The Asian Report Part II
"An Explosion of Divine Graces!"
India, November 12-16, 2005
Arriving at the Cardinal's Residence in Ranchi where Vassula was invited to stay
After her visit to Ranchi in November 2004, Vassula was once again invited to the state of Jharkhand in the northeast of India. She was warmly welcomed by His Eminence, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi and His Excellency, Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur. It was Bishop Toppo's turn to organize a big Meeting for Vassula in his diocese, to finally share with his own parishioners the Messages of True Life in God. Bishop Toppo had participated in the 4th International TLIG Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in May 2005. He is a fervent supporter of the Messages of True Life in God as His Eminence, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, is of Vassula's mission.
Pictures taken in the Cardinal's garden
Also present to welcome her were TLIG priest Fr. Stephen Raphael, Catarina from Bangladesh, and Antonis and Teresa from Bangalore, where they were sent to open a Beth Myriam for abandoned babies. The gracious Cardinal extended his hospitality to Vassula and all of her group, and we were his guests for a few days. It was a gratifying experience to stay at the Cardinal's Residence, especially for our Orthodox brothers and sisters, who were able to see the comings and goings of the priests in the diocese, exchanging stories of Orthodox and Catholic saints and practices during the many meals we shared together. We were living Christian Unity day-in and day-out, in an atmosphere of generosity and acceptance.
Private Meeting with Cardinal Telesphore Toppo:
Vassula and the Cardinal had a private meeting wherein Vassula informed him of the latest developments in the Vatican regarding True Life in God and her mission. She told him of the success of the TLIG International Ecumenical Pilgrimage, adding to the information Bishop Toppo had given the Cardinal upon his return from the TLIG Pilgrimage to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan last May 2005. Bishop Toppo had come back full of fire and enthusiasm for Unity after having met clergy and laypeople from other church denominations during the pilgrimage. He had spent an enjoyable and prayerful 12 days with them. He was able to share this with His Eminence and had expressed his realization that Unity is very possible and may not be too far away.
The Cardinal showed he was appreciative of Vassula's mission for Unity, sharing that he believes in her experience with God. He had just come back from the Bishops' Synod in Rome and mentioned that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is giving Christian Unity his priority. Vassula presented the Cardinal with a Greek icon of Our Lady and another of the Mysteries of the Rosary. In turn, he gave her a rosary from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict.
Private moments with Cardinal Toppo to update His Eminence on TLIG developments
Driving through the hills and jungles to Jamshedpur, 3 hours from Ranchi
Bishop Toppo took us on a beautiful drive in his car the next day, from Ranchi to his diocese of Jamshedpur. Out of a population of 9.2 million, there are 61,000 Catholics, the rest are Hindu and Muslim. After the Bishop showed us around his Bishop's Residence, we were taken to the Convent of the Society of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, where we stayed the night. The Mother Superior, Sr. Fidelis, was elated to host Vassula in her Convent and to have the opportunity to speak to her about the Messages, which were very dear to her. Sr. Fidelis has been an avid TLIG reader for many years and was awed at being given the grace to extend her hospitality to Vassula, even for one night.
Bishop Felix Toppo and Vassula being welcomed home to his Bishop's Residence in Jamshedpur by the Ursulines sisters and his priests
Sr. Fidelis (to Vassula's left), Mother Superior of Jamshedpur's Society of Jesus Mary Joseph - India, posing with Vassula and her Nursing students
Jamshedpur Press Conference in the Bishop's Residence:
The Bishop organized a Press Conference for Vassula before the Meeting
Several journalists were present to interview Vassula and the Bishop about her visit and her mission. The Bishop gave them the details of Vassula's work and the Meeting to be held in an hour's time. Vassula explained her mission of delivering God's Message of Mercy to His people, calling them to return to Him. She mentioned the prophecies in True Life in God, pointing out that the prophecy of the New York Twin Towers disaster had been given exactly 10 years before, on September 11, 1991. The Tsunami of South Asia was also predicted several times before it happened. Vassula warned of another bigger and more destructive event to come, saying we can only pray, do acts of reparation and penance to diminish its force, but that it is too late to cancel it completely.
