Direction For Our Times (DFOT) and Divine Mercy

jesus-christ-the-returning-king

I would like to share some thoughts regarding several points raised by a reader, Frankie, in the combox of my introductory post about Direction For Our Times and the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King. It will probably take a few posts to do so, and from that point on, I will concentrate solely on sharing the Messages and the work of the Apostolate in my DFOT posts, with any of you who care to read here.  

 I will begin with some of the history of the image of Jesus Christ the Returning King, and a bit about the relationship of the image and the Apostolate’s mission to the Divine Mercy mission of St. Faustina.

In Anne’s book “Climbing the Mountain. Discovering Your Path to Holiness”, there is a section about the image [pgs. 244-245]. In October 2005, a month after Anne had received a series of locutions from St. Faustina, she traveled on pilgrimage, upon the invitation of Sr. Briege McKenna and Fr. Kevin Scallon, to the International Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, Poland. The three met with the Mother Superior of St. Faustina’s order, The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. They spoke with the Mother Superior about Anne’s experiences and her mission to spread the message of Jesus Christ the Returning King, and the Mother Superior responded by telling them of an unusual experience of her own the previous day. An artist friend had just presented her with a painting, which she had understood was supposed to be that of her patron saint, but was in fact an image of Jesus Christ the Returning King. When Mother Superior showed it to Anne, Sr. Briege and Fr. Scallon, “all of us in the room were amazed and recognized that this painting was to be the authentic image for the apostolate…” Mother Superior told them that she was, “certain that it was really meant for Anne.”  In a locution to Anne on October 28, 2005 St. Faustina said, “The image of Jesus Christ the Returning King should be spread throughout the world.  There are many graces attached to this image.  Like the Divine Mercy image, this image will be widely recognized as a source of goodness and healing.  All who venerate this image will be blessed…Such joy flows from heaven.  Bask in the joy, dear apostles, because your King is returning.”  In the DFOT Newsletter of April 2009 (Issue 13), there is a wonderful article about the image, and an interview with the artist, Janusz Antosz.

In his comments, Frankie expresses his fears and concerns that both the image and the Apostolate are “distracting” people from the Divine Mercy image, as well as from St. Faustina’s mission and her suffering. I do not know if anything I can say will help to alleviate his or anyone else’s concerns, but I will certainly try. As I recounted above, the image itself was given to the Apostolate by the Mother Superior of St. Faustina’s order. In the back of all the Volumes, as well as in the two books I have by Anne, “Climbing the Mountain” and “The Mist of Mercy”, there is a section entitled, “How to Recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy”. The April 09 newsletter, as mentioned, has not only an article about the image but three messages from St. Faustina. As another commentor, Kevin, told us: “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 each afternoon to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet.” In the audio recording of the monthly meeting of the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King (May 2009), we hear a guest speaker, Mother Theresa (may not be the correct spelling), a Cistercian sister from Denmark. She tells us she is giving thanks to the Lord for what is happening because of the Apostolate, that graces are pouring down, that all are being blessed, and that the work of the Apostolate, which is Jesus’ work, should be respected and defended, not by speaking much, but by giving the glory to the Lord. She tells the audience that she and her contemplative sisters in different countries are all praying for the Apostolate, and refers to the Apostolate as an “act of mercy” from the Lord.

From my own perspective, I believe that the majority of us who have been devoted to the Divine Mercy message and St. Faustina’s mission for many, many years now will only find our devotion strengthened through the Messages and work of the Apostolate, and those who may have never heard of the Divine Mercy message will certainly be led to it through the Apostolate. Just as the saints all work together joyfully, we are called to do so as well, because we are all working for Jesus, our Returning King.

17 thoughts on “Direction For Our Times (DFOT) and Divine Mercy

  1. I trust that, as always, the Holy Spirit uses each of us in his own way to spread the love and mercy of our Savior. After reading all that has been written so far on this topic here, so gently and lovingly, I feel he is guiding you. I am most interested in what you have to say and the instruction you have to offer. I will pray that The Spirit will continue to be your guide. Thank you!

