Category Archives: My Walk with Jesus
I heard this word from the Holy Trinity today following receiving my Lord in Holy Communion during the Holy Mass in the Cathedral.
“Be at peace, My daughter, I have cleansed you of your sins. They are far behind Me – as far as the east is from the west, so far are your sins from Me. (Psalm 103:12).
Do not trouble your heart or conscience about them anymore. They are dead to Me and should – must – be dead to you too. You are free now in My love and mercy.
How simple it is. How simple it can be for all those who turn to Me with broken and contrite hearts, confessing their sins in sincerity; and I will forgive them and heal them, -restore them to fullness of life with no weight on their shoulders, free from worry and anxiety, – a new creation in the moment I forgive and heal their souls.
What joy to be free! If the Son sets you free you are free indeed! (John 8:36). All who turn to Me in sincerity and truth, confessing their sins will receive mercy from Me. For I am mercy Itself.
I love to be merciful. I relish in being merciful. It gives me great joy to be merciful to sinners. Know this My daughter, I love all My children with an everlasting love and want to grant mercy to them all.
Little children, won’t you come to Me and receive My mercy? I am gentle and forgiving and so easy to approach as My heart is bared open in love for you.
I love you to abandon. My heart aches with love for you and I want to expend My mercy so I can rejoice. Let Me love you. Let Me forgive you. Give Me this joy!
You burden yourself so unnecessarily, weighed down with buckets, tons, of sins that I could so easily remove in the fiery love of My heart. Let Me do it! Let Me do so! I want to liberate you, – free you to walk lightly in joy and freedom as My children – children of the living God who is love and mercy. I Am love and mercy.
It is Me, your God, – this is who I Am. I Am no other God. Do you understand this? I Am that I Am! My truth, My reality is love and mercy – the foundation of all I have created out of Myself – My overflowing Self. This is who I Am, your God.
Why do you wonder about things – about truth, and confuse yourselves. I am truth. I have told you so. I have revealed Myself to you. I have made Myself known to you.
Trust Me. I do not lie. I cannot lie for I Am truth – there is no lie in Me – only truth. Thus, you can know what I say and do is truth. Believe! Simply believe. Wonder no more. Think no more. Accept Me as Am – your true and ever living, loving God who made all that is from Myself – from My fullness – and I am everything. There is nothing beyond or outside of Me. I Am the great Reality. I Am who Is.
Be at peace to know and believe this and your lives will be peaceful, joyful and without confusion. Be simple and walk humbly with your God.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Little children, you are forever loved by Me. Know this!”
Today I returned to the Cathedral for Holy Mass, the first time since having returned from my 40 day trip to the Holy Land and Greece. Surely, I’ve been in fellowship and communion with our Lord during this period. I was attending holy mass and visiting the holy places and shrines and conversing with my dear Jesus throughout the day along the way of my overseas travels. But as often happens when one is occupied with worldly responsibilities, duties, and enjoyments, finding quality private time to sit in silence, still, waiting on the Lord to listen to Him attentively, is often compromised. At least I find that happens to me!
So today when I went to the Cathedral for Holy Mass and after Communion I remained for a extended period of quiet and contemplation, waiting on Jesus in deep silent adoration.
Jesus spoke these words to me, “Sweet child how dear you are to Me. I am with you here in the Cathedral. You are precious to Me, like a rare jewel.
I am wondering where have you been? I would talk with you every day if you made time for Me. You are dear to My Heart. I want to be with you daily. You must stop your distractions. Sit with Me every day and I will share My Heart with you.
You are rushing about, even while you are doing nothing. Slow down. Be at peace in My Spirit of Love.
Love is all you need. My Love fills you with everything – with the fullness of all Good. Take time to savor it. You have time, make time to be with Me in stillness and quiet.
Time is marching on, soon there will be no more time to prepare your heart for eternity. Time waits for no one. Time is a precious gift to be used to glorify Me, by being with Me – in Me – during all the minutes of your day, filled with My Love and Goodness, which will radiate My Glory for all eternity – your purified soul like a jewel – reflecting My Light.
Withdraw from this restless world into the Peace of My Heart, a quiet Sanctuary of Love, Light and Goodness. ‘Be still and know that I am God’, (Psalm 46:10), your Peace and Salvation.
Remain in My Peace. Remain in My Love
Remain in My Light.
Guard your heart like a cloistered convent.
Remain in the Hermitage of My Sacred Heart
I entered into prayer with sweet Jesus, calling out, “Jesus, Mary I love you!
Here I am Lord! My heart is listening for Your love – Your loving words to me.
I’m ready to hear You – Your will for my life!
I thirst!” Jesus then spoke to my spirit,
“My love for you is infinite, Ann. Do you know what that means? (My love is) like a sun that never dies (out).
My love is precious, bringing joy to the soul – joy which overflows into the lives of others, bringing them hope.
My love brings Life – radical Life – to those that will receive Me into their hearts.
Trust opens the floodgates of My love into a soul.
Peace comes and goes in this world, but My peace is everlasting to those who trust Me.
My love is perfect – charitable, yet, just.”
Then, at the 3pm Hour of Mercy, I ceased my contemplation in order to vocally pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the Lord on behalf of an Israeli woman, whom the Lord had providentially placed in the seat next to mine on the airplane coming home to the USA from Israel last Sunday.
I had promised her that upon returning to America, I would especially pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for her and all her family, since she had opened her heart to Messiah, – Yeshua – as we were traveling together from Tel Aviv to London. I had shared Christ’s Gospel of salvation with this tender- hearted Jewish woman and she wept as she heard of Jesus’ love, forgiveness and offer of redemption for her and for all who put their trust in Him, who is “Immanuel” ( God with us). I shared how Yeshua is the fulfillment of all the true and trustworthy promises and the Messianic prophecies that God gave to the Fathers and Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures.
