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Vassula's US tour (A)

27 December 1998 16:40

The report of the first phase of Vassula's US is now available on the web site. It is being forwarded here in two parts. The second part (of phase one) will be forwarded in a few days time.


True Life in God Tour of North America, October-November 1998 Reported by Robert Carroll, Trinitas

United Nations, New York

Vassula's 12-city speaking tour in Canada and the United States began in a conference room at United Nations Headquarters in New York on October 23, 1998, the day the UN was commemorating the anniversary of the first General assembly. She concluded this two-phase tour in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater where the first UN Charter was signed in 1946. The Lord will no doubt reveal the significance of this "coincidence" in due time but the response to His messages in these two cities and all those in between underlined the fact that there is everywhere a craving for that "peace which the world cannot give." Thanks to God's marvelous ways, in which St. Paul tells us the angels in heaven stand in awe, the True Life In God messages have penetrated the UN Headquarters.

On the day Vassula spoke to UN officials America's attention was drawn to New York City as a momentous event unfolded: the New York Yankees had just won the world series and the home-town team was being honored with a "ticker-tape parade" through lower Manhattan, past the New York Stock Exchange, on up Wall Street and Broadway through the "Canyon of Heroes." While the Redeemer of Mankind quietly addressed a small gathering of His creation through His chosen messenger, Vassula, New Yorkers went into ecstasy as their heroes acknowledged the adulation of millions by smiling and waving through a blizzard of confetti. Our God is truly meek and humble of heart. Almost unnoticed, He planted His seeds and gave bread that will last.

Later I remembered that exactly 20 years ago I had entered UN Headquarters then as a member of the US mission to the General Assembly's autumn session. In those days when I was so far from God - and very close to the Yankees myself - I could never have imagined returning to this symbolic building under these circumstances.

Vassula had been invited by a group within the UN that seeks to inculcate a spiritual dimension into the goals and objectives of the United Nations. In her presentation Vassula gave her testimony and read True Life in God messages that related to the UN's quest for peace.

She began by saying that when her experience of this revelation began she was totally preoccupied with worldly things, caught up in the social life of diplomats, UN officials, and international development experts like her husband. She never sought mystical experiences or knew they occurred. Now her whole life, she said, is lived for God.

Vassula explained that in times like today when apostasy is so pervasive God intervenes to bring people back to their senses, back to an awareness of Him, back to prayer. God's heart can be touched so "your prayers can change the evil forces and restore peace in the World." She described how the Holy Trinity taught her to approach God, to get to know Him, to be intimate with Him, and to grow in all virtues, the chief of which is love. We must grow to love our neighbor for the love of God. Then you plunge yourself into God and your first concern in all things is "What does God want?" God will then lead you, if you are sincere. He leads you into unity, into reconciliation-first

in the family, then with neighbors, in church and then in and among nations. But the key always is love and humility. "When love will grow within us then there will be peace."

Vassula seemed obviously led by the Holy Spirit to convey especially pertinent insights to these UN officials whose hearts were open. Vassula, quoted from one of Our Blessed Mother's messages: "Your prayers can change the world. Your prayers can obtain God's graces for the conversion of sinners. The more conversions, the more prayers will be made, and heard, for more conversions. The faithful are needed more than ever. God will remember all your sacrifices, my dear children. Your prayers can destroy every evil empire in this world. Your prayer can be like incense and purify the world."

God is determined to save us, Vassula said. Our Blessed Mother is appearing everywhere to prepare us to meet Jesus. Mary says "I have been sent by the most High to gather you in large crowds."

Then Vassula introduced some messages from the Holy Spirit: "Liberty and love is to be found in Me, yet I am rejected by your generation...I am like a rich soil; come and sow your seeds in me and your harvest will be eternal life. I will make you rich through your poverty, strong through your weakness, zealous and faithful through you wretchedness...

Where you lack, I fill... come and possess Me."

