Agnes Cutler and her twin brother Edward, were born 13 April 1894 into a family of nine children (other brothers William and Joseph and sister Hannah). Her father was C of E and married Agnes' mother, Maggie Corbett in the Church of Ireland, Michelstown, Co. Cork in 1976. All the children were brought up as Catholics. . In July 1916, Her twin brother Edward was killed on the battlefields of France. Agnes worked in munitions factories during the war, but always had a strong desire to become a nun. After her brother's death, this changed and she persuaded her parish priest and spiritual director of her vocation to marriage and motherhood. Agnes married one of Edward's friends, Harry Holloway, in late 1916 and on 18 November 1917 their first son was born. He was named Edward after her twin and became the priest who furthered the cause of his mother's visions. Mary was born in 1920 and Joseph in 1922. All Agnes' children were born in Woolwich, South-East London
Agnes was a devout and active Catholic, she was involved in the Catholic Evidence Guild and interested in all aspects of the Church. Her faith was reinforced rather than weakened by a series of what she refers to as "strange things" that happened to her. These included the frequent answering of prayers and precognition of events, some of which her spiritual director and her son Edward either witnessed or were involved in. These included Edward's vocation to the priesthood, though she was not to tell him this until after his ordination.
Between the wars there was much discussion in the press about Darwin's 'Origin of Species' and the challenge it appeared to hold for the Catholic faith. In 1927, whilst reading an article in 'The Universe' discussing the theological implications of Evolution, Agnes experienced the first of a number revelations and visions which answered questions she had asked about science and religion. 'There was an article by a leading Catholic theologian who was rather in favour of the theory. I read it through rather indifferently, to the end which ended with the words "How much is mind and how much is matter? - that is the question on which Christianity will depend in the next fifty years and must stand or fall." Yes I said to myself, I wonder how much is mind and how much is matter? Immediately I heard the words "That which controls". I was puzzled by this and repeated the words "That which controls". Again the voice said "a thing cannot be it's own cause and it's own control. It must come into contact with that which it controls, but cannot be caused by it, this is the Universal Law."' (p92 of 'God's Master Key'.) This was later explained to her by an example of the relationship of the water that becomes a river to it's bank. From this, with subsequent revelations as a result of her questions, the Law of Control and Direction developed.
Most of the answers and her understanding of them, were contrary to her then current views. Nonetheless she felt compelled to write down these revelations as she felt they were significant, both to her son, and to the Church. She always regarded herself as being born of humble parents, simple and uneducated, and these experiences and her record of them were kept secret for many years as she felt people 'would just not believe' her.
'I was told it was for my son Edward (who would become a priest) to present this knowledge to the world and defend it. The knowledge was given to combat a dreadful persecution against the Church which was highly intellectual, and to come in the future'. (p93 of 'God's Master Key'.)
Agnes did not begin to tell Edward about her revelations until just before he went to Seminary, and he was doubtful, at first, of it's divine origin. Prototypes of 'Catholicism: A New Synthesis' were presented to Rome on two occasions, in 1946 and 1950. The first received a verbal acknowledgement from Archbishop Godfrey over the telephone, the second was sent to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the receipt of which was never acknowledged. A complete version, with a foreword by Cardinal John Wright, was sent around 1975, and received a brief formal acknowledgement from the Secretariat of State. Agnes Holloway herself recalls: 'One thing I must mention here is that something of this work was sent to the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, in 1950. When I was writing my letter to him I asked God to give me a sign to give the Holy Father to prove this work was really His Holy Will, and it seemed to me the words, "The sign of the Sun" were spoken to me. I repeated to myself "the sign of the sun" what does it mean? - and it seemed very stupid to me. I did not mention it in my letter to the Holy Father. I had not yet learnt to be "quite simple". Some time later I read in the Catholic papers that the Holy Father was given a vision of the sun relating to Fatima, which was not revealed until after his death. I trust Our Blessed Lord will forgive my unbelief." (p101-102 of 'God's Master Key'.)
God's Master Key is made up of three parts. 1. The transcription in 1940, of the revelations Agnes Holloway experienced in the late 1920's and early 1930's. This transcription was made directly from the notes she made at the time and had kept secret since then. 2. Letters written to her son between 1941 and 1943. 3. Agnes Holloway's autobiography, written around 1972. The autobiography offers important insights into the upbringing and circumstances of Agnes's life, and the events that led up to the writing of 'God's Master Key'. Throughout, Agnes's writing reveals an intelligent, questioning and articulate mind.
Agnes lived her final years in the Holy Cross Priory near Heathfield, and died on 25 March 1991.
Dedication of Gods Master Key, The Law of Control and Direction
To my Beloved Son
In your care dear son I present this book which I dedicate to the whole of this War weary world, sincerely believing it to be inspired by God. There is Divine Wisdom within these pages which pious and learned men will be quick to grasp. If this thing is of God nothing will check it's progress once it has been made known to mankind; if it is not, then with all humility I say, let it meet the fate it deserves. Thy Will, Oh Lord, not mine be done in all things.