Monday, May 21, 2012

Spirituality of the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King

For about six years now I have been drawing closer to the Lord specifically because of following the spirituality of the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King. There's nothing particularly complex about this movement in terms of spiritual disciplines one takes on: A daily offering, weekly adoration, monthly confession, monthly prayer group gathering, and a commitment to live as Jesus taught in Holy Scripture. The aim of the apostolate is to pray and work for the conversion of souls.

Probably the most striking feature of the apostolate is that it involves a series of locutions given both as monthly messages and in book/booklet form, to a woman known as Anne. Some people immediately have stickles about private revelation, and I can appreciate that. Anne has sought and received permission from her Bishop to engage in this apostolate and spread the messages, and this is the Catholic way to be "kosher" about these things.

Of course one needs to discern well, because the last thing anyone needs is to listen to a charlatan. But on the other hand, we need to admit that mystical phenomena are not spooky, unchristian, or all that rare. The key, as I see it, is that mystical gifts are meant to augment one's living of the gospel. Not add, not detract, not confuse, but call one to follow Christ just as the gospel does, but perhaps with a personal edge to it that makes you say "Wow, this really helps me." I'm personally convinced that what Anne passes on is genuine.

I've wrote about the first time I heard Anne speak here. And the second time, here. And the apostolate website is here.

This spirituality has been quietly humming along in my life for years, and has established me in grasping basic things like consistent spiritual practices (monthly confession instead of sporadic confession, and simple daily prayer that has mushroomed dramatically, for example). But as it tends to happen when one is humming along with the Lord, suddenly I've realized what a treasure I have been given in this apostolate. It is not so much that the messages give me more than the gospel could (of course) but they help me hear both Scripture and the liturgy and shake my head and say "yep, that's real!" Sort of like how someone's description of how to get from the Brewer's stadium to Lake Michigan makes sense if you've either been to Milwaukee, or seen someone's video who has been down the route, or listened to someone who has traveled it. Dry directions on a page are still true, still trustworthy, but it's the conveying of the experience through someone else that gives one an inner resonance.

This really helps me. Maybe it will really help you, too.

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