Vassula described how God brought her through the process of daily abandonment to His divine will. The Lord wants our whole heart to be able to transfigure us and use all we do for His glory and the world's salvation. "Work for unity; work for My interests. Prove yourselves to Me by breaking My bread together. Unify the dates of Easter...Return to Me and you will live forever."

An official from one of the permanent UN observer missions thanked Vassula saying, "This was a beautiful contribution to the birthday of the UN which we celebrate today. I have felt for a long time that we in this building must address more the question of evil and sin. I think that over the past couple of years we can see that the Holy Spirit is working. We see in official deliberation talk about values, ethics. We have neglected this for so long." Now, more than ever, he said, the Holy Spirit is calling our attention to the struggle between good and evil. Vassula said "The Holy Spirit is Hope" and the official responded, "I hope that this organization can become one of the instruments of the Holy Spirit."

The official who made Vassula's visit possible said in conclusion: "We have received a gift today through Vassula and it will please her to know we will be passing it on." Earlier, this person had shown us a poster on her office wall. It depicts a gigantic Jesus facing the famous rectangular facade of the UN Secretariat Building on the East River. He is knocking at a window seeking humbly to be let in. After Vassula's visit had been arranged, this official was stunned to realize, as she counted the rows of windows, that her office window was the precise place where the knuckle of Jesus' forefinger was tapping.

The following day, October 24, Vassula's public presentation in New York took place in the same spacious ballroom of the hotel where she spoke in November 1996. In spite of a frenzy of efforts by a few who circulated false rumors to discourage attendance, there were about 1200 people present.

The program opened with beautiful music led by Al Barbarino. Fr. Brian Barr of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church followed. Vassula was then introduced by Niels Christian Hvidt, a young Danish theologian who accompanied her from Rome where he is working on his doctorate at the Gregorian University. [It was Niels Christian, or "Nicky" who was shown on the cover of Trinitas newsletter #15 presenting the Holy Father with the latest True Life in God volume.]

Niels spoke of the impact that True Life in God has had on his spiritual life, leading him to an intimacy with God for which he had always longed. The messages led to his eventual conversion to Catholicism in 1990. The messages have also given strong direction to his theological studies and have enabled him to write a master's thesis on mystical theology. This thesis earned him a prestigious royal gold medal, personally awarded to him by the Queen of Denmark. Most importantly, he said, these powerful messages gave him all the strength and all the nourishment he needed to persevere in his lonely faith journey in Denmark where Danish Catholics are a rare minority.

Vassula was greeted with a standing ovation even before she spoke. The audience listened intently. A young girl, who said she was at the beginning of a spiritual awakening, was fascinated by the rapt attentiveness of the audience. She ordered the videotape since she missed some of the talk because she was so captivated by people's faces. Many of them wept with joy.

The evening was an especially long one. Holy Mass, concelebrated by half a dozen priests, began just before midnight. Vassula and priests then prayed over each individual person. Those of us who stayed to pack things up and get something to eat did not get back to the retreat house until about 3:00 A.M. Since the curfew had been 10 P.M. we made arrangements for Bernard Tansey of Ireland to leave a window open for us to climb in. Since Bernard had an early flight back to London, he left right after Mass. We were grateful that Daylight Savings Time, seemingly a diabolic innovation whose real purpose might have been to suggest that man, not God, controls time, ended that night so we had an extra hour to sleep. Unfortunately, no one remembered to point this out to Bernard who arrived groggily at JFK International three hours before his 9:00 A.M. flight. Fortunately, the airport was too far away for Bernard to return to dump cold water on those of us who slept a few more hours. No doubt the thought crossed his mind.

After leaving New York, we heard of special experiences and reported healings that had occurred. One woman wrote that she had seen blood trickling from Vassula's eyes and her face transformed into the image of Jesus in His Passion. Another person recounted the same experience. Jesus refers to this phenomenon in NB 86:5, 6 where He says: "You are well aware of the depths of My wounds and I have let you know how much I suffer by trickling from your eyes tears of blood." (On October 19, 1996 this had been witnessed by some while Vassula was speaking in Dublin, Ireland.)

