Vassula Ryden's Opening Words to the True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage in Rome, 2011
September 4, 2011
First of all a very warm welcome to everybody. I want to give thanks to the organizers that worked for 2 years for today's preparation. I hope with all my heart that this gathering of prayer and praise here in the Eternal City will be a blessing to all of us and to the whole Church inspiring the Church and encouraging it to go forward for unity. In one of the messages Jesus said:
"Today any delicacy from the part of My creatures to restore My tottering House touches Me profoundly; any step towards unity, all heaven rejoices; any prayer offered for the restoration of My Body, My Father's wrath diminishes; any gathering in My Name for unity, my blessings are poured out on those sharing these meetings." October 5, 1994
Our Lord has called us so that we pray fervently for reconciliation between brothers. God gathered us here from different Churches and backgrounds to listen to the groans of the Holy Spirit that impels us towards unity. Unity will never be possible to achieve unless a radical change of heart takes place in each and every one of us. High level talks are certainly necessary as are theological discussions, but a unity in diversity can only be achieved when we ordinary Christians open our hearts to the grace of the Holy Spirit, die to ourselves and humbly allow ourselves to be filled with love and understanding.
Reconciliation is the fruit of love, but this can only be attained if we are convinced that disunity is counter to God’s will because it is a negation of love. It needs humility and a sincere conversion of heart to embrace one another and offer Christ our total surrender.
We are here to be an example of goodwill and not disharmony. We are gathered here to live something pure, and show our peace and charity towards one another. Peacemakers, as Scriptures say, (Jm 3:18) when they work for peace, sow the seeds that will bear fruit in holiness.
Unity will be in all its diversities. There are not really grave elements that divide us. Goodwill and bending in humility and love is what our Lord wants. It is the key to unity and He wants us to use it. We have to pray for those who raise obstacles to unity and do not want it according to our Lord's mind because they are opposing God's Will and committing a grave sin by remaining divided. This is what our Lord said:
"Realize the gravity of your division, the urgency of my call and the importance of my request. All I ask is love to break the barriers of your division." October 20, 1991
It is written in Col. 1:17-18: "Before anything was created, He existed and He holds all things in unity. Now the Church is His Body. He is its Head."
The Head as Scriptures say, that is Christ, calls us to consolidate His Body by uniting. He says that we have maimed his Body and it does not function anymore as a healthy Body. So the Body, that is the Church, cannot object and say to the Head: ‘Are you still up there? Why are you still up there? Can’t you see how we can govern wisely and prudently on our own? We have set our laws and we walk by the letter of the law. As for unity, it will not be for our times as you desire but for the future."
Is this what we are saying to the Head? Is this the way we proclaim Christ? The Lord said in His message: "Lower your head, so that they see My Head, lower your voice so that you hear My Voice." If He said, "lower your head" to each one of us, it is because we have raised our heads above His. When He says, "lower your voice so that you hear My Voice," it is because we refuse to listen to the groans of the Holy Spirit.
So let us in these days proclaim together that there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Unity will come only when we begin to love Jesus Christ.