The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for January 14, 2018

I am presently here in the Holy Land, but I had to stay at home today and could not attend Holy Mass at the Monastery because I wasn’t feeling well. So I spent my morning in prayer at home and in Lectio Divina on the scripture readings for the Second Sunday in ordinary time. Then I remained still with our Lord in silence and said to Him, “speak Lord, your servant is listening. Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. I desire you!“


I heard the Lord speak in my spirit, “Here I am, Ann, with you as always. I love you, Ann, as I love all My children, with My bleeding Heart – Love poured out for you and all the world.

My child, why do you doubt my love and power to save you? Am I not here with you, my child? You are never alone. I am always with you, guarding you from evil – from the Evil One who seeks your destruction with vengeance. He seeks to devour you, but I will not permit him any power over your soul, for you belong to Me.  Trust Me, child. My love is stronger than death. Ann, listen to Me. My love is yours forever – for all eternity. No one can snatch you from My Hands. You believe in Me; trust Me more deeply. I will never leave you or forsake you My child. This you know by My Word. Take this Truth and hold it deep within your heart.

Your Jesus“

After hearing these words from Jesus in my spirit, He led me to open my Bible for a confirming word from Him regarding the message He had just given me. I opened the Scriptures randomly, and my eyes fell upon Nahum 2:15,

“Look, there on the mountains the Feet of One who brings Good News, who proclaims Peace!

Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows.

No more will the wicked invade you. They will be completely destroyed.”

Upon reading this verse, my heart lifted in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His goodness and kindness to me! Trust in the Lord always, my dear sisters and brothers!

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The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for December 19, 2017

Today I experienced a  miracle of grace and guidance. Due to a doctor appointment I did not think that I would be able to attend Holy Mass at the Cathedral today. However, at the last minute, I was able to go. I prayed my rosary in the car as I drove to the church. When I arrived at the Cathedral, I signed the Mass intention book, writing in it, “Ann Ammar and family – safe travels“.

 Then, as I walked down the aisle towards the front of the church, I experienced a very strong conviction through the Holy Spirit that that for many weeks I had not been wearing any of the grace-filled sacramentals that I used to wear daily, that our Lord and Blessed Mother have given as special blessings to the Church. I became aware how every morning when I got dressed, I put my wedding band on and I put my earrings in. I put my wedding band on to be faithful to my husband, and I put my earrings on in order to look beautiful but I was no longer being faithful to our Lord and Lady by wearing Their sacramentals. Why did I no longer take the time to put on my necklace of Sacramentals: the Miraculous Medal,  and Saint Benedict Crucifix Medal and the Brown Scapular?

Surely,  I was being negligent and foolish at the same time, since these gifts from our Lord and Lady are so rich and full of spiritual benefit. I justified myself each morning by thinking, I want to dress simply without the cumbersome feeling of something hanging from my neck. Yet, I put my earrings on every day in order to look attractive! I thought how foolish and how fleshy and earthly I was behaving.

Walking towards my pew I felt the Holy Spirit deeply pressing into my heart this  neglect of love on my part to My Lord and Blessed Mother. The Holy Spirit also reminded me of my upcoming travels, and He made me realize how wise it would be to wear the Brown Scapular, with its remarkable supernatural promises from Our Lord and Lady and I realized I should not squander Their extraordinary graces.

As I approached the Altar I noticed a woman sitting in the right front pew next to the aisle, where I would enter in to take my usual place in the middle of the front pew. I thought for a moment to sit behind her in the second pew, rather than my usual place in the middle front pew, so as not to disturb her by making her get up from her prayers to let me in. I genuflected at the second pew and then spontaneously decided to go down the pew and out the other side and then enter in by the left side to find my usual place in the middle of the front pew.

I entered and went to my usual place, and then I was struck with awe to see a Miraculous Medal had been placed on top of the wooden railing at my exact location. I was so very stunned, and my heart lifted with joy, realizing that the Holy Spirit had guided my thoughts, and even my actions, and that the Lord and our Blessed Mother, through this incredible sign were speaking to me and confirming this holy inspiration from the Holy Spirit and Their desire that I once again commence wearing their holy sacramentals and that my doing so would please Them very much!

I assisted with all my heart, mind, and strength at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass following this personal miracle. What joy flooded my soul!

After mass ended, I sat in silence, and I heard in Jesus speaking in my spirit:

“Joy, joy, joy! My child when you walk with Us, when you live with Us, We will make your joy complete. Make Our joy complete with your obedience to Our will.

My Mother loves you, Ann.  She wants you to think of her more often. Follow her lead. She will take you deeper into My heart where rivers of Living Water flow and flood your soul with joy.

I am Joy Incarnate – the Desire of all men’s’ hearts. Only I can fill the heart with joy – perfect joy. There is such freedom in My Joy: freedom to love without counting the cost; freedom for self abandonment; freedom from the bondage of self; freedom to be your true self – conformed to My Image – My life, which is Joy, living within you.