“…Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name[y]Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Gospel of Matthew 1:20-23
I prayed that she receive the gift of salvation and Eternal Life made possible by Jesus who is the True Sacrificial Passover Lamb who takes away her sins and the sins of all the world. I assured her that she is known and loved by Christ in His infinite love, and that He had chosen her this day to hear the Good News of Salvation.
As we parted ways, she embraced me and kissed me and I encouraged her to “Go in the peace of God”, whose Name is YESHUA (“God saves”), the Name above all names as “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) and
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:9–11).
After concluding the Divine Mercy Chaplet for her, Jesus continued his words to me:
“My love is light – enlightening every heart that lets Me in.
My love is power – strength for the weak and weary.
My love is Faith leading to everlasting Life with Me who is Life Itself. For apart from Me, there is nothing that is.”
I praise You, our Savior Jesus Christ, now and forever, for Your infinite Love and Your mighty Salvation! I trust you will remember Your daughter Coral and her family in Your Kingdom, where You live forever and ever, when they pass from this earthy life into Your Eternal Love. Amen!
Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His [Jesus’] Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, NIV)
“Ann, I am here, with you, surrounding you with My love. Though you cannot feel Me physically or see My face, you know that I am with you.
You are My trusting daughter. So many do not trust Me. They run and hide from Me – like Adam and Eve in the garden, to hide their shame for their sins. They will not approach Me. They turn their ears from My call. They hide themselves under fig leaves of distractions, – anything to avoid the silence when they will be alone with Me and their nakedness would be exposed to My sight. They fear My glance will sear their souls.
You, Ann, know Me. You know I am forgiving to sinners. My hand is light on those who confess their sinfulness. I embrace them and lift them and press them to My heart where they are healed and refreshed by My love.
Precious child, tell them of My mercy – how merciful I have been to you! You were once dead in your sins, but I have restored you to Life. You are alive in Me, cleansed of all your sin, filled with joy, knowing you now belong to Me, Who is Life Eternal.
You have no fear of death anymore, because you trust Me, your Savior, because I have removed your sins from you and they exist no more in My sight. As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your iniquities from you. (Psalm 103:12)
Ann, My child, tell them of My love and mercy; for what I have done for you, I will do for each of them.”
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Gordon: When and why did you join Holy Angels Parish?
Ann: We moved into Woodbury, New Jersey when I was seven years old and in the second grade. My father was a vascular surgeon and established his private medical practice at the Underwood Memorial Hospital in this small, lovely, and typical American town founded in the 1600s and situated across the Delaware River from the City of Philadelphia. My parents originate from Norway (my mother was a first generation immigrant) and Germany, (my father’s family came to America in the early 1700’s as farmers and settled in Pennsylvania). Below is the photo of my Norwegian grandfather leading the singing praise hymns to the Lord by all my Norwegian cousins in the traditional Lutheran Church in my mother’s farming village of Ekne, Norway on my baptism in 1962. I’m the little toddler on the right side running around the church.
Thus, our family’s spiritual history is Protestant from the time of the Reformation. I was baptized in 1962 as a toddler in my mother’s traditional Lutheran church on a visit to my devout Lutheran Norwegian farming grandparents. When my parents moved into Woodbury in 1967 they became members of the First Presbyterian Church at Woodbury, as they were told it was a “nice” church with a good pastor. While growing up in Woodbury, I was active with the Presbyterian Church in their youth activities, singing in the church choir, and studying piano and organ under the church music director. Although I had attended Sunday school, and went to church services on Sunday where I would usually sing in the choir, and even though I had been Confirmed in the Presbyterian Church at age 13, I did not really know Jesus and I did not have living and active faith. Church for me was social, -a community and musical experience. Music touched me deep in my soul, and although my heart rose in joy when I sang the hymns, I did not specifically lift my heart to the Lord or knowingly sing to God and Jesus in worship, love and Adoration. When I recited the Apostles Creed, I did not understand the words that I was saying. Despite my church life, I was spiritually ignorant and blind, and did not have “ears to hear or eyes to perceive” the Gospel at that time in my life. St Patrick’s Church was the only Catholic church in our town of Woodbury when I was growing up and still is the only Catholic church in the town. Many of my classmates from elementary and high school attended CCD, and CYO at St. Patrick’s. I remember some classmates coming to school on Ash Wednesday with the sign of the cross traced in ashes on their forehead. I did not understand what this sign meant. I did not have a hunger to know why they did this act and so I never inquired about their faith, and furthermore, none of my Catholic classmates ever spoke to me about their Church or shared their Catholic Christian faith with me, and so I remained ignorant. I left Woodbury at age 17 after my high school graduation to pursue my education and I moved to New York City to attend New York University. By then I was an agnostic, totally focused on worldly and secular pursuits. I was a very lost sheep, but I did not even know it! During my university years I was not exposed to any witness of the Christian or Catholic faith by anyone at any time. My New York City experience was secular, hedonistic, humanistic, and worldly and I was exposed to many sinful and evil persons, places and things leading me further and further away from God.