One woman traveled several hundred miles to hear about the messages. She wanted to introduce her parents to True Life in God and was disappointed that only her mother would accompany her (very reluctantly at that), particularly since her mother suffered chronic pain in her knee joints and was scheduled for surgical replacement of them. The daughter felt her mother had no idea what the evening was about and so she was surprised when her mother came forward with her to be prayed over in the healing service. Vassula did pray over her crippled mother who, the next day was able to walk without pain for the first time in some years. Her recovery has persisted these past two months. A medical inquiry is being made to confirm whether the Lord has granted a miraculous healing.

Another report came from a man who fell two years ago and severed muscles in his leg. The injury had left a large lump on his left thigh. He had been walking with a pronounced limp since then. He was prayed over and later that night, "I awoke at 3:00 A.M. While I was praying the rosary to get back to sleep, a severe pain gripped my left thigh. When the pain subsided I discovered that the large lump had disappeared. The swelling and stiffness also disappeared. My walking is restored to normal." He believes he received a healing from God as a result of attending the 'Evening with Vassula Ryden'.

Vassula had stayed in the home of Thecla Johnides, a Greek Orthodox, who had arranged this and several previous conferences for Vassula. When she returned from taking Vassula to LaGuardia Airport she saw a rainbow over her house and the houses of several True Life in God volunteers who live in the same neighborhood.

Chicago, Sunday October 25:

Fr. "X" Holup opened the presentation by leading us in heartfelt prayer to the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity. Father Holup is the pastor of the specially blessed Assumption Church in Ashkum, Illinois where he hosted Vassula in August, 1997. Father Edward O'connor, C.S.C. of Notre Dame University then spoke briefly. His study of the Vatican's position on Vassula's messages (Vassula and the CDF, Trinitas, 1998) has been enthusiastically received by readers. He came to Chicago a day or so after returning from Naju, Korea. Suffering excruciating back spasms, he thought he would have to speak sitting down. Just before the presentation, however, Vassula prayed over him and the pain subsided enough for him to be able to stand to give his talk.

Father O'Connor spoke about New Testament prophecy, relating it to comments made about Vassula's writings, which he said do not conflict in any way with church teaching. He reiterated his support of the messages and assured listeners that Vassula may freely present the messages. He assured his audience that faithful Catholics are allowed to read her writings, attend her lectures and even to promote them.

After Vassula's talk, little Maria Petropoulis, a Greek orthodox "living saint" from Milwaukee who had seen Jesus appear above Vassula during her November 1996 talk in Minneapolis [see Newsletter #12 of February 1997], told us that this time she saw the Blessed Mother in place of Vassula's face. Maria has learned some English since we last spoke: "I love you, Vassula," she said and made the orthodox sign of the cross several times. This time she and the family members who came with her saw a bright light surrounding the Holy shroud picture of Jesus in front of the podium.

Before leaving for Minneapolis the next morning, Fr. Victor of the Eastern Catholic Rite Church of Our Lady of Lebanon concelebrated Mass with Father O'Connor.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, October 26

There was another small but grateful and attentive gathering at the Hill-Murray High school in St. Paul operated by the Benedictine monastery. John Campbell cohosted Vassula with Cecile Muehlbaur who previously hosted Vassula two years ago. John is a Third order Benedictine who is very effective in raising the awareness of the special significance these messages have for the Benedictine Order. In True Life in God Jesus alludes to St. Gertrude the Great, Benedictine nun and doctor of the Church, who experienced the same spirituality of intimacy with Jesus as Vassula experiences.

