Direction For Our Times


A number of months ago I came across an apostolate, the mission of which has impacted my life in so many ways it is difficult to know where to start or how to go about sharing it.  So, I will just begin with some general information in this introductory post, but will continue on an ongoing basis to share more, both here and at my other blog, Consecrated to Mary.

The apostolate had its origin in Messages which were given by interior locutions to “Anne”, who is a wife, mother of six, Secular Franciscan, and an American now living in Ireland.  Anne went through several years during this present decade receiving and writing down Messages from God the Father, Jesus, Mary and certain of the saints.  These Messages were formed into ten Volumes (two of which have not yet been released) and a series of booklets entitled, “Heaven Speaks”.   Anne has written other books concerning her experiences as well.

Out of this grew Direction For Our Times, and the apostolate, The Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King.  Anne has been told that this apostolate is a continuation of Saint Faustina’s mission of Divine Mercy, and we will explore that aspect in more detail here in the future.  Among many other things, we are told that the second coming of Christ is a process, that the process has begun, that it begins in each of our hearts, and that we can help Jesus save souls during this time (which is a time of renewal and transformation) as we bring His light to our brothers and sisters on earth.

This apostolate and its mission are in complete obedience and submission to Anne’s local bishop, and to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Messages are currently being studied by the Vatican.

These Messages are filled with the tender, gentle love of God for each person on earth, with mercy, peace, instruction and guidance.  They are filled with hope for ourselves and our children, and will give you peace concerning your families and your loved ones already departed.  They will inspire you to courage, faithfulness and complete calm during this time of transformation, as we await the return of Christ the King and serve Him, each in our own way, during the process of renewal He has begun.

There were so many segments from the Apostolate’s YouTube channel that I wanted to start with in this introductory post I had a very difficult time choosing.  (Each YouTube is approximately eight to ten minutes long; Dr. Mark Miravalle reads the Message, and then he and Anne discuss it.)  I finally decided to begin with a Message that, once I had absorbed it as fully as I could and began trying to live it, has definitely produced fruit in my own life over the past months.  We find in many of the Messages very caring advice from Jesus as He shows us He is aware of the difficulties we face in our daily lives.  So I will leave you with this for the moment, but greatly look forward to sharing much more with you over the months to come.

Volume Ten: Message dated September 25, 2004

Direction For Our Times YouTube Channel


22 thoughts on “Direction For Our Times

  1. Sometimes the Holy Spirit has to act a bit like a woodpecker when it comes to me. He tries once, no success there, leaves it a while then comes back tries again no success and then a third time and the message gets through!!!
    Thanks Gabrielle and Carol for pointing me in the right Direction For Our Times – and guess whatI just found out yesterday – there’s a prayer group right here in Belfast.
    Although to my mind this DFOT has not got a huge amount of press the very fact that it has achieved such world- wide attention ( while still in its infacy as apostolates go ) can only be a sure sign that it is God’s work.
    And of course I welcome very much the fact that the books are freely available online, especially in these times of recession when words of encouragement can mean so much.

    I didn’t know about the Divine Mercy connection until I read it here so that’s another very positive indicator of goodness in our midst.

  2. Gab
    My Lent could be summarized in two words: abandonment and fear. It was not personal but a cultural feeling. God’s Divine Mercy is the response to the abandonment and fear. Kind of rushed right now.

  3. 🙂 I’m happy to see this starting here, G.

    For many years now, the Communion of Saints has been part of my extended family. (The normal part!) My big sister Little Therese is very much hands-on, as is the suave Inigo, oh gosh, and big brother Thomas A.. seriously, we’re in exile in this life, but we are championed day in and day out on the other side of the veil.. literally championed. We’re about to find out how much so, in these times.

  4. Ann, although it wasn’t the case with me re DFOT, I completely understand your woodpecker analogy, because that has happened many times to me in the past. I’m always grateful for the Lord’s patience and persistence! I’m so happy that there’s a prayergroup in Belfast that you can look into; I hope you will share some details with us down the road.

    JT, I must say you are not the only one who has mentioned this to me concerning Lent, and I certainly saw it online as well, in many cases where it was very personal. But these Messages, based in Divine Mercy, are literally filled with assurances of how God is releasing graces in abundance right now, as well as help from the saints and angels as never before. He is doing this in order to give us everything we need to work effectively in helping to transform the sense of fear and abandonment in our culture into hope and joy, and bring the peace of Christ to everyone. The Messages say we are living in an age of darkness and an Age of Disobedience such as has never existed before, but that we are moving now into an Age of Obedience.

