Monday, December 10, 2012


It has taken me a few days to get back in the swing of things. My trip to Ireland was filled with love, faith, friends and clarity.  The Eucharistic Day of Renewal at Holy Trinity Abbey in Kilnacrott, Ireland on 02Dec2012 was more than just gathering with lay apostles. It was a day of clarity. For those visiting the Abbey, Jesus offers the grace of illumination of conscience. To see where we are getting it right . . . and where we need to do better. As usual, Anne's talks were inspiring. During the Holy Hour, I prayed for Jesus to illuminate me . . . and boy did He! One of the promises He makes in the Volumes is conversion of our loved ones.  It is a promise I hold Him to, and, one I ask for daily:

Promise from Jesus to His Lay Apostles

May 12, 2005

Your message to souls remains constant. Welcome each soul to the rescue mission. You may assure each lay apostle that just as they concern themselves with My interests, I will concern Myself with theirs. They will be placed in My Sacred Heart and I will defend and protect them. I will also pursue complete conversion of each of their loved ones. So you see, the souls who serve in this rescue mission as My beloved lay apostles will know peace. The
world cannot make this promise as only heaven can bestow peace on a soul. This is truly heaven’s mission and I call every one of heaven’s children to assist Me. You will be well rewarded, My dear ones.

Back to Holy Hour. I was praying for Jesus to show me where I needed to improve (and to please rank them in order of importance as I know the list is long!). As soon as I asked, He gave it to me. Clear as a sunny day. I proclaim myself a Lay Apostle of Jesus Christ the Returning King. The five guidelines of a lay apostle Anne had just spoken about in her talk popped into my head:

Guidelines for Lay Apostles

As lay apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King, we agree to perform our basic obligations as practicing Catholics. Additionally, we will adopt the following spiritual practices, as best we can:

1. Allegiance Prayer and Morning Offering, plus a brief prayer for the Holy Father

2. Eucharistic Adoration, one hour per week

3. Prayer Group Participation, monthly, at which we pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and read the Monthly Message

4. Monthly Confession

5. Further, we will follow the example of Jesus Christ as set out in the Holy Scripture, treating
all others with His patience and kindness.

And then the question Jesus put on my heart.  Was I living those guidelines? Yes, I was, but not exactly. I do try to pray the Allegiance Prayer and Morning Offering every day, but days can escape with out them prayed. I try to spend an hour in Adoration weekly, but weeks can go by without Adoring. I definitely have guideline number 3 down.  I attend our monthly lay apostle prayer group. And then there's Confession. I am getting better, but months can fly by without confessing. The 5th guideline I adhere to daily with others. But am I patient and kind with myself? I'm getting better.  So, my clarity? In order for the conversion of my loved ones, I need to completely perform the above guidelines, which, in fact, aren't very hard to adhere to. Actually, it's the least we all should be doing as practicing Catholics. 

That night, after snuggling into my warm bed at the convent where I stayed (thanks to Catherine for my lifesaving hot water bottle and Emma for cranking the heat up for me!), I called Jay. First thing I said was, our lives were going to change a bit upon my return from Ireland. It was time to truly live as lay apostles. His response?  "Ok . . . let's get a weekly plan in place!" Since I have been back, a plan has emerged and execution of that plan has begun!

Lay apostles, are you following the above guidelines? Not attending a lay apostle prayer group?  Get on to find one (website is down right now, but you can always call the Chicago office at 708-496-9300 to find a group near you). Haven't been to Confession in a while?  Call your church office. Special Reconciliation services are planned for the Advent season (for those in Ft. Myers, St. Cecilia's is offering Confession tomorrow night 11Dec2012 beginning at 7pm). Can't get to Adoration?  There is a website with perpetual Adoration: to commit your one hour per week to Jesus. We all have the time no matter how busy or tired we think we are. It's time. Begin today.

Thank you, Lord, for my trip to Ireland and the clarity you bestowed upon me there.  It was a glorious trip with so many loving lay apostles surrounding me. And thank you for Jay, who is ready and willing to live life as a lay apostle by my side.  You are so good to me!!!

God bless,

Some pics from my trip to Ireland:

 Catherine, our gracious hostess and amazing cook!
 Catherine and Justin
 Justin, Victor and Michael
 Nancy and Charlie
 Emma - loved staying with you!!!
 Jane and Mary
 Lay apostles from the U.S. and Ireland
 Mary's hand embroidered Jesus Christ the Returning King for Fr. Darragh
 The men cleaning after a lovely dinner
 Love this!
 Ryan, DFOT's IT guy!
 Behind the alter at Holy Trinity Abbey
 Emma selling books at the Abbey
 Holy Hour at the Abbey
 Yes, priests can be fun! Love Fr. Darragh!
 Fr. Darragh and Anne (what a wonderful end to a wonderful day at the Abbey)
 Tracey and Collum (loved hanging with you Tracey!)
Dinner with lay apostles!
More lay apostles  

 Planning meeting at Catherine and Victor's home 
Last night with everyone! Such a blessed trip!

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