I graduated from NYU and then moved to London to continue my studies, earning an MBA in international business. I began my international banking career in Philadelphia when I returned to America in 1983, married my husband in 1985, whom I had met in London during my graduate studies, and moved with him to Madrid, Spain in 1991 to open an office for the bank as my successful career advanced. During all these years I was spiritually dead, and not looking for God, and my husband was a self-proclaimed atheist despite having been brought up in a devout Muslim family in a Palestinian village in Israel. Upon returning to America from Madrid, due to my promotion to head up the Southern European Region of the International Division for CoreStates Bank, we started a family, and our two daughters were born in 1995 and 1997, respectively. It was during this period from 1994 through 1998 while I was still working at the bank and traveling for business through Southern Europe that the Lord pursued me mightily to come to Him in faith, beginning with His mysterious call to my heart and soul during a routine business trip to Italy in 1994.( Further below I will share my testimony for it was the beginning of my journey towards full Conversion to Jesus Christ and into Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church). But first I will return to the question of why I have returned after 40 years to my hometown of Woodbury and am now attending St. Patrick’s Church, one of the three churches that were merged to form Holy Angels Parish. I started coming back to Woodbury from Israel where I was living with my husband and two daughters during 2008-2011, in order to assist my parents and sister who had become very ill during the time we were living abroad. Since I was by then a Catholic convert, I began to attend Saint Patrick’s Church every time I came home to the USA. Because of the increasing complexity of my father, mother and sister’s illnesses, and simultaneous trial we were going through to find a cure for my youngest daughter’s years’ long, chronic and life- threatening depression, my husband and I decided we should return to America to seek better treatment for her. Then, in 2014, I moved to Woodbury without my husband and youngest daughter, in order to live with my parents and sister who were suffering tremendously and could not care for themselves. My mother was battling late stage ovarian cancer, my sister who had been living with my parents was dying of liver failure due to alcohol addiction and my father was deteriorating rapidly from Alzheimer’s disease. After my sister passed away, and we were finally able to relocate my father to an assisted-living facility for Alzheimer’s patients, my husband and youngest daughter joined me in Woodbury so we could live together as a family, helping my mother until she finally succumbed to her disease in 2016. After the death of my mother, my husband and I decided to remain and settle in my family home in Woodbury, and it is then when I formally joined St. Patrick’s Church. We have been living in Woodbury for the past few years, and during this time St. Patrick’s Church was merged with two other local churches forming the new Holy Angel’s Parish. I was not involved with the merger process in anyway, so I cannot really speak about it. I understand that it was due to financial reasons that the merger was necessary. I love our parish! There are a group of very devout, pious, deeply spiritual Catholics who attend daily Mass, and adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and whose worship and devotion to our Lord keeps the Holy Spirit present and moving amongst us. We have had new priests assigned to our parish, due to the retirement of Monsignor, and due to serious illnesses of several other of our priests. We are blessed with two holy priests from Africa who have recently been assigned to our parish.
It feels good to be home in my childhood town, after forty years away, and I can only say with Saint Augustine, “too late have I loved Thee”! How I wish I had had living faith in our Lord Jesus Christ during my childhood and had known the truth about the holy Eucharist and the holy Catholic Faith and had received Him in holy Communion at Saint Patrick’s during my childhood!
Gordon: You have a fascinating background as a former international banker, who, after visiting Assisi, had a life-transforming experience. Could you share this with our readers?
Ann: I would like now to pick up where I left off above, in my personal history, when I was still working for Corestates Bank and traveling to Southern Europe as Regional Manager, and to share with you details about one extraordinary life-changing day I experienced on a business trip to in Italy in 1994 when the Spirit of God came upon me mightily in the holy town of Assisi and thus, transformed my life forever! I was a 34 year – old, ambitious Vice President who had successfully opened an office for Corestates in Madrid, Spain. I had built up the market successfully to such a point where my proposal to open a representative office on the Peninsula was heartily approved by senior management. After three years of success in managing the Madrid Office, I was offered a promotion to Regional Manager of Southern Europe, which included responsibility for Spain and Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the other countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin. It seemed I had everything going for me. I had been married 10 years at that time, was very well paid, and after this lucrative overseas ex-patriot assignment for several years had returned to a more senior position at the bank with further upward success looking promising. On the surface of things, it appeared that my life was very good and that I was lacking for nothing, but I would soon discover by no attempt of my own that I was utterly poor and empty in all that truly mattered! I was scheduled for another routine trip to Italy, accompanied by my colleague, a young woman who reported to me, and who was one of the country managers for Italy. She had arranged the entire itinerary for our Italian trip and one of our appointments was with a bank in the town of Perugia. It was scheduled as a brief courtesy call to show our appreciation to the international division manager for all the business that he and his bank conducted with ours. Our arranged agenda was to spend about half an hour having a coffee with the manager and then continuing on the rest of our business trip to Rome.
I had never met the head of the international division at this bank, so I was unknown to him, and he had no knowledge of my agnosticism. My colleague had told him nothing personal about me regarding matters of faith and religion, as these topics were unrelated to our business purposes. When we arrived at the bank that morning, I discovered that the bank manager spoke no English.
After a brief introduction, he proceeded to cup his hand under my elbow and gently lead me away, with my colleague following, through the halls of the bank and then down into the garage where he encouraged us to get into his car. Not speaking any Italian, I was not able to converse with him and did not understand what was happening. He began to drive us to a destination, and when we arrived we found ourselves at Assisi, the holy pilgrimage town of Saint Francis of Assisi. We wondered why he would bring us there without discussing these plans with us in advance. We had scheduled a standard international corporate bank appointment and had not arranged any time for sightseeing. Furthermore, we had plans to drive on to Rome that morning. No amount of explaining our desires to the banker moved him to bring us back to the bank. After about an hour with the Italian banker leading us through the holy sites of Assisi, we gave up our protestations and yielded to his agenda, and let go of our need to control the day’s events.
Not being Catholic, and not even a practicing or believing Christian I had no idea what Assisi meant, except that it was the name of the town from where Saint Francis came. I knew practically nothing about St. Francis except that I often saw his statue adorning gardens because he was associated with birds. At first, the banker took us to the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli a little distance outside of the main town of Assisi where after he took us to visit the other famous shrines. In the Church, he pointed out the holy icons and paintings, and I did not have a clue as to what they signified and thus, did not know how to appreciate their spiritual importance. Then, he motioned to me to go inside the Porziuncola (the little chapel which name means “small portion of land” which belonged to the Order of Saint Benedict of Monte Subasio), which is thought to have been erected under Pope Liberius in the mid- 4th century by hermits from the Valley of Josaphat in Jerusalem, who had brought relics from the grave of the Blessed Virgin to Assisi. The chapel became known as the Chapel of Our Lady of the Valley of Josaphat or the Chapel of the Angels because of the relics brought from the site where Mary’s Assumption into heaven accompanied by angels occurred. Furthermore, it also derives its name from the witness of many persons over the centuries claimed to hear the singing of angels inside!
