Anne’s letter to lay apostles announcing Volume 5
Happy greetings to you as we make our way into 2013. We at DFOT are eagerly anticipating many projects this year including the School of Holiness in Ireland, an increased presence on social media, expansion of our prison ministry and growth in the many existing works and outreaches in various countries. Additionally, we join many of you in plans for Eucharistic Days of Renewal. The written works are being used in a wide range of applications and we will do our best to help lay apostles spread God’s words even further.In line with that goal, we bring Volume Five to publication. We do this now because we have received permission from Bishop O’Reilly to print and distribute this Volume. Volume Five will be available in early to mid February and I will be speaking about it initially at the First Thursday talk in February at St. Anne’s Church in Bailieborough, County Cavan.The richness of Volume Five is a blessing to each of us, just as all of the Volumes are blessings. The Volumes provide us with an invitation to examine what God is giving us as contemporary Catholics. The Lord has goals, my friends. We must receive this Volume as a spiritual gift and as another book of direction and instruction. Because the Volumes were recorded in sequence, we have found it helpful to re-read the section in Volume Four called ‘Jesus the King’ before reading Volume Five. We offer this as a suggestion.Lay apostles, we have all benefitted greatly from the graces and teachings God has given us. No doubt God is looking for a response from us in our prayer lives, vocations and our personal relationships with our parishes, dioceses and our beautiful Church.
I feel grateful that the Lord brings this book out at this time because it is one more task accomplished for heaven. It is my hope that each lay apostle will receive this book with enormous gratitude for the growth he or she has experienced in the time between when we picked up our first Volume to this time, now, when we pick up Volume Five.
With love from your sister in Christ,
Anne, a lay apostle
May 25, 2004 Jesus
Jesus the Redeemer
“When souls criticise My Church and it’s leaders, you must direct them to Me. They should never spread disunity among My followers. If they bring their concerns to Me in prayer I will give them the light to understand exactly what is happening and why it must be. I do not abandon My Church, I assure you, and those who constantly criticise its leaders are speaking with little faith because if I allowed leaders to dismantle what Peter began for Me, it would be the same as abandoning it to a flawed humanity. Be one who defends the Church. Let it be known that you will not tolerate My Church being ridiculed and vilified…. I will help you and show you how I want you to respond to attacks you witness. You must arm yourself in prayer and understand that this is a spiritual battle. I am with you and will remain with you.”
May 28, 2004
Jesus the Redeemer
“Any person who makes an act of sorrow and contrition for his sins will know Me instantaneously and be the recipient of My Light and guidance. I am a God of mercy, first and foremost, but I am also a God of justice. My justice, tendered with mercy, will flow into your world. Be joyful, followers of heaven, for your prayer will be answered and your souls liberated.”
May 17th, 2004
Jesus the Redeemer
“It is important that you, children of the earth, understand that you are not suffering alone. It is also important that you understand that you have many weapons at your disposal. One of the weapons that should be utilized is the intercession of the saints who have fought these fights before you. You see, dear children, there is nothing new in your world and these struggles you contend with have been contended with in the past…”
St. Andrew the Apostle
“Souls of the earth, I am your brother. I experienced great trials for the Church. Many of us here shed blood for the Church. What we are watching now is not pleasant in that this Church we sacrificed our lives for with such conviction, is barely defended. The attacks against God’s Church are constant. This is always the way, of course, because the enemy roams. But never has there been such a time when the attacks strike into the very heart of God’s Church with only the barest of replies, and sometimes, no reply at all. This is not moral courage, brothers and sisters. I am Andrew and I love you all most tenderly. I am very determined to assist you and God has given me permission. You must defend your Church. I will help you. Call out to me and ask me how you should respond to a given attack. I will answer you. I will secure the necessary courage from the throne of heaven and I will fight alongside you. When you falter, I will be there. I will call out to Jesus, immediately securing additional courage and wisdom for you. I, Andrew, will defend the Church of God with you during this time. Use me. You will not be sorry you secured my help.”
Volume 5 letter from Fr. Darragh Connolly
Dear lay apostles,
Greetings in Jesus Christ the Returning King!
