MY WALK WITH TRUE LIFE IN GOD
by Edgar Dante
In the gospel readings few Sundays ago, we were reminded about God's awesome mercy to forgive a repentant soul in the parable of the Prodigal Son. This meaningful story is a prophecy for all generations to know that our God is an abyss of mercy. But what struck me most was the great joy felt by the father in receiving his lost son. His joy was so immense that to experience it fully he has to share it with others. This is the kind of joy that we all receive by grace in our communion with and service to the Lord.
This article is my way of sharing to you my joy in organizing the visit of Vassula Ryden to Bangkok from 3 to 5 March 1998, together with six other "followers of Christ". I believed that the hands of the Lord guided the events leading to Vassula's visit for one worthy cause - bringing His "Love Hymn from Heaven" to Thailand. I am sharing them here with you to inspire and bring joy to your soul.
Year 1994 – my family and friends visited Ris and Justin Roxas at their home in Bangkok. During this visit, Justin played for us a video film of Vassula's testimony in the US. As we were watching, God's words, which were spoken through Vassula, struck like fires in my heart. Suddenly, my soul was awakened from a long and deep sleep upon hearing a familiar voice of his Creator. That was the beginning of my long walk with True Life in God (TLIG).
I reproduced several copies of the videotape and shared with my friends. I also organized several video shows for students and staff of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) where I lived. Few months later, I received from the US full set of the TLIG books comprising of nine volumes of the handwritten version.
From then on, I started my long journey with TLIG. Reading and meditating on the messages became part of my daily prayers feeding my yearning soul with God's love messages. Indeed, TLIG touched by heart and slowly taught me how to relate to the Holy Trinity more personally and intimately.
Trip to Bangladesh
In November 1997, my work with the United Nations brought me to Dhaka, Bangladesh, the place where TLIG started in 1985. Before my departure, I managed to get the address of the Catholic Church in Dhaka where Vassula used to go, and immediately thought of visiting the place. Before my departure, I said a little prayer "God make this trip a special one" without knowing exactly what I was asking.
My thoughts turned into realities. After my official meetings, I went by rickshaw to the Catholic Church in Dhaka, and unexpectedly met Fr. "X". He is an American priest and Vassula's first Spiritual Director (according to the books, he was selected by Jesus Himself ). I spent almost the whole day with him. He related to me with great joy and enthusiasm his association with Vassula and TLIG. He took me to the house where Vassula used to stay and to his small room at the seminary where Vassula used to see him for guidance. To date, Fr. "X" travels with Vassula in her meetings in all parts of the world. The most recent was in Bangladesh, India and the Philippines in January 1998.
My meeting with Fr. "X" was truly a great blessing! When I proposed to him a visit of Vassula to Thailand, he replied, "This may be providential" and gave me instructions on how to reach her. Upon my return to Bangkok, I immediately contacted Tom Austin, in-charge of organizing Vassula's meetings, by e-mail. He was at that time working on several invitations for Vassula to speak in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea. We thought that a stopover in Bangkok from Geneva to these countries would be very convenient and can easily fit into her itinerary. Hence, a visit to Thailand was smoothly arranged.
Exactly a year before my visit to Bangladesh, in November 1996, I found myself alone in a half-lighted room of an old colonial-style hotel in New Delhi, India. I spent few minutes reading the book TLIG, which I always carry wherever I go. And then suddenly, as it happened once in a while, doubts crossed my mind. I found myself almost drowned with questions like, Is Vassula's locution really true? Do the messages really come from God? These questions were always haunting me. Though I have no problem with the messages, the manner in which they are received was something that requires faith and discernment. If God can only give me one sign, things may be easier for me, I thought with anxiety.
Then I prayed I asked for a single sign. I did it full of trust and hope that God answers prayer from a sincere heart. The sign I asked from Him was a visit of Vassula to Thailand to witness. Then I was inspired to write a letter of invitation for Vassula, which was addressed to the publisher of the TLIG books in the US. I was hoping that the publisher would then forward the letter to her.
Almost a year passed. I forgot about the letter and my prayer asking for a sign. Until last January, a Protestant friend, who did not condemn TLIG but was just prudent to get involved, prompted me to seek God's confirmation on Vassula's authenticity. Immediately, I remembered my prayer and there I knew that Vassula's visit to Thailand was God's confirmation to her and the answers to my never-ending questions. When Vassula came, I learned from her that my letter did not reach her but it surely did reach Heaven.
In reading the books
I got the confirmation of Vassula's visit in January. She was scheduled to arrive in March. Interestingly, in January, I was half way in reading Book Nine of TLIG. I reckoned to finish the whole set, which I started reading in 1994, just before she arrives in Bangkok, and then pondered that maybe it is His will that I should finish the last book just before Vassula arrives. Of course, I did everything to be honest to myself. I did not make any reading plan to be able to finish the book exactly on the dot. Instead, I continued with my normal pace of reading, 10 pages a day, although there were days when not a single page was touched.
March 2, the day before Vassula arrived, I was still 30 pages away from finishing Book Nine. Unfortunately that day, I forgot to bring the book to my office where I normally spend time to read. The message was loud and clear – I could not finish the book. But I was wrong! God gave me a chance to do it. In the evening, I went to the small chapel in AIT together with a friend to pray. I had my Book Nine with me expecting to read my usual 10 pages for the day. We were both kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament, very well disposed to prayer and then I began reading His messages. Incidentally, I was reading a long discourse of Jesus about His Sacred Heart and was very much consumed by His messages. The discourse was non-stop until it ended at the last page of the book with Jesus saying "My loved one, be one with Me".
Marvelous events continued to happen from the time I got the confirmation of Vassula's visit until the day she left Bangkok. They were just too many to mention for a newsletter with limited space. However, one thing is clear in my experience - God works with a timetable, allowing us, His sons and daughters, to prepare and be guided by Him. He allows us to experience marvels, which inspire and encourage us in our service to Him. He works in an orderly fashion, leaving peace, harmony and love in our hearts. And finally, God never forgets to reward the faithful.