After St Francis returned from a pilgrimage Rome, he had a vision of Christ on the way, who said to him, ‘Francis can’t you see that My house is falling into ruin, Go and rebuild it!” Francis, not yet understanding that the Lord was speaking to him about reforming the entire Catholic Church, Francis took the words of Jesus at face value and began restoring several local ruined churches, among them the Porziuncola, the little chapel of St Mary of the Angels. Afterwards, Francis built himself a small hut near the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels and was soon joined by other followers. It was here that Francis founded the Franciscans.
I entered timidly into the chapel as I did not know what to do in such a holy space. There were devout pilgrims kneeling in prayer on the wooden pews along the sides of the chapel. I didn’t consider kneeling down to pray as I did not know God, nor even how to pray, as I had not said prayers since I was a young child, and even then, I seldom prayed. I stopped and remained still in the middle of the aisle facing the altar. I simply stood there alone in the aisle without being aware of any thoughts. It was there that a mysterious Presence came upon me. I felt a wonderful sense of Peace and Love and Light flood my soul, – a place I did not know even existed within me. I realized that I was in the Presence of a Person who personally knew me, loved me, and cared about me. I did not hear any Voice nor see any Face. My experience was a mystical sensation in my innermost being. I had an immediate understanding that this Person was God Almighty who created me and knew me and was revealing Himself to me that He exists and loves and cares for me. I was forever changed by this brief but sublime Encounter.
On two other specific occasions during that marvelous and mysterious day, the Spirit of God came upon me again and continued to call me to Himself. When finally, the banker took us back to his car, he gave me as a gift the Prayer of St Francis and quite curiously he asked me in his poor and broken English, “are you different?” I did not know how to answer his mysterious question, but tears welled up in my eyes and when I looked at him I saw that he too had wet eyes. I saw him only one time after that day, six months later in Milan, on another business trip at a bank event, where this mysterious banker simply gave me a hug and offered me another gift – a print rolled up like a scroll of St Francis with his arms raised to heaven in praise to God.
I never saw the banker again, but his name if you translate it into English means “soldier of the Cross”. This gentle banker was surely an instrument of the Holy Spirit in my life. When I see him again one day in Heaven I will thank him for his faithful obedience to the promptings, inspirations and nudges of the Holy Spirit which forever changed the direction of my life. I continued seeking the Lord of Assisi with all my heart, mind soul and strength in the years to follow and our loving Triune God ultimately let Himself be found by me, – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and each One of the Divine Persons individually and distinctly revealed themselves to me. I left everything to love, follow and serve the one True Triune God of St Francis and the Christians and who is the only Living God of all humanity.
Gordon: Your Battle Cry is an extraordinary publication, and the title also reflects a challenge that many of us may not often reflect upon. Could you comment on some of the reasons why you chose this title?
Ann: The Battle Cry apostolate came directly from the Lord. I would never have considered beginning such a ministry on my own. The Lord gave me the name, “The Battle Cry” and confirmed His selection of this name through another Catholic who serves Him. Initially I was very reluctant to begin this ministry, because it involved transparently exposing my inner life and making myself vulnerable by sharing intimate words from the Lord that I receive in prayer.
However, the Lord continue to reassure me that this was His will, and that this was not only for my benefit, but also for the benefit of many souls who do not yet know and love Him, in order to draw them to salvation through repentance from sin and receiving of the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus. These words from the Lord are also for all Christians who do know and love their Lord yet, He desires to draw them into a deeper and more intimate relationship in order to prepare and strengthen them spiritually for much more difficult times that will be coming in the Church and the world as the evil spirit of apostasy, heresy, immorality, violence, and callous cold-heartedness increases in power and influence.
I believe that the Lord chose the name “The Battle Cry” in order to alert His Church and anyone of goodwill in the world who will read His words, to the urgency of the need for sincere contrition and deeper repentance, and a profound conversion of heart, through increased prayer, deeper trust and stronger faith in God and faithful obedience, service and living our lives in the light of His Holy and perfect Will.
I was prepared for the transition to share such intimate words and inspirations from the Lord through years of obedience to writing my personal faith testimonials in the first blog that the Lord asked me to write beginning in 2010. This first blog is .Walking with our Lord.
Readers can go to this site where I share many personal testimonials of my journey of conversion and walking with Jesus in increasing faith living in America and in the Holy Land. Each of the testimonials are true and reveal many miracles and wonders that our Lord has done in our intimate relationship and which he desires to have with all His beloved children. I wrote each of the accounts after the Holy Spirit revealed the story that He specifically desired that I share publically on the blog.
Gordon: You are also a popular Songwriter & Composer Based on your experience, how can music be a helpful evangelization resource?
Ann: As I shared above in my personal history, ever since childhood, I had a special love for music, singing in the church and school choirs, and studying piano and organ, and composing songs as a teenager, and playing in two bands, and even during my university years in New York City, managing a new wave band, and aspiring to a music career. For reasons I do not fully understand, but in reflecting back over the years, it would seem that the Lord had other plans for my life before He would stir up the gift of music He gave me and fulfill the desire of my heart.
Despite the earlier path towards music, while at NYU I found myself pursuing a major in history, and then, going on to study for my Master’s in international business in London and returning to the US to start a career in international banking. It wasn’t until after I returned home from living in the Holy Land, in 2011, that the Lord opened the floodgates of inspiration, and began sharing from His heart to mine both lyrics and melodies, which I diligently struggled and worked to annotate as musical scores.