Stay close to Me through the assistance of My own Mother; She is filled with grace – with her, through her, We are united in grace. Love My Mother for she loves you, as do I. This will make Me very happy and My joy will be complete.

Go in peace, Ann, dear child. Go in peace.”

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for December 18, 2017

During prayer during holy Communion during Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception today, I heard the Lord say to me, “Gaze at Me, child“

After the Mass ended I Remained in the cathedral and sat in silence. I heard again in my spirit these words from Jesus:

“Gaze at Me, child! Am I not beautiful, your Savior? I am Emmanuel – God who came to live among my people 2000 and more years ago. I am still with you. See? I will never leave or forsake you, for I love you. I love all My children with My infinite love.

Am I not beautiful? For I poured out My Blood for you, for your salvation. Am I not beautiful? For I healed the sick, raised the dead and cured the lame, the blind, the deaf and the lepers. Am I not beautiful? For I, your God, walked among men to show you how to live, how to love – how to die to yourselves and lay down your own lives for each other. Am I not beautiful? For my goodness.

Why then do you reject Me, little children of the earth? Why do you push Me away and out of your lives? Am I not beautiful and worthy of your love? Yes, I Am.

Gaze at Me and you will see with your hearts how beautiful I Am, for I manifested My love so perfectly for all the world to see.

Am I not beautiful, Ann? Look at Me, your Savior,  and love Me in return.

Your Jesus”

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for December 16, 2017

 “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening“, I said to the Lord after my time of prayerfully meditating on the Scriptures, on today’s Mass readings.

“Ann, My daughter, here I am. Where have you been? Distracted.

Stay on course child, for the times are evil.

I am coming soon –sooner than many expect. I will light a fire on the earth and the chaff will be burnt away. The harvest is soon and it will be plentiful.

My child,  pay attention to the signs of the times. All around you is evidencing the period of history in which you now live. You were created for such a time as this – a time of great witness of My love and mercy before the Day of Wrath comes. I will not be patient forever. That Day will come and great will it be.

Speak, child. Tell them of My mercy for it is available now. Return to Me, My children. How I love you and want your salvation.

The time is now for My will to be done in your lives. My will, not yours be done. For I am good, holy and perfect. My will is love; let it be manifested in your hearts and actions – in your lives. This is the answer to your suffering and sadness.

Let My will be done and you will be filled with joy, peace, life – True Life – which leads you to eternal life in Me. Now is the time to turn your hearts to Me before there is no more time to turn.

I love you. My children, come back to Me; turn to Me with your whole heart and pray, for the time is soon.
Your Jesus”

I then heard my Lord say,

“Well done My child, you were listening well.”

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for November 21, 2017

“Dear child, I am here with you tonight; here in this church of Saint Patrick’s, your parish church. I am here every day in the Eucharist giving Myself to those who desire Me. Tonight I meet you in spiritual Communion here in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I hold Myself still here awaiting My lovers to come to adore Me – silent, waiting in love for My precious ones, those who love Me with their whole hearts, who seek Me in the silence of adoration.

So few come to Me this way, but those that do receive great graces which I lavish on them during this holy hour. I bless them extravagantly with My loving grace. I empower them in love, truth and wisdom. I give them My own joy and peace. This is a special time with Me to be treasured above all things. In silence before Me one receives all things from My sacred Heart.

I am worthy of such adoration, for I am your God Who loves you and gives you everything. For there is nothing without Me. I have all. I am All. There is nothing apart from Me that is.

Worship Me. Adore Me. Love Me. Return My love with your love. All I seek is your love. I made you for love, in love, by love. I am Love. Love is all that lasts. Love is eternal, for Love is Me.

My child, how you delight Me with your wonder and awe of Me and My ways. Pure children are full of awe and wonder at all things around them, delighted by the things of nature – of My creation, which reflects My wisdom and beauty and loving mindfulness for My creatures.

Children delight Me. You are My child, precious to My Heart. I wonder over you, Ann. I look at what I have made and it is good – so good – beautiful to My eyes. You are growing into Me and I am filling you with Myself. We are becoming more and more one as you respond to My grace. How beautiful is this reality of fused love.

I gather My children unto My breast and press them into My sacred Heart which beats in unison with theirs. Little children, come to Me, your doting Savior.”

– Jesus

I felt as if the Lord was also saying in my heart these words, “Let not this scripture be fulfilled in you!

‘Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

37. ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling!

38.  Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.

39. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”’

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for October 4, 2017, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

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!”

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for September 28, 2017

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

 

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for September 14, 2017, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

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)

The Battle Cry: Marching Orders for August 7, 2017

“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.”

– Jesus

Psalm 103:10-12

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

An Interview with Ann Ammar

By Gordon Nary

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!

Gordon:

We have featured some links to you music.

https://walkingwithourlord.wordpress.com/songs-music/

https://soundcloud.com/ammar-pace

and thank you for this inspiration interview that I know will be deeply appreciated by our readers.