In the messages Jesus explains how St. Gertrude was invited to revere His Sacred Heart and that when St. John the Evangelist appeared to her and showed her "the value of the Treasures hidden in My Heart, her eyes rained tears of Joy when she saw those divine Treasures." (NB 87:16-17; see also Newsletter #13 of May 1997). John introduced several Benedictine monks and sisters to the True Life in God messages and they experienced thereby a measure of the joy their sister Heaven, St. Gertrude experienced. John Campbell's evangelization of the messages in this way had led to our being lodged at the Benedictine Monastery and to Vassula's talk taking place in their school.

John's experience of so many Benedictines being open to the messages has parallels in other parts of the U.S. and in Europe. In France, for example, last year a group of Benedictine nuns appealed for Vassula to speak to them when they heard she would be speaking elsewhere in France last year.

In introducing Vassula this evening, Nicky mentioned that his current thesis deals with three important prophetic voices St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque of France, and Vassula. He noted several parallels among them, one being the fact that St. Bridget moved to Rome and lived out her life there, trying to accomplish the mission the Lord had given her to found a new religious order. Vassula moved to Rome in September when her husband took up new responsibilities there.

This brings to mind another connection: the first time Vassula spoke in Stockholm, Sweden it was in the Catholic Cathedral. As she spoke, I noted that behind her left shoulder was a stained glass window depicting St. Bridget with pen in hand, ready to take dictation. During her life Bridget also received visions and messages from Jesus and Our Blessed Mother. St. Bridget also had an impact on the Pope through things that were divinely revealed to her concerning the Holy Father which the Holy Father knew only Heaven could know. In notebook 89 (p.29-34), Vassula is given an interior vision of the Holy Father at prayer before dawn and she takes down as in dictation the words she hears him utter, praying for his persecutors and for the Mother of God to continue to intercede for him and all God's children as She interceded to save his life from the assassination attempt on the Feast Of Our Lady of Fatima.

Vassula does not know if the words she received in that message were the Pope's actual words - nor would any other human being - but the Holy Father, who has a copy of that message, would know.

One of Nicky's major themes in his thesis is the tendency of theologians and clergy to discount the importance of prophecy today. "To suggest that God has no more to say is disrespectful, perhaps even blasphemous," he believes. The tradition of Christian prophecy has always been vital and it remains so in our times. In the Old Testament almost all the prophets were men. Since the New Testament they have been mostly women. One thing that has not changed: prophets have never been very popular. Today more than ever they seem to be persecuted by theologians "who disparage prophecy as though it represented competition with their authority."

Nicky also points out that the Protestant "Reformation" exacerbated suspicion about prophecy as Church authorities became wary of anything outside the Bible or Tradition. There was the prevalent rationale that prophetic revelation ended with the passing of the Apostolic Age, at the death of St. John the Evangelist. Nicky points out that this view was fostered by a mistranslation of the Latin term "completare," which indicated not that prophecy was finished or ended but that Jesus was the fulfillment, the completeness of revealed truth.

After Nicky's introduction, Vassula began with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help us grow in love, to love God and obtain His kingdom; "to revive us into Your purity, to pass on to us the piety of Your Saints so that nothing impure will be able to find its way in us."

Vassula Said True Life in God is like a school. "I have been brought up and educated in that school. All that I know and all you will hear tonight comes from the direct dictation by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I have had no catechism and no time since this mission began even to open a book of theology."

God, she pointed out, leads us to pray, then He draws us to higher levels of prayer and to the contemplative life. "And the contemplative life is open to all who are willing and have decided wholeheartedly for God, no matter what their station in life might be. He lifts us up to Him to live a True Life in Him."

"In the messages He shares with us His pain over the apostasy of today which is generalized as never before. This age has rejected Divine Truth. In our peril, God intervenes by giving such charisms as He has to Vassula, "through no merits of my own since I had none, but for the good of the Church. Although it has benefited me, it is not just for me."

God teaches, trains, and corrects "but always with tenderness, because He is the source of love. I feel the love of Jesus so great, " Vassula says, "that I do not even consider that I am being reprimanded" or that He was being severe with her as some have thought when they read the messages but don't hear His gentle voice as Vassula does.