I have composed a little more than 100 compositions over the past few years of songs and choral works that are in various stages of development. I never studied music theory or composition, so I had to teach myself how to score and arrange music. This has at times so frustrated me that I have become discouraged. I cannot accomplish all that my heart desires as I do not have the technical training and skill required. However, the Lord in His goodness has brought other Catholics to assist me in developing some of my simpler pieces into more advanced works as orchestral scores, and also to produce professional recordings in the studio of some of my songs and those that I have cowritten with them.
There is a story that I have yet to write and post on the Walking With Our Lord blog that I am still meditating upon. I had a miraculous encounter with someone, “Tony”, who prophesied to me about my music mission. When I get discouraged and begin to doubt this beautiful gift the Lord has given to me, and the music mission which He has inspired, I recall the encounter with the mysterious and angelic? “Tony” and try hold his amazing words of encouragement and counsel deep in my heart. I haven’t been working too much over the last six months on the Lord’s music, so I must get back to work! Saint Augustine once said, “He who sings, prays twice!” Music is the international language of the soul, and reaches deep into the hearts of all people, and thus music can be a very effective and sweet form of evangelization and sharing with others the love and truth of God who is the Divine Author and Composer of Music!
After receiving Jesus in holy communion at the Cathedral I cried out to the Lord: Here I am Lord! I come to do Your will! I am Yours, do with me as You please! I say yes – Amen! Fiat! to everything You ask and want of me. Show me what You desire. Lead me in your way.
Jesus responded within my spirit with these words:
“Peace to those near and those far off, I bring. I make all one in My love. The time is coming when I will unify all things in Myself that are in disunity and discord. The time is soon for a great outpouring of My Spirit on all the earth. Be ready. Be prepared, I will come to make all things new.
Ann, you are My warrior – you and all those who love Me. You sound the battle cry that hearts must prepare for My coming in the glory of My Spirit.
Shout! Shout it out to the ends of the earth, the Lord will come! The Lord is coming! He is coming soon! Be ready to meet your Bridegroom with your lamps lit and burning brightly.
I come to save those who will be saved. My Spirit comes to reconcile those who will be reconciled to Me and My Father. Time remains to convert, but not much time. Bring your hearts to Me. Open your minds to My Truth. Like Pilate, many ask, “What is truth?”
The Truth is who I Am. My Love is Truth. My Life is Truth.
Be mine by converting your hearts to Me who is Truth. I want you forever to be with Me where I Am, but you must be willing.
Sound the trumpet!”
(Here the Lord prompted me to open the passage of scripture for this call, and I found it in Joel 2:1 where the full passage states:
‘Sound the alarm in Jerusalem! Raise the battle cry on My holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand.’)
After, Jesus continued speaking to me, saying, “the Lord comes with His mighty Spirit to cover the earth with gladness and Truth. But, Oh, for some, there will be pain, not joy, unless you convert and repent of your evil ways and enter into My Truth – enter into My Heart – My Love – My Life. Amen, Amen, Amen.”
In front of Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, during the hour of Adoration, I lifted my heart to my precious and sweet Lord and cried out to Him, “give me light, give me truth, give me You!”
Tender and lovely Jesus responded to me, “Ann, dear child, be at peace. I am here with you watching over you. You are dear to Me, my love. You are sensitive to My nudges to repent when you have sinned. I am pleased with you, dear child.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
I am the only wise God. I impart wisdom to My dear children, so that they may lead holy lives worthy of My Name, as their Father and Lord. Wisdom is received from Me through prayer. Prayer is having your heart open to My Spirit. Prayer is listening to My Heartbeats, where the impulses of My fiery Love pours forth into your souls. Wisdom is imparted in such a way. This is contemplation – the deepest prayer. No words are needed, only impulses of love between us – between our open and bared hearts toward each other. Peace resides in the mutual beating of our hearts. Joy! Ecstatic joy! The joy of two lovers! In the silence, two hearts beating together as one!”
I responded with all my heart, in the words Jesus spoke to His Father, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
“All things have been committed to (You) by (Your) Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Gospel of Saint Matthew, 11: 25-27).
Today, while in prayer after receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, Jesus inspired me to tell you the following heart- warming story which I experienced some years ago, a story which reveals His Mother’s tender love and concern for and gentle presence with her dear children throughout the ages. In prayer the Lord brought to mind my young God-daughter and niece, Alenka, who will be turning 13 this summer. Jesus is prompting me to send her a lovely little ladybug devotional bracelet with a Cross and an image of our Lady of Grace connected by a string of little red ladybug beads, which I was wearing today at Mass. This devotional bracelet was given to me A couple of years ago by a Catholic friend, after I shared with her my experience with our Mamma Mary and some ladybugs during Easter. To my delight and surprise, my friend told me that the ladybug (also known as a ladybird and a ladybeetle) has an historical connection with our Blessed Mother Mary because of a miracle she performed in Europe in the Middle Ages.