  2. Amen, Cathy!

    And I would add that, albeit welcomed and comfortable, gentility is not the Lord’s sole trademark — He heralded His mission with St. John the Baptist’s fiery preaching. And salt is what the thunderous Boanerges had too abundantly — yet they were Hand-picked as well. Even Francis and Pio, His best-known Stigmatics, blazed up at times, as did all the Teresas. The King’s return seems nearly in as much need of fiery salt as was so initially. To use a different and ever more timely analogy, one doesn’t need to look far to see many lamps (penultimately foolishly) burning for other reasons and now running low on oil..

    Jesus told His disciples that He came to set a fire upon the earth and wished it was already blazing. This apostolate is that fire of love (I believe/help my unbelief, Lord) for which He longed. God bless the Lay Apostles.🙂

  3. It is wonderful to happen up on a blog where the posts are so insightful, encoraging and uplifting. Thanks to all. As I reflect on the Unity of these two missions, I recall the front of the Chapel at the Kilnacrott Abbey that Direction for Our Times is trying to purchase from the Norbertines and turn into a center for prayer.
    Should You ever have a chance to visit you will see two large and striking images on either side of the sanctuary painted by a local man, the only things he has ever painted. One is Divine Mercy, a devotion of the Norbetines and the other Jesus Christ the Returning King. they are powerful and add to the holiness of the Eucharistic Holy Hours that are celebrated there. God bless you all

  4. Cathy, I appreciate your taking the time to read and express your thoughts. You are a positive and supportive person by nature, but especially in something as important as this, I value the discernment and judgement of those I trust and respect. Thank you for your prayers!

    Carol, I pray to the Holy Spirit for fire and zeal in my heart; for me, personally, it doesn’t express itself as fiery preaching, but He does inspire me to express my passion here in other ways, through saints and contemplative writers, poets, music… One of the things I most appreciate about the Apostolate is the emphasis on not judging others, the calm, steady manner we are advised to practice as we go about our work for the Lord, the repeated theme in the Messages of a quiet urgency to help Jesus save souls, but without unproductive rush, haste or unkindness. Thank you so much for your comments, insights and encouragement; I know you’ve done your research and have also read many of the Messages, so your input is greatly valued, as you know.

    Kevin, thank you so much for your recent comments here and on the other posts. It’s really wonderful to have “met” two other Lay Apostles recently here. Your knowledge of the Apostolate and the details you provide are both interesting and welcomed – I’m very happy to know, for instance, that the Divine Mercy image and the Returning King image are together at the Abbey! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get there, but we do have a blogger friend in Belfast who may be able to. But I am with them all in spirit!

  5. Well, despite my gnarly skins and locusts (albeit all of them being rather cheesecake-scented) I, too, would call down Kingly Bread rather than a Boanerge-y purifying fire, but the urgency mentioned is real –and that is in no greater need of being understood than by *Christian* America who has seen the abomination standing in the place of (Mary’s) desolation at commencement, and who was seen the literal weeping with joy over the *messiah* in NOvember (as still does sleepy Europe). Vlad the Democrat’s fruit is growing by nation-sanctioned baby-landfills and queer *marriages*– and America the Beautiful is now told not only who to vote for, but how quietly to do so; because we remnant-y still cling to more than mere social justice as God’s command, we’re reminded weekly by a smug media that more than half the *Catholics* here voted for Dr. PeeWee, only some of whom still hang from his bottom lip. In my own household, a word against this pseudo-king so full of much worse than whited sepulchres is not welcomed. I hear I’m not the only one. There is still as always, a dividing sword. We live in as much the midst of a brood of vipers as we do in the midst of angels, and the Lord is more than 54% challenged; He is 90% defied with audacity, now. There seems all the more reason for the apostolate to not be minimized as has been all the rest of God’s gifts of sacraments, saints, sacramentals, devotions and apparitions to our world — it is not something that should be allowed to fall exclusively to women, elderly and parochial students. The aposolate is gentle because it is Eucharist-centric, but Christ the King is no statesman; when He returns, it won’t be to schmooze and glad-hand. All is mission land again, and this, too, is a Baptist-Boanerge time. The steady wheels of this quiet train are of love and mercy, but its cars seek serious filling; not even the hairiest/noisiest should hesitate to jump aboard.