    Aeternus, you’re very welcome; I gather from your comment that you were already aware of DFOT. Would love to hear about your experience of how you discovered the apostolate.

    Carol, “the normal part”! ROFL. We’re definitely “championed”, as we can see in the Messages. God’s love knows no bounds.


  6. Hi, John! I saw the details of the May activities in the email DFOT sends out. How wonderful to hear from someone who was actually there at Trinity Abbey! Would love to hear more. If you care to send me an email with some of your impressions of the Eucharistic Day of Renewal, I could put it up as a “Guest Post”! I’m sure for everyone who attended it was a very special and blessed day. Thanks so much for leaving a comment here!

  7. St Faustina would not have suffered so much for the Divine Mercy if she was now to promote a new image. It clearly doesnt make sense. We must be careful as the Lord Himself warned us of many false prophets. The Divine Mercy devotion is extremely powerful and we must not be distracted from it. Jesus Himself said many graces would be received through the Image of Divine Mercy. There is no other image that He mentions.

    We must stay within the confines of the Church and what is already approved. We must study our faith and read about the Saints and pray much. To get distracted by so called visionaries is dangerous. St John of the Cross warned us of these things. The Diary of St Faustina makes for great reading and gives great insight into the spiritual life.

    This is what St. John of the Cross, the acknowledged spiritual master in these matters, has to say about the dangers which visionaries are open to in his Dark Night of the Soul (2.2:3). Although he is essentially talking about “imaginative” visions, these points also broadly apply to “exterior” visions.

    “… the devil causes many to believe in vain visions and false prophecies; and strives to make them presume that God and the saints are speaking with them; and they often trust their own fancy. And the devil is also accustomed, in this state, to fill them with presumption and pride, so that they become attracted by vanity and arrogance, and allow themselves to be seen engaging in outward acts which appear holy, such as raptures and other manifestations. Thus they become bold with God, and lose holy fear, which is the key and the custodian of all the virtues; and in some of these souls so many are the falsehoods and deceits which tend to multiply, and so inveterate do they grow, that it is very doubtful if such souls will return to the pure road of virtue and true spirituality.”

  8. Good points, Frankie, and I agree, but this isn’t about Vassula et al. I’m no authoritative example to look to, but I’m certainly one of the biggest skeptics around, yet I’m not overly tweaked about this because a) the writings are being vetted in the right way, and b) if you’ve read any of them, you can see that they do not say anything unnervingly new except to speak of an urgency, which is also what Fatima said as well, which fell by the wayside for the most part; c) It all points to and is situated in the Eucharistic Jesus; d) our Church is eschatological; e) none of it speaks against anything at all, including the Divine Mercy; f) the Lord has to speak our language through a contemporary one of us since many do not listen to children or Gospel anymore (and recall the woman at the well whose townspeople one day said, “We don’t need your word on it anymore, we believe for ourselves, now”) ; and g) I read of a Blessed nun from years before St. Faustina who was given the same main message to deliver as her, and h) there are things the devil cannot and would not do, like convert apathetic/despairing/lukewarm hearts to Jesus and yet, DFOT certainly seems to do that. i) DFOT doesn’t aim to replace the importance of the Divine Mercy; it is part of the fabric of Mercy; and finally, j) in this time when abortion and euthanasia and embryonic stem cell harvesting/manipulation and queer marriage and queer despoiling of children is not only prevalent but voted in as a *good* and forced on others, and violence is at such a level that a man of rage has little conscience about tossing a baby out a car window to the highway below, indeed, a closer access to the saints is just what the Divine Physician would order.

    Read, and then see what you think. So far, the Church hasn’t even frowned on DFOT. Christ the King is indeed returning–we pray those hosannas in every Mass.

  9. Frankie, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to express your concerns so clearly here, and I do want to address them. Since I have barely begun to discuss DFOT here on my blog, I prefer to respond in post-format rather than in the combox, since some of the information pertains to what I was planning on discussing anyway (eg., the continuation of St. Faustina’s mission), as I mentioned in my post. So that will be in the works for sometime in June, I hope.

    Carol, very good points from you too, and thanks for your input. I’ll refer back to both your and Frankie’s comments when I do those posts later in June.

