The Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King
The Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King is the church wide organization of which any Christian can be a member by following to the best of their ability the guidelines of the apostolate and reading the writings as given to Anne, a lay apostle, by Jesus.
Throughout His messages, our Lord refers repeatedly to the need for a new generation of lay apostles who will commit themselves to His mission. In April 2005, He revealed to Anne a set of guidelines for “a multitude of lay apostles.” Anne’s bishop has given permission for the formation of the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King.
As lay apostles, we seek to be united to Jesus in our daily work and through our vocations, in order to obtain graces for the conversion of sinners. Through our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, we will allow Jesus to flow through us to the world, bringing His light. We do this in union with Mary, our Blessed Mother, with the Communion of Saints, with all of God’s holy angels, and with our fellow lay apostles in the world.
What does a Lay Apostle do?
A lay apostle walks closely with Jesus into each day. The first goal is our personal movement toward unity with Jesus. In other words, we concentrate first on our own holiness and the perfection of our own souls. We do this through our vocations as mothers, fathers, priests, religious, single people, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers. We serve Jesus through service to others. We learn to love Jesus through loving others. We become united to Jesus through treating others with His love and gentleness. We bring kindness back to the world by behaving as though we lived in the heavenly Kingdom, which of course we do. We know about the love of Christ. We must live that knowledge.
Some people pray a great deal, but do not love. This is not unity to Christ. This is unity to prayer. But the goal of prayer is Christ. Christ is love. So, prayer should bring us to love, to softer hearts, to forgiveness and to patient service to others. Lay apostles seek to live this message of love and kindness. Some apostles are called to spread the Volumes.
Some apostles are called especially to support the mission through prayer. Some of our brothers and sisters are called to suffer in obscurity, with only Jesus as the witness to their soul’s constant progress. Everyone will be called. Everyone is chosen to serve.
Lay Apostle Prayer Groups
As lay apostles, participation in a lay apostle prayer group is one of the spiritual practices we agree to observe. The prayer group provides a chance to connect with other lay apostles, come together in prayer, and reflect on the Monthly Messages and their deeper, more personal meanings. There are many prayer groups taking place around the world, and while it may seem intimidating to join a new group, we believe that there are enough groups currently meeting that you have the opportunity to try a few until you find your best fit.
While it is better to attend in person, speakerphone or Skype may also be an option for people who do not reside near an active group or who are unable to travel. If you need a prayer group speaking a language other than English, you can be connected to those groups as well. Contact individual group leaders or Direction for Our Times for more information, and if there is no appropriate group for you yet, please consider beginning your own. Let Direction for Our Times staff know you are interested in meeting a particular need through your group. To join a prayer group, click here. If you are interested in starting a prayer group, click here.
If you hope to begin your own group, we offer some suggestions for organization and structure. Your group can take place at a member’s home or, with permission, at your church or parish building. Having an icon of Jesus the Returning King will provide a visual focus and grace for the group. Copies of this icon can be obtained on the Direction for Our Times website or by contacting a Direction for Our Times office. Recognizing that participants may have to travel or modify their schedules to attend regularly, a best practice is to try to hold your meeting on the same day each month when possible (for example, the first Thursday of the month) to allow participants to plan accordingly. If the meeting takes place at a meal-time or participants need to travel to attend, it may be appropriate to have refreshments available before or after the structured prayer time, at your group’s discretion.
Lay apostle prayer groups can tend to take on their own personalities based on the members, the formality, or setting of the group, at least one structured hour (but not more) should be set aside to recite the Luminous Mysteries, and read and discuss each month’s message. Suggested prayers and the Luminous Mysteries can be found in the appendix of some of the Volumes, especially more recent editions, and copies can be made of these prayers for group members to follow along. Don’t be afraid to invite members of your family or parish, friends, or others to participate. Some groups even have their young children participate in the Rosary, prayers, and discussion of the Messages. And for those who hope to develop their faith through asking informed questions, consider having the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Volumes, the messages, and the booklets available (or an Internet connection, as all the writings are available on this site free of charge), and questions participants have can be explored during this time.
Click here for a database of active prayer groups and contact information of at least one member of each group on www.directionforourtimes.org. If you have begun your own prayer group, please contact Direction for Our Times to register so that others may attend, regularly or in preparation for beginning their own prayer group. And if there is a particular need your group can meet, such as access to Skype or a specific language, this can be posted as well. And above all, enjoy developing relationships with fellow lay apostles and developing your faith along the way. You can have a prayer group registered that you wish to keep closed. You may do this, but register anyway so we can contact you as a prayer group leader when necessary (if you wish). Additionally, many families have their own prayer group which is kept within their families. This is acceptable also.