    I don’t know if I mentioned it here or elsewhere, but one legend of St. Patrick is that when he was dying and praying for the country, an angel showed him how the light in Ireland died out until just a mere ember.. but then after a long time, it grew larger, and larger, until all of Ireland was holily alight again and then it spread. Ireland once embraced and exported Him.. it would seem she is doing so again, and thus fulfilling this legend. Well, why not?🙂

    Days ago, I planned to not comment further, but in the event it really sticks now, I want to say that I’m delighted to see other and involved responders, here, and will be looking in daily for my own greater direction, encouragement, and, not least of all, solace.

  6. The Divine Mercy is fully approved by the Church. The Image was painted on the instructions of Our Lord to St. Faustina. Now we have another image. So why would Jesus want two Images ??? What is going on here ? Confusion doesnt come from God.

    Of course the Divine Mercy is hated much by satan because of its power and he will do anything to take from it even using good people and seemingly ‘holy’ methods to do so.

    This is very dangerous…please stick to what is already approved by the Church and leave these other current ‘visionaries’ to God.

  7. I agree. It seems ludicrous that St Faustina would now be promoting another image through this woman ‘anne’. Has St Catherine Laboure promoted another medal ?

    Its all a bit too weird for me. I will stick to the Church and its teachings. We have more than enough there. Thanks Frankie.

  8. I read some of the messages supposedly given by St Faustina in the April 09 newsletter of ‘annes’ website. It sounds like St Faustina has turned into a psychologist. The messages are so self engrossing and ridiculous I had to stop reading it.

    Read the Divine Mercy diary and leave ‘anne’s’ volumes on the shelf as they are completely false. The prince of darkness hates the Divine Mercy and will stop at nothing to destroy it and cause confusion.

  9. Frankie, it is so sad to see the precious time Jesus is giving you wasted on your gathering of troops here, as well as “Toni” on a different post, all from Dublin, to come and troll my blog and work against the mystical body of Christ.

    As this is private revelation, you are all aware that you are under no obligation to believe. But neither do any of you have the spiritual authority to question the discernment of bishops, priests, and other religious on this matter.

    Please use the time you have left to work for the Divine Mercy then – every year I have readers comment or email me that they are so disappointed that their parishes have absolutely nothing in the way of Divine Mercy devotion, not even on Divine Mercy Sunday, either because their parish priests are unaware of St. Faustina or do not understand the importance attached to Divine Mercy. Please use your faith and your gifts to help parish priests understand the importance of the Divine Mercy message, instead of wasting the precious time you have left before the return of Christ the King.

    I’m sorry to say, Frankie, that since you have conducted yourself in this manner by gathering people from Dublin who don’t know anything about my work here at the Haven to come over and pontificate for your own purposes, that I will now have to closely monitor and possibly delete comments from Dublin; even though they may not be from people in your circle of friends, by conducting yourself in this manner your comments have lost all integrity.

  10. Frankie and Friends,
    Why the rancor? The concern for Divine Mercy is not shared by many in the ministry. I would suggest that you google Anne, a lay apostle Divne Mercy. There you will find the opportunity to purhcase CDs of this years Divine Mercy Conference in Dublin which features not one but two talks by “Anne” Should you ever tkat the time to read any of the Volumes ( I wuld recommed Volume 2, Conversations with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus), I suspect that you will recognize the Jesus you encounter there as full of mercy as the Jesus of Divine Mercy that the Lord has communicated to us through Faustina ( who by the way I beleived was silenced by the Church at one time, not unlike other are now recognized by hte Church). You will also encounter a Jesus who loves you deeply, seeks peace for your sould and asks for yor help in advancing the kingdom. I challenge you not to find the Lord in the Volumes and when you do pursue the mission of Divine Mercy with all of your heart and soul. If you spend your time working for the Lord Jesus will be successful. If you waste time trying to talk other devout Catholics off of their own path to holiness you only waste the Lord’s time. Trust me I fully seek the Lord. I still have a long way to go on my journey to holiness. however, I have come to far to allow the anyone to lead me away rom the Lord. I will continue to be on the look out for the evil one. I will continue to try to discern that which is of God and follow closely. I would yencourage you to do the same. If you have anything other than opinions to share that will help please share. God’s Peace to you.