  10. Please forgive me, G and others, I’ve a self-imposed deadline for speaking to anything publicly, and am unfortunately rushing it all out. Just one brief note pending your posts, G: I must say later as I read Frankie’s comment yet again, I realized a problem where I’d not seen one – to me the Kingly image is right and good, only properly progressive as was the unfolding to us of the Divine Mercy devotion itself, grace building upon grace; but yes, it could appear that there’s a will or move to replace the Divine Mercy image, and since I have not yet finished even half the Diary, I don’t know Faustina’s whole story. Indeed, Frankie’s is and must be a valid concern, and I, too, shall look forward to this and other clarifyings.

  11. This is the quote on ‘Anne’s’ website in relation to St. Faustina.

    St. Faustina told Anne that the image of Jesus Christ the Returning King would be spread throughout the world and promised that those who venerate this image would be blessed.

    Now what is going on here. I am sorry but one bad apple can destroy the whole barrel. I have been involved with the Divine Mercy apostolate for many years and only recently have come back from Krakow. There is no Image of the Returning King promoted there or to be seen there despite the fact that ‘Anne’ apparently said that it was there she got the Image. This is most peculiar.

    Divine Mercy is fully approved by the Church. St Faustina suffered alot as do many people who promote the Divine Mercy because it is so powerful. It is not a joke ! It is saving many souls from perdition which of course the devil does not want. Jesus Himself told St Faustina to have the Image painted and that many graces would be given to those who venerate it.

    Now we have ‘Anne’ coming along with anothe image… is like saying that St Catherine Laboure is now promoting another medal….lets be practical and use our common sense here !!

    I am sure that where there is genuine prayer, the Lord will not be outdone in giving graces and healings but that does not mean a visionary or mystic is genuine. And coming back from Medjugorje and getting sudden ‘messages’ is also questionable.

    We must be careful and use our common sense also…the following is what Jesus said to St Faustina concerning the Image of Divine Mercy…

    Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47)

    I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48)

    I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature” :Jesus, I trust in You.” (Diary 327)

  12. Just a clarification on a paragraph i entered in the last post…I should have said…

    Now we have ‘Anne’ coming along with anothe image….claiming that St Faustina also promotes it, it is like saying that St Catherine Laboure is now promoting another medal….lets be practical and use our common sense here !!

  13. One of the charisms of the apostolate of Jesus Christ The Returning King is unity. We are called to unite with Catholics in other movement in our beautiful Church to help to lift up the Body of Christ. In that spirit the misson of the Apostolate is to be linked with Divine Mercy notto undermine or replace it. Many lay apostles have a strong devotion to Divine Mercy. they are encouraged to. The staff at the Direction for Our Times offices in both the U.S. and Ireland are generally gathered at 3:00 eavh afternoon to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I believe we are all enveloped in the Lord’s Divine Mercy as we all need to climb the path to holiness and prepare our fallen world for the return of Christ the King. There is room in our beautiful Church and in each of our souls for devotions and spiritualities to lead us to a deeper and more personal relationship with out loving and merciful Savior. We are called to discern what is from God and what is not. We should embace all that is from God, especially that which has been acknowledged by church. It need not be one over the other. As Anne has said recently “Holiness is not a competitve sport”. Throughout our history as recorded in scripture our God has been trying to communicate his deep and intimate love for each of us. Why should we expect that he would not continue to spek to us in htis day and age when so many in our world have stopped listening or have rejected the Word. Let us all be united in our service to the Kingdom

  14. Kevin, thank you so much; you’ve expressed everything beautifully, and I believe one hundred percent that the two missions are inextricably linked – this has been the way with many devotions and missions throughout the centuries of Catholic tradition.

    Frankie, many of my readers as well as myself have been devoted to the Divine Mercy message for years; rest assured that I know of no one who considers it, or anything to do with St. Faustina, “a joke”, as you have put it.

  15. Indeed, we are called to discernment, to test the spirit of a thing. The Lord rarely makes anything as clean-cut as we’d desire, but that’s for our benefit, too: what we offer will have come from free will based on faith as we understand it.

    Some scales are different than others’ (mine are fashioned by and rooted in Catholicism and age/experience), but there are some things for any of us to ask as a good rule of thumb:

    Does the core person(s) submit and defer to local and Rome religious authority? (If those who watch out for the whole Church have asked one/any of these to be quiet and they didn’t, we can stop agonizing right there—it’d be better to go fishin’!)

    Does the thing stray from Gospel? (We may trust the Holy Spirit and our Guardian angel and our own gut instincts/red flags to be hands-on here.)