(From Catholic.org, article dated October 30, 2004) “The original name of the ladybug is “Our Lady’s Bug.” It seems that during the Middle Ages, a plague of small insects (aphids) attacked the crops, threatening Europe with starvation. The people had recourse to Our Lady, and petitioned her to save them from this plague. In answer to their prayer, a cloud of small, black-spotted, orange-red insects arrived and promptly ate all the offending pests. The grateful population gave to them the name, “Our Lady’s Bugs.” News of this miracle spread and a comparison of over 40 languages, including different dialects, this small beetle was given a great variety of names, referring to Our Lady and God such as: “God’s Little Cow” (Dievo Karvute, Lithuanian; Vaquilla de Dios, Spanish); “Dear God’s Little Creature” (Lieve Heersbeestje, Dutch);
- Ye Mariam Tinziza … “Mary’s Beetle”, Amharic (West Ethiopia);
- Arca de la Mare de Deu…“Mother of God’s Ark”Catalan;
- Gallinetta de la Mare de Deu… “Mother of God’s Chicken” …Catalan
- Bubamara … “Mary’s Beetle” …Croatian
- Mariehøne … “Mary’s Hen” …Danish (and Norwegian, if the ‘e’ is made an ‘a’)
- Onzer-lieve-vrouwe Beestje… “Our Dear Lady’s Little Creature” …Dutch
- Bete de la Vierge … “The Virgin’s Creature” …French
- Frauenkäferlein … “Our Lady’s Little Beetle” …German (Bohemia)
- Scarpa de la Madona … “The Madonna’s Shoe” …Italian (Turin)
- Kafsch Dus … “God’s Beetle” …Persian (Iran)
- Boul-popei … “The Pope’s Ox” …Romanian
- Jungfru Maria Nyckelpiga… “Virgin Mary’s Key Maid” …Swedish.”
I had no idea how universal this association between the ladybug and our Blessed Mother Mary and God is! I just knew that our Lady had revealed her Presence and tender care for me through a ladybug!
Here is my story. While living in Pennsylvania, during the winter months, I would find some ladybugs in our bedroom on the curtains and window frames. Somehow they had crawled in through small crevices/cracks, seeking warmth inside our home from the harsh winter cold. The first winter I saw them, I paid no attention to their plight because I didn’t understand that they would not survive inside, as they would dry out from the heating. They should’ve been hibernating outside under the earth for the winter where their body temperatures would drop and their internal system would slow down until the first warmth of spring when they would awake and come out of hibernation. Those ladybugs that had come into a heated home, their bodies would not know to hibernate, rather they would simply dehydrate and die. The second winter that I saw the lovely ladybugs inside my house, I was curious about them and so I looked up on the Internet information about ladybugs and learned that in order to be humane it would be necessary to build a terrarium. One must place the ladybugs in the terrarium and provide water and honey for them to survive until spring when they could be released. I worked very hard on this and created a beautiful terrarium with twigs and earth and leaves in a glass container with a aerated lid for the seven ladybugs that I rescued that second winter. I provided them with fresh water and honey daily, using plastic bottle caps for their little bowls.
I became a caring mother to the seven ladybugs from November until April. Occasionally some of them would manage to get out of the lid, and in a panic I went looking for them all over the house, knowing that if they did not return to the terrarium they would dry out and die. I did find them, usually on the windows, and replaced them in their temporary home. One of them even laid eggs in the terrarium, so I knew that they were male and female, although I could not tell them apart. It was a joyful labor of love for the six months of winter looking after these little creatures of God, although my husband and children did not understand why I should care about “just bugs”. But I have the spirit of Saint Francis, and I care about every living creature no matter how small or seemingly unimportant. To me all life is sacred and beautiful. I discovered that one can become attached even to ladybugs, as love does not discriminate!
The week of Palm Sunday approached, and our family had plans to make a trip to Chicago to visit our older daughter. I found myself faced with the dilemma. Should I release the ladybugs outside since I would not be there for the week to provide water or honey for them? The temperature did not yet seem warm enough to release the ladybugs outside. What would happen if I left them for the duration of the trip in the terrarium and they dried out due to lack of water? I didn’t know what was the best course of action to take. I had been doting on them for six months and I couldn’t bear the thought that it would have all be in vain, that they would either die outside or inside if I made the wrong decision about their care. I sought guidance from the Lord on this matter. Ultimately, my sense was that they should be kept inside the terrarium until I got back. We left on our trip to Chicago. The weather took a sudden turn, and temperatures rose dramatically. I thought how I should have let them out. But how was I to know? I worried that the temperature inside the house without the air conditioning on would rise and the terrarium would dry out quickly and I would return to dead ladybugs. Remarkably the temperatures outside climbed into the nineties in Pennsylvania during that week!
There I was in Chicago and there was nothing I could do but pray for my precious ladybugs to survive. My husband, my daughters and I were walking through Millennium Park in Chicago on that very hot afternoon in mid week of our trip. I thought about the ladybugs in their dry as a bone glass terrarium with shriveled and brown leaves and clippings.
I lifted my heart up to our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God , Help of Christians, and approached her Immaculate and Holy Heart in prayer right there in Millennium Park with all trust and confidence as my loving and caring Mother and indeed, the Mother of All the Living, appealing to her for protection of the little creatures that I had left back in Pennsylvania. I prayed out loud, and my daughters witnessed my call on her powerful intercession. Immediately after this deep and sincere cry from my heart, a ladybug landed on my hand!! I rejoiced while showing this miracle to my husband and daughters.
This was beyond astounding! I praised the God of heaven and His Mother for their awesome Love and power. I believed in faith that all would surely be well with my ladybugs when I returned to Pennsylvania.
Several days later we arrived back at home and I found a bone dry terrarium filled with shriveled, dry and crumbling leaves and not a drop of water. But the ladybugs were there safe and fully alive! I released them on Easter Sunday morning into a pink flowering tree while praising Our Lord Jesus Christ who rose from the dead, and Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for Spiritual Warfare – the week of Monday, May 26, 2017 through Monday, June 5, 2017
On Monday, May 26, 2017 I went to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for Holy Mass, and after receiving Communion, stayed as I usually do in contemplation of our Lord in the silence of the great Cathedral. Jesus began to converse with me.
“Dear child, be at peace. I am with you. I am always with you and all those whom I love. I love you with an everlasting love. There is nothing to fear – perfect love casts out fear.
(There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” John 4:18-19.)
“Trust me. I am love –
in Me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)
As you are in Me, and I am perfect love, there is nothing to fear.
