Her life became hard-at the point when she felt she needed to speak and act on behalf of God for her nation-yet she pressed on. She persevered. I need this right now. I feel like I say that so many times about what you write. Many of the walls of my life are caving in right now so I truly do need a lot at this point. Inspiration and beacons in the night are invaluable. Thank you, thank you!

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Should I bring her back for an occasional visit after this. There are a few things I’m an expert at – Jeanne of Arc is one of them – she is a shining example of love of country and love of God and perseverance and strength – what do you think – should I bring her back after this letter is done?

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Anonymuss January 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Yes, let her visit as often as you like. I love her example, and the way JennaF. described it.

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Mari January 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

“But who needs all the refinements? We just need to be refined”
Love that! And giving up dreams for God? I need to learn this daily…

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Thank you Mari. We do need the refining. I need the refining. I hate the refining so you’d think I’d fix my stuff before God has to step in. Getting better. Requiring less refining. Hope you are too.

Thank you for reading Mari – loved all your photos by the way :) – favorite – you and the candle – wish I could do that.

God Bless.

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Joyce L Gibson January 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm

You have written about Jeanne for us, and we have been enllightened, challenged, and blessed. Some day (I hope fairly soon) I look for you to write her story for older elementary children. That takes us back to our conversation at the conference.

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Craig January 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I have pitched it GJ. I have made the proposals and sent them in. I have the stack of rejection letters still.:) Maybe if I write some more of it here some publisher type will meander over one day and discover me. I love how you think I have what it takes. It makes me believe a little too.

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Debbie January 19, 2011 at 1:15 am

Side note first . . .I’m with Joyce. You do have what it takes. Praying that the right person/people see that and give you a chance!
I loved all of this, know nothing about Jeanne so am soaking it up. The part that God highlighted to me was “But our Blessed Virgin talked only of Our Lord.” There are things that He needs me to do, that He needs to work in me and this is one of them. There is a way to do this, without preaching, without sounding “holier than thou”. I just know it, sense it . . .want to do it for Him.
Thank you and God bless you!

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Craig January 19, 2011 at 8:57 am

Thank you deb. With my writing it is best for me to do the very simple thing I always come back to – lay it out before God, sure tell him what I want, but ask for his will, then want his will, then dot the i’s cross the t’s and accept what happens AS his will – and rest in that.

I know it makes me happy knowing people read these words and find them useful – we’ll see where God takes this. I’ll just keep doing the work – I’ve prayed for his will – It will happen – and is – and on my better days I rest in that.

And for your speaking of Our Lord – don’t know the details – but it’s already prayed for. And yes, throw up prayers for me – I think God like is when we pray for each other.

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