From the Bishop's 31 parishes, 5,000 people came to the grounds of St. Joseph's Cathedral in Golmuri, Jamshedpur, to join their Bishop in welcoming His Eminence, the Cardinal, and Vassula.
Making their way to the stage before the Meeting
A colorful welcome for the Cardinal, Bishop, and Vassula
Bishop Toppo introducing Vassula before a crowd of 5,000 of his diocese, including many nuns and priests
Joyful songs were sung by the youth choir, calling on the Holy Spirit to bless the gathering
Vassula speaks to 5,000 people in Jamshedpur
After an introduction by Bishop Toppo, Vassula took her place and talked to the Bishop's people. "Why is God speaking to us today? He speaks today because God is a Father and intervenes when needed, when His people have strayed far from Him. He intervenes to remind us of our foundations." She went on to say that the world has turned evil and God, being a Father, will not stay seated on His Throne and watch His children perish in the eternal fires. "Scriptures say, whatever comes from earth falls back on earth. The world is experiencing catastrophes, natural disasters, wars, difficulties, and injustice like never before. These are due to man's apostasy... We have forgotten where we come from and why we exist! Our mission here on earth is to love Him and serve Him, to serve one another because He lives in each of us."
She continued on about Repentance. She said that God is sending the Holy Spirit, pouring graces like never before in history. But to receive the Holy Spirit in our heart, we must empty it of all sins and vices; we must make space through Repentance. Only then can the Holy Spirit invade us and do His Will in us. From a true Repentance comes the fruit of reconciliation and then unity. "The Lord wants a heart humble, modest and good. We will be judged according to the measure of love in our heart. So let us expand our hearts to receive more of Him so that we can give more to Him..."
Vassula covered many subjects in the Messages, speaking in very clear and easily understood language. The crowds were made up of all different ages and were delighted to listen to the simple way Jesus taught her to love Him and be close to Him. "All that is good within us comes from Him..." she said, telling them the story of how the Lord taught her this: "Do you have anything to offer Me, Vassula? Everything good comes from Me." Vassula answered: I can paint, I will paint an icon and offer it to you in the church. But then the Lord answered: "The gift of art, Vassula? This also comes from Me." Searching her mind, she indeed found nothing good she could give Him. So she replied: "...then I have nothing to give You." Then the Lord corrected her: "But there is, give me your will." Surprised, she retorted: "...but I already gave You my will a few weeks ago!" He replied: "I want you to offer Me your will everyday."
"The Lord asks us to pray from the heart, these prayers vibrate with truthfulness and He listens to them. Prayer from the heart unveils Him, because it becomes a dialogue with God. When praying the "Our Father", you are offering your will; it is a very important prayer, because it contains everything. Make an image of a God who is alive in front of you as you pray it."
An early evening freshness crept into the air as I made my way to the back of the grounds to take some pictures of the crowd. I saw that families had come in droves, shuffling here and there to shake off the chill of the night, nevertheless quietly listening to the simple teachings. There was no one, not even a wee baby crying impatiently. I remembered the first time I heard these simple but profound stories, I recognized the same sense of well-being and peace pervading the atmosphere...as it always does when Vassula speaks of the Lord and the Messages of True Life in God.
The Ursuline and Daughters of Charity nuns, and diocesan priests at the Meeting
After Vassula's talk, Holy Mass was celebrated by the Cardinal and the Bishop
The Cardinal thanking Vassula at the dinner following the Meeting
Farewell picture taken at Sr. Fidelis' Convent
The road back to Ranchi
Some golden moments during meals with the Cardinal back in His Eminence's Residence in Ranchi. It was a grace-filled experience for our Greek Orthodox sisters and brother: Catarina,Teresa and Antonis, to share the Cardinal's hospitality
Meeting in the Jesuit School for Seminarians:
Vassula speaks to seminarians at a Meeting in Tarunoday Theologate, Ranchi's Jesuit school for Seminarians. This ended her engagements in Ranchi
Fr. Ignace Topno has been Vassula's translator to Hindu during all her visits to Ranchi and Jamshedpur. He is also the Rector of a Jesuit School for Seminarians and his desire to bring her to speak to his students was finally realized. Always guided by the Holy Spirit, the topics chosen were slightly different, allowing her to go deeper into what Our Lord desires for His priests, for His Abels.