My mother endured all of her suffering in My peace because she was filled with My grace – My love. Her heart was bared – an open vessel – which did not resist the Holy Spirit of love which was poured into her. I want to pour out on all hearts My Holy Spirit afresh, but hearts must be open to receive this grace.”
At this moment in my meditation, I was overwhelmed with doubts and fears, concerned that I may be imagining these words from the Lord, that I was sinning by presumption, that I was deluding myself. I became so troubled that I told the Lord in my prayer that I was leaving the church immediately and was not going to stay with Him and listen anymore to these thoughts and inspirations that we’re coming into my soul. So I left the church, dejected. I did not return to sit in the prayer of quiet and contemplation with the Lord in the several days to follow due to doubt and fear.
Six days later, on the morning of Pentecost Sunday, I awoke, having had the most extraordinary dream. I remembered that I had briefly awoken in the very early morning around 5 AM and then had fallen back to sleep. Then I began to dream an incredible mystical dream. It was a vision in the night. In this remarkable dream I was confronted by the devil. I was in direct and intense battle with the evil one, who was threatening me, pursuing me and attacking me with all means of wicked warfare. Although Satan’s presence was not visible, -I could not see him with my eyes visibly in my dream – yet he was there in all his diabolical power and deception. It was an exhausting and terrifying ordeal and just at the moment in which the evil one was at his most threatening, I felt the Presence of our Lord with me. His Presence was not visible either, but I knew He was there, and He was helping me. His power and might vanquished the enemy and I was safe and liberated from his threats and attacks.
This mystical and awesome dream came to an end, as I awoke around 8 am on the morning of the Feast of Pentecost! I immediately began thanking and praising out loud the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit Who had come to my aid against the enemy of my soul and had given me the victory! I reflected with joy and awe throughout the entire day of Pentecost on this astounding manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in my night vision. It did not escape my understanding that, this gift of deliverance from the oppression of Satan, through the manifestation of the mighty strength of the Holy Spirit occurred on Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of Christ’s holy Church, and the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles in the upper room in Tongues of Fire and to the sound and strength of a mighty Wind! I believe this mystical dream is not only for me. I believe the Lord allowed me to experience this trial, this testing, this spiritual warfare of Satan, and his mighty deliverance from the devil’s power on Pentecost to remind all of you that we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome all the wiles and snares of the wicked one and to be victorious in the power and might of the Love and Holiness of the Lord! I implore you to appropriate the experience Our Lord provided me in this night vision and take it as your own!
Then he answered, and spake unto me, saying
(In great condescension, in order to instruct as to the true meaning of the vision), This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel; saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lords of Hosts.”!!!
On Monday, June 5, 2017 I went in the evening during the Hour of Adoration to adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament at my local church, Saint Patrick’s. Having experienced the blessing of the night vision of Pentecost, I confidently opened my heart and spoke these words to our Lord.
I am open tonight, Lord, wide open in heart to hear Your words. Speak, sweet Jesus, gentle Spirit, loving Father to me Your little child. I am ready. My heart is ready!
I heard Jesus say to me:
“Well done, Ann, you have released yourself to Me. Now I can speak and you will hear Me. I love when my dear ones come and visit Me in adoration. So few come and spend time with Me. You do not come often enough, Ann. Please come and sit with Me more often. Sit and rest and let Me refresh you and fill your soul with My love and Presence. There is no striving in My gentle peace. Soak My peace into your soul like a sponge soaks water. I fill your soul with My Spirit which runs like Living Water through your being, strengthening you, filling you with hidden Power – a reservoir of strength and power for trials to come. And trials will surely come to you. My child, do not fear the trials which are to come, for I will be with you, beside you, within you, helping you through them all. Trust Me, lean on Me and in those days I will carry you in the strength of My love which lives in you.
“Be good dear child. Be very good, so My love will shine forth from you and others will come to know Me and love Me in you. Be kind, be true, be gentle, be genuine, be trustworthy, be careful in your speech. Do not rush to speak too hastily. Take your time to lift your heart in prayer to Me for guidance in what you say – how to respond. You are often hasty with your words. Slowly, carefully, and listen to Me and others. Learn from Me, learn about others. Hear them well and then respond in love and gentleness, led by My Spirit.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.'(First Corinthians 13:4)
“All is well, dear child. Go forward filled with My peace and love to share Me with all whom you encounter, through your gentle words and loving deeds.
All Creatures Great and Small, the Lord God Loves Them All – The True Story of Mittens and Her Kittens.
This evening I’ve been sitting on my deck looking out over my yard, which is surrounded by many old trees, some which are more than 100 years old. The grass is green because we’ve had so much rain here in southern New Jersey. The trees are thick with green foliage and the sun is setting, as night is falling, but I can’t see the setting sun because there is an expansive grey cloud cover above me. I had to put an elegant white plastic swan in my swimming pool which I just opened for the summer, and which is sparkling blue and creating a tranquil and pleasant vista from my deck in order to deter a determined pair of Mallard ducks which have been feeding all spring under my bird-feeders, from swimming in my clean pool.
I have been feeding this faithful duck pair for several years now, and I understand that ducks mate for life. I also put food out daily for squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and I fill several birdfeeders for all the many bird species that live here in the middle Atlantic United States. I even leave out leftovers from our dinner plates for any other wild animal that comes up from the woods and from the lake searching for some morsels to eat. I’ve fed a red fox, and nearly pure white skunk, a possum, and two raccoons with the scraps from my dinner table. Recently, a grey tabby cat has appeared and has devoured anything and everything I put out in the evening. I’m thinking it may be a feral cat although it could be one of the neighbors cats that just has a very ravenous appetite.
In this peaceful and blessed state of mind and spirit, I began singing a hymn that I wrote a few years ago, “Walking by Faith” to the Lord in adoration.