  11. P.S. Frankie,
    the Volumes are currnetly “approved” under the current scheme of Canon Law. Current Canon only require that such writings receive permission for publication from the local bishop which has done. Not only has “Anne” received permission from Bishop Leo O’Reilly of the Kilmore Diocese, the volumes were submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in June 2006. Surely you can epxect that Rome would silence “Anne” if they had any concerns. (likewise Divine Mercy leaders would not put her on their programs if they beleived she were trying to undermine the Mission of Divne Mercy) As private revelations Catholics are free to beleive or not.

  12. Kevin, yes, it’s true that St. Faustina’s Diary was officially banned by the Catholic Church, from 1958-1978, I believe. Thank goodness they got their translation issues worked out, so that we have the Diary today. If Anne’s works were ever pronounced banned by the Vatican, I would cease to blog about them, but we are not in disobedience in any way at this time, as you say.

    In my next post I will be using some of Carol’s insights into discernment that she wrote about in a previous comment, and how they apply to the Apostolate. I also have some links, one of which is to the Divine Mercy Conference info in Dublin that you mentioned, which I will be sharing. My little mission here, as I have discerned it, is to introduce the Apostolate, answer some concerns and then proceed with the most important aspect, which is the Messages themselves. We must move forward, not backwards. Discernment is a good thing, a necessary thing, and my own closest friends online that I first shared with about the Apostolate had concerns and questions of their own, but they came from a place of proper discernment, not misplaced anger and fear. But as I say, my little mission is to spread the Messages, not to attempt to force anyone to believe, which is not possible, in any case. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Kevin; as you say, there is no opposition to or distracting from the Divine Mercy with this Apostolate, and anyone who reads the Messages with an open mind and heart will readily see this.

  13. Discernment by its nature takes time. A peaceful way forward here as I see it, would be one where the messages from DFOT continue to be posted but with comments closed ( for DFOT posts only) and that way people who are not sure, people who are asking themselves if this or Divine Mercy, or whatever they feel drawn to is in fact God’s will for them, can have the time to read the messages and discern – without all this rancour and distraction.
    This way, Gabrielle, you will be fulfilling what you see as your mission i.e. promoting DFOT, while others can choose to promote theirs. Each of us through baptism is called to a life in the Trinity, and called to witness to the gospel.
    There are endless paths that lead to God and the best we can do is to pray that each soul will find the path God has chosen specially for him/her.
    We can only do so much by way of pointers and material – the rest we should trust to God.
    The beauty of our faith as you touched on Gabrielle is that nothing is forced on us, in our free will we can accept or reject – and somewhere in between is the area of discernment.
    Thanks Gabrielle.

  14. Thanks, Ann, for your input. Airing the Messages slowly but surely and discussing them was always my original intent, but because people asked what I thought were sincere questions and raised what I thought were sincere concerns, I decided to do a few “explanatory” posts first. Now that I see those particular questions and concerns were not coming from a place of sincerity, I will probably have to take what you suggest under serious consideration, although it saddens me greatly.

    Respectful discussion here has always been one of the joys for me of this particular method of evangelization, as well as the fellowship with others online. My, we’ve seen plenty of differences of opinion here over the years (and some of them very heated), but I’ve never experienced this kind of vitriolic campaign before. It actually only confirms all the more the need to disseminate these Messages of love and guidance in how to live as Jesus would have us live, and how to treat one another.