We have all received so many blessings from Jesus through this apostolate. How generous the Lord is! It is a great joy for us at Direction for Our Times, to be given permission from our bishop to publish Volume 5.
We are preparing to go to print but could use your help to do so. Factually, the cost of printing Volume 5 will be $12, 200. We are grateful for all of the help we have received and rely partly on book sales and partly on donations, as you know, to cover our expenses and continue distributing books.
Despite challenging financial times, we have kept the book prices intentionally low so that we can continue to get them into the hands of many. We feel this is right because of the many testimonies that come to us from people who tell us that the Volumes and booklets describe their lives as being transformed. For every testimony of blessing we receive we know there are many more we don’t hear about.
Here is a testimony we received from a former prisoner:
My story begins in solitary confinement in 2008. I found a copy of Heaven Speaks to Prisoners. It actually inspired me and led me to realize Christ too was a criminal. He broke the law several times in His life. One was a capitol offense. Many people have asked me what the worst part of prison is. I actually have five answers for that. Number one, witnessing a rape. Number two, watching a man die. Number three, feeling helpless no matter how much you are wronged. Number four, longing for freedom and realizing it will be years and years. And number five, solitary confinement (RHU, the hole…etc)
I actually wrote to Direction for Our Times and requested Volume One, Thoughts on Spirituality. Much to my surprise a hand written response came with the book. That one sentence, (if you need anything else let me know) changed so much. There is a moment during a person’s change (rehabilitation) when there is a renewed faith in humanity. The note was signed ‘Justin.’ And I knew that God had gotten hold of Anne and a man named Justin and put them in my path. My spirit lifted. I had many dark thoughts in prison. Several, were during solitary confinement; we won’t be discussing them here.
The darkness vanished when I got that single sentence on that single half sheet of paper. My faith in humanity had been restored. So I began to read. I noticed one thing, very quickly. Anne suffered a lot. I began to realize that I too suffer. So, I began to work in tandem with Anne. I never have written to Anne, spoken to Anne, or met Anne. But I feel connected to her deeply. Through my readings of her sufferings I learned to suffer with dignity and humility. I learned then to enjoy times of non- suffering. Then I finally learned how to apply those ebbs and flows into tandem. Especially with Anne. My hope was that, my happy(calmer) times were part of her worst and that vice versa- her being happy were because of my suffering. I thought, if I can suffer and make Anne better or happier in her life then I would gratefully go through it. I don’t know if I was following what Anne wrote correctly, but I was learning a profound lesson non- the less.
During the time I was reading her books I was writing to Justin. We developed what I dubbed a ‘pen-ship’ calling myself “your friend in the pen.” Justin encouraged me, gave me purpose, and although I love my family very deeply. Justin was a friend. A non-family person to write to. For years we wrote while my days in prison ticked by.
In 2012 I was granted parole. I spent many hours in prayer thanking God. I went to a halfway house and immediately wrote my friend Justin. Justin was as excited as me. So on September 3rd, 2012 at 1:30pm EST I called Justin for the first time. We talked about a lot of things. I asked him how Anne was doing. He said fine. I think of Anne daily and read her writings often. The Direction for Our Times organization really should take a bow. They calmed me down, leveled me out and gave me purpose. Anne and Justin, I owe you both my freedom and my life. Thank you.
I will continue to thank you both, to my dying day. I finally got what I desired for so long. Freedom physically and freedom spiritually. Once again, thank you.
Your friend, nearly free,
Jason received the prisoner booklet because a lay apostle somewhere was generous enough with their time and resources to place this booklet. We are very grateful to Jason for sharing his story and allowing us to share it with you. Through your generous support to date we have been able to keep a small staff so that we can maintain relationships such as Justin did with Jason.
As you are aware we have translated the writings of the apostolate into many languages. The translation process is often made possible through the generous time giving of a translator who feels inspired to work with us or through the financial generosity of someone who feels inspired to fund the translation. If you would like to contribute to the process of translating Volume 5 or any of the writings of the apostolate into your language please let us know.
Whilst we are organising to print Volume 5, we are also reprinting Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 10 and many of the Heaven Speaks booklets.
May God continue to bless you and bring you closer to Him,
Fr. Darragh Connolly