It’s then that Jesus surprised and delighted me by bringing to mind an experience we shared 10 years ago and that I feel He desires that I relate to you in order to reveal His tender love and compassionate care for His beloved Creation and to witness to His close attentiveness to every one of our prayers.
One evening, in May 2007, while I was living in Pennsylvania, there was a terrific thunderstorm that broke out in the evening. I noticed my gorgeous white Himalayan puffball of a cat sitting in our breakfast room window looking intently into our backyard through the driving rain at something on the other side of the pool, close to the fence. Since she was staring so fixedly despite the rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning, I went to the window to see what she might be looking at. It was then that I noticed a small motley and bedraggled calico cat whose fur was soaked through and who had the appearance from which the expression came, “it looks like something the cat dragged in from the rain”! What was this poor creature doing outside during such a torrential down pour, I asked myself. I opened the door and leaned out over the deck and tried to call the cat to come. She seemed scared. I quickly poured some cat food in a bowl, and shook the bowl to attract her attention and to try to draw her in. I set it down on the deck near the door where she could eat if she was hungry with some protection from the harsh elements.
I went inside and shut the door and waited and watched to see if she would come to eat. She did come, as she was starving. When I saw that she ate all the food I gently opened the door to encourage her to come in. She was scared and she ran to the side of the house. It’s then that I thought open the garage door to see if she would come in to take shelter. She indeed wanted to escape the storm and after a little while she entered the door to the garage. Now I had her! I prepared a box with some bedding and put a water bowl and food bowl next to her new little “house” in my garage. She would be warm and safe tonight. My daughters and I came into the garage and allowed her to get accustomed to our presence. She could feel that she was loved and being cared for, and she soon relaxed and accepted us. We realized that she had been someone’s pet, and had been dropped off in our nice neighborhood to fend for herself, as sadly she was no longer wanted. I came to this conclusion the next day after I took her to the veterinarian to be checked.
There was a sense of urgency to get her checked immediately the next day so that I could find her a new home. My husband did not want to take in a second cat, and he gave me an ultimatum, that if I did not find a home for her the next day she would have to be brought to the SPCA shelter. I surely didn’t want to do this, as I know how many animals languish in shelters waiting for adoption, and in many cases are put down if they cannot be resettled into permanent homes quickly.
So I determined to take the little cat that I named “Mittens” because of her mutation of having six toes on each paw! These kind of cats are known as polydactyl cats or Hemingway cats. Each of her paws looked like she was wearing mittens; she was extremely adorable because of this deformity. Who would want to dispose of such a cute little creature? When the veterinarian performed her examination, she sensed that Mittens might be pregnant. She took an x-ray and could clearly see there were at least two developing kittens in her womb. That might be why she was released, as she had not been spayed and perhaps her owners did not want any more mouths to feed or to deal with the birth of kittens.
How could I find a home for Mittens and her soon-to-be kittens in only one day, I asked myself in exasperation! I begged the veterinarian to adopt her on the spot and to try to find a home for her amongst their many clients and using their connections. Unfortunately, the veterinarian would not be able to help me. I paid her services and left the clinic dejectedly. Then with a sudden burst of Faith, I lifted my heart and voice to the Lord Jesus and begged Him instead to help me, as “all things are possible for God”! My faith in that moment felt substantial. Hope rose in my heart and I felt a sense of peace and joy flood my soul.
When I returned from the veterinarian I proceeded to make phone calls to everyone that I knew, asking if they would be willing to adopt mama Mittens and her kittens, leaving messages on their answering machines since I did not reach anyone in person.
Having completed numerous phone calls, I had to run an errand, so I left the house and drove away, calling on St. Francis of Assisi to advocate for me to our Lord, for extra grace to solve this crisis. I love Saint Francis not only because he is the Saint most associated with animals, but also because he was instrumental in my conversion to Christ in 2000 after decades of agnosticism, and ultimately for my coming into full communion with Christ’s one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church some years (in 2004) after my turning to Jesus with my whole heart.
When I returned home it was later afternoon, and time was running out. I knew by evening I would need to take Mittens to the SPCA after my husband returned home from work, if I had nowhere else to bring her.
The phone rang, and a friend, an Arab Muslim woman from Jerusalem, now living with her husband and daughters in New Jersey, had picked up my message and was calling me back. I could not believe my ears when I heard her say to me that she wanted to adopt Mittens! It was a miracle! – an answer to my prayer by both our Lord Jesus and St. Francis. The call came just minutes before my husband walked in the door from work! But even more astounding, was what Amal shared with me as the reason to why she wanted to adopt Mittens.
Amal told me that last night she had had a dream about her father. Her father had died in Jerusalem last year and she told me that he had appeared to her in a dream last night, the night before the one year anniversary of his death! Today, ( the day I had called and left a message asking her if she would adopt Mittens and her kittens) was the one year anniversary of her father’s passing. Her father lived on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and he loved cats. He had “adopted” three stray cats that hung around his house and he fed them and cared for them. Only he cared for them, and no one else paid any attention to them. On the day he died, no one was there to look after them anymore, and so they disappeared. Amal just knew she had to adopt Mittens and her two soon-to-be-born kittens, believing that her father would surely want this and be pleased, and that she could demonstrate her love and show her honor to her father by adopting the pregnant Mittens. She firmly believed that God had specifically granted her this vision of her father in the night to prepare her for this act of charity. I knew it was true because I had prayed to the Lord asking for His urgent and essential help, fully trusting He had heard my prayer and knowing, believing and trusting in His love for me, and for Amal and her father and for every one of His creatures. When I dropped off Mittens to Amal’s home, we saw on Mitten’s neck a golden mark in her fur of a large cross! The rest of her pattern of fur was all splotchy calico with no other distinct markings!
Not long after that Mittens gave birth to her kittens, and they have been loved by Amal and her family for all these years!
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.”