Sri Lanka and India
October 26 - 28, 2001
I will try, with God's help, to describe as best as I can for all of us to taste and be strengthened by the unique experiences we lived on this blessed journey with Vassula.
After a hard week Vassula had in Athens beside her sick sister, she was in a few hours ready for our very long journey from Rome with first stop Sri-Lanka. We were travelling for many hours, mostly in the night, changing airplanes. This could not prevent Vassula to answer to faxes and e-mails and check the last details of the journey.
On Friday the 26th October 2001 we arrived at the airport of Sri-Lanka. Waiting for us there were Duleep, Katarina, Peter - our tireless assistant for all the days we were to stay there -, and friends of TLIG. We were taken by surprise from the welcoming of two priests, Father Louie-Marie and Father Gregory Leonidas who came straight from the printing-house holding in their hands the information booklets containing passages from the Messages and Vassula's biography written in two new languages, Sinhala and Tamil. That was the first surprise the Lord had kept for us in this distant and poor country. Leaving the airport we went to our first appointment Vassula had with the Vicar General of Colombo, Fr. Kingsley Iayamanne, representative of the Catholic Church in Sri-Lanka. We would like to