    What is its intent, or, from where has the seemingly new thing come–is it possible that it’s been co-opted by the sly one who knows how/works ceaselessly to simultaneously trip us up and insult Heaven? (Again, Holy Spirit/Guardian angel, others’ wisdom/testimony/denouncement. Bottomline, the Lord is victoriously a jump ahead of Lucifer at all times; if the evil one has fashioned/hijacked any of it, the Lord will ultimately turn it to His good for our good.)

    Is there any genuinely holy fruit from it? (The Lord is no bulldozer; we are definitely allowed a wait-and-see, because the degree and form of fruitfulness might be our only or main criteria.)

    [If none of that answers us definitively enough, we might ask if an apostolate or devotion would horrify one’s holiest Grandma. If not, move forward –run with it!]

    The window of Mercy remains open until God closes it, but it’s not eternal: there is a time to come of His judging the living and dead, there is a Kingdom to come (already and not yet) having no end, and there is a life of the world to come — we have prayed these things as Truth in the Creed for millennia; hence, that time must occur someday! And “in this time” has said by both Jesus and Mary: hence, we can think there will indeed be a closing of the time of Mercy. Many already believe it has begun. But Mercy Himself, the Hound of Heaven, loves His favorite creatures, and ever outdoes His gifts and graces until that lightning second, and will herald everything He is doing. He gives/arranges for direction for our times.

  16. Carol,
    Your comments on proper discernment are well stated. It would be truly wonderful if all Catholics were so knowledgeable and wise in the things of faith. In appraoching this Apostolate I had the luxury of starting with actually reading the Volumes before I allowed myself to get caught up in the debate over “Anne”. It was the beautiful messages from the same Jesus that I have come to know from Sacred Scripture and my Catholic faith that called me to continue read on. He was a Jesus speaking of his deep love for me and of God’s desire to for an intimate relationship with me. While I have found great comfort, inspiration and challenge in the many writings, I have also taken some comfort in the fact that as of at least June of 2006 Bishop O’Rielly of the Kilmore Diocese of Ireland has judged that “Anne” ” is orthodox in her writings and teaching. Her spirituality and the spiritual path that she proposes to those who wish to accept itare in conformity with the teachings of the church and of the great spiritual writers of the past and present. He has gives his permission before any works are published and has submitted themto the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith.
    The fruits for me personally have been a redication to daily Eucharist, monthly confession, weekly Eucharistic Adoration, Regular recitation of the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
    God truly is great. No matter how far we stray and for how long he is always seeking ways to call us back to His Merciful Heart.
    It is my hope that this Apostolate continues to be a voice for good and doesn’t lapse into prideful trap of so many others that have proceeded it.

  17. I dont think the so called ‘visionary anne’ is genuine at all . Why doesnt she reveal her real name ? Did St Bernadette or the Seers of Fatima or other approved Visionaries of the past give another name ? No they didnt. They opened themselves up to much suffering by simply being honest. They were disbelieved even by their parents and made fun of by many until everyone realised they were for real. They suffered much because of what they saw and heard.

    Let us be careful with these people who in these difficult times claim to have so many encounters with Jesus, Mary and the Saints. We were told in Scripture that many false prophets would arise in the last days. And look around you, we have had so many visionaries and continue to do so and many of whom have since been disapproved.

    Stay well away from these ‘messages’. Stay close to the Holy Father and the Church and what is already fully approved and you cant go wrong or become confused.

  18. Toni.
    You do not think that “Anne” is genuine at all. I don’t know either (Althouhg I do know that she is a very genuine person and a genuine mother of six amongst other things). But that is not the real issue. the real question is whether or not the Volumes area authentic effort by heaven to communicate with us. I would asdvise you as I did when I first discovered the Volumes I read them for what they had to share with me. what you will miss is the opportunity to relate to the Jesus we know and love from scriture on a whole new and even more personal level. I do my best to follow the Church’s teachings. the Church says it OK for me to read these writings. They are “approved” under the current scheme of Canon Law. all things that are approved today were unapproved at one time, including scripture. the magesterium and our beautiful Catholic traditon are an ever evolving thing. the teahcing of the church never ends. it contines each and every day. That which you call unapproved today may be part of the fabric of the faith tomorrow. If this were not true we would have nothing save the Eucharist and the Our Father. we have been annointed with the Holy Spirit in Baptism and again in Confirmation. In the call to be guided by that Spirit we are called to discern with the gift of right judgement. Please, before you judge read, reflect and pray. Should you find anything in the Volumes in error please pass it on so that we might enlighten Bishop O’Rielly as to what he must have missed. God’s Peace this day and always.

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