  15. Other people have problems with MMP, Cenacle, the Neocatechumenate way and charismatic movement. I myself have a problem with writings or actions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Pius X, even with Padre Pio. Then came Opus Dei’s prelature at the hands of our beloved John Paul the Great! “Oy, what’s going on here??” I said. Then, “What?? Saint Josemaria Escriva?? And still we hesitate on Bl. John XXIII??”

    Most distressing of all was the problem I had with St. Louis de Montfort’s writings. I know! I am indeed some kind of wingnut. I had to keep it down to a dull roar, tho’, because although it’s okay to question some things, it’s not okay to challenge them. IF the Church doesn’t have a problem with the thing, I’m not supposed to. Rather, I must align myself with Rome. By the same measure, when the Church has a problem with something, such as Maria Valtorta, Bayside, Garabandal, Christine Gallagher, etc., I’m supposed to as well. I realize the world is needy for the holy, but we really could do without folks setting up lawn chairs in front of water stains on windows et al.

    If she has not spoken either way but is simply on guard, then I must wait as well. That’s the beauty of a Church having a much greater means of discernment: the Holy Spirit. As you can see, it would be a serious disagreement I have with the Church on some folks, but either the Church is the bottom line on them for me, or she is no authority at all in my life. (And then, I would be a Trad– or worse, if there is worse.) There are lots of people who no longer trust Rome to even be able to tie its shoes, but I do, as did the other 11 apostles, having been bidden to do so by the Master.

    I have red flags galore (most of them rational) and it is precisely because, like all other Catholics, we know that satan is out to trip us up… but I know, too, that my “holy spirit” can be simply my opinion based on what I know (or think I know) so far. Our deference/obedience, then, is the beauty we offer back to the Church as mother and teacher. If ever she is tentatively wrong or premature on something (it would not be doctrine or dogma), her Spouse will straighten it out. If He desires to do that over time, then our option is this: To wait.

    I was disappointed to see that not all 14 comments were favorable, but the above comments don’t strike me as vitriol or a dangerous conspiracy. Maybe it’s because I’ve been online for 10 years and gone head to head with some folks who malign me as crazy, obsessive, or evil where I don’t even know about it until later, and who send serpent graphics with imposed messages, and I have received threats, and perhaps also an insult in person –all in the name/venue of Catholicism. As you say, G –folks are free to walk away from this apostolate. However, if they’re going to ignore locals and Rome and thus, challenge it themselves as an evil, it would behoove them to read all the material first.

  16. I can see the truly humble/truly peaceful for what they are in closing comboxes (as opposed to simply vetting comments), but those motives are PD rare. Almost always, a closed combox signals: It’s my way or the highway; take a hike, questioner. (And I do, eventually.) One thinks back to how often threshing has been needed even in the early Church in order to get to necessary life-sustaining kernels. There were those followers who were once utterly convinced that circumcision was mandatory in order to be a follower of Christ! Probably nothing changed the mind of some, and yet, we now know it is not mandatory. And no doubt, there were things Peter and Paul never once agreed on–they were literally separated by these–but the Lord uses man’s own flaws as well as talents, and sent them both out, to Jews and Gentiles; these men did not preach against each other, and they ultimately came together for the sake of the Church. For them, the message they carried was crucial; they delivered it.

  17. Hi, Carol. Been thinking about you…busy busy with family birthdays, summer guests, I bet! Here too!

    I agree entirely with you about the two basic reasons for closed comboxes (and since I am neither truly humble/peaceful yet, nor do I want people to agree with me or take the highway, I would really like to keep them open for the most part.) The reason I regard what was happening as both vitriolic and a campaign was that these particular comments all came from the same place within a matter of hours, and I knew that if I didn’t put a stop to it, since it was originated by one particular person, it would be ongoing, so I put a stop to it immediately. If people were expressing individual opinions in a respectful manner it would be fine, but to create an atmosphere of hostility simply to support a friend is immature, to say the least. I’m saddened with how they are spending their time, but I won’t have my own time wasted in that manner.

    So, since no one is responding to the actual material in the post here, I guess I’ll close the comments now, at least on this one, and I’ll see how it goes later for other posts. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Carol!

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