The signs of the End of Times are with us: the Apostasy and the Spirit of Rebellion. "God is intervening to warn and take care of His children. God always lifts the soul, never crushes it; so the message of True life in God is hope because His promise for these times is the tremendous outpouring of His Holy Spirit. "He never violates our liberty and He says: "Nor do I come to condemn you, I come

to you out of My Mercy; to give you freely the fullest knowledge of My Will ...I come not to add new things into that which has been given you already (Scripture and Tradition) but I come to place My Kingdom in the middle of your hearts." Vassula added that even if a heart is stone cold, God will ignite it and bring it back to spiritual life again. To do this He wants us to remain small.

When Vassula objected that she was a "nothing" so how could she "revive" His Church? He told her He wanted a nothing "so that I can show ... My

authority". When He told Vassula to remain a "nothing" she felt like He was saying "Don't you dare become 'something." "Die to yourself so that My Holy Spirit can breathe in you". Trust Him, she said, that He knows what is best for you. Jesus complains now and then, Vassula said, that "some of them do not trust Me enough". "He will only give what your soul can take, no more; He will never crush you with a mission, but always gives the graces you need in the right proportion."

>From all the treasures of His Sacred Heart which He is offering us throughout the messages, "the greatest and most elevated divine wealth is the possession of God Himself. This comes through giving ourselves as slaves to His love. Then He can 'sell' us to the whole world as slaves, as He was sold. When the soul will be overflowing with love, it will become as thirsty as God for Souls. "When I draw you into the nuptial chamber of My Heart, your soul will voluntarily thrust herself into the world to draw all sinners to conversion and to Love God."

"In order to love, one must serve with love. In serving with love, one arrives at the perfection of love." God did not ask Vassula to go out and serve Him until after three years of purification and formation taught her to serve Him with love. When He did send her out, she said, "He never failed me. I was never afraid; He never leaves us alone."

To conclude, Vassula prayed to the Holy Trinity to spiritually heal those present. Three priests from the audience came up; each offered beautiful spontaneous prayers for healing and together they gave the group their blessing, which was the perfect end to a very blessed evening.

The next morning was free so there was time for sharing among those who stayed overnight at the convent. Sister Lucy Astuto, who sang beautifully for the presentation the night before and would do so again in St. Louis in the next phase, told the story of Jesus' gift to her in Omaha when she organized the 1993 Marian conference there. She had invited Vassula and was hit with a flurry of protests. All the criticism and cajoling her to cancel Vassula's talk had been wearisome and Sr. Lucy had a heavy heart as she escorted Vassula to her hotel room, helping her with her luggage. As she put down the suitcase and started to leave, she saw Jesus standing in Vassular's place. His arms were open and His head tilted. She knew He was inviting her to fall in His arms for comfort. She went to Him and experienced "the most perfect, gentle embrace" she had ever felt. It was as though He would not hold her one moment longer than she would have wanted but let her know that He was grateful for receiving Him, for going through all the suffering for His sake and for the sake of His message.

Vassula had not known of Sr. Lucy's experience before but said: "He is so sensitive, He gets so touched. He wanted to show His gratitude by appearing to her in my place. Then she added with a chuckle, "I wonder where I was then. Where did He put me? In the corner some place?"

Vassula also shared with us some of the scientific tests that have been performed on her during dictation, such as the time the French neurologist, Dr. Philippe Loron of Paris was allowed to be present and ended up almost arm wrestling with the Lord. Vassula said that as Dr. Loron tried to stop her arm while Jesus was guiding it in dictation she felt such power in it that she was sure she could have bent a steel bar with ease. Dr. Loron meanwhile felt such heat in his arm, forehead and chest that he thought he must be bright red and sweating profusely, but he was not. Some time later at a Mass, he was serving as a eucharistic minister giving out Communion, he began to feel the same kind of warmth in his arm, forehead and chest as if Jesus were allowing Himself to be recognized once more "in the breaking of the Bread."



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