Vassula began: "God can choose anyone He wants to be His Messenger. He is able to demonstrate His Power through a docile instrument." Through the Holy Spirit, she received her Call, and from someone indifferent, God transformed her into the bearer of His Message. She knew nothing, so He became her Teacher; all that she knew, she learned directly from Him by locution, which is the inner voice. He made her understand profound teachings by diffusing a light into her intellect; "His Word is a river breaking into rivulets to other areas of Knowledge, it is imprinted and unforgettable." When God speaks, it is always for the benefit of the Church. She unworthily obtained this gift to help the Church, and God is not pleased with the division in His Church, the word "diabolos" in Greek, means division. The Call from the Holy Spirit now is for Unity.
She spoke of the Eucharist, saying that the Lord complains that His Eucharist is given less and less importance. In places like the United States and Europe, bishops say that some priests do not believe in the True Presence in the Eucharist. Many do not realize it is through the Eucharist that God deifies us, divinizes us, making us gods by participation.
"To save all the humble of the earth who receive Me and to give them imperishable life, I became Bread to give Myself to you; and through this Communion I sanctify all who receive Me, deifying them to become the flesh of My Flesh, the bones of My Bones; by partaking me, I who am Divine, you and I become one single body, spiritually united; we become kin, for I can turn you into gods by participation; through My Divinity I deify men..." (October 16, 2000).
The Lord also laments the lack of adoration to Him. He compares it to someone you love that never visits you. He wants our presence; there is no need for words, just for us to sit with Him as two friends. He desires for us to be intimate with Him. The first step is to approach Him, as we are, to get to know Him and learn to love Him. She shared with them how the Father taught her to be intimate with Him, how she approached Him like a child and was able to speak to Him by learning to say the "Our Father" from her heart. She made an image of a living God in front of her, knowing He was present. This is the way to touch His Heart, which is easily touched.
"You are called to become priests, remember that the biggest service you can render to God is to bring one soul back to Him. Many can spend their lives learning about God, speaking about Him and end their lives without really knowing Him. One has to meet God, become intimate with Him; like a child speaking to His Father from his heart."
After speaking to them about several other topics in True Life in God, there was an Open Forum. The main question asked was regarding Christian Unity. She described her vision of the 3 Iron Bars, and how the Lord made her understand they represent the Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. The heads of these 3 bars can only bend and unite using the keys of Humility and Love. The Lord makes her feel that so long as the division exists, wars, disasters and catastrophes will continue. He asks that we simply unify the dates of Easter, and if we do, He will send the Holy Spirit in full force to give us the light to unite.
The audience of about 40 seminarians and Fr. Ignace were thankful for Vassula's generosity in sharing her testimony with them. This unplanned conference marked the end of Vassula's visit to the state of Jharkhand.
Vassula in the background with His Excellency, Bishop Anil Couto during Delhi Meeting
We left Ranchi the next day and arrived in New Delhi that evening. Vassula was invited to speak at an impromptu meeting hosted by His Excellency, Bishop Anil Couto of New Delhi and organized by Fr. Joseph Thomas of TLIG New Delhi, in the hall of a Catholic Girl's School. Bishop Anil had accompanied us on our 4th International TLIG Ecumenical Pilgrimage in May '05 and has written a beautiful article on his TLIG Pilgrimage experience in the Catholic Journal of India (Reference: TLIG Pilgrimage 2005 Report).
The Bishop introduced Vassula with gladness and eagerness. He spoke of the wonderful pilgrimage to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to the audience made up mostly of diplomats and expatriates of different religions all living in the capital. Vassula gave a brief talk about how it all started and the True Life in God Messages, giving them a glimpse of the scope of her mission for Unity. Due to the limitation of time since our flight that evening had arrived late, and since we were preparing for an early departure to Bangkok the next morning, Bishop Anil and Fr. Joseph invited Vassula to come and speak again to a bigger crowd on her next trip to New Delhi in 2 months time.
We thank His Eminence, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, His Excellency, Bishop Felix Toppo, His Excellency, Bishop Anil Couto, Fr. Stephen Raphael and Fr. Joseph Thomas for their strong support for Vassula's mission and True Life in God. With their help, the Messages are finding their way all throughout this vast country of India.
By: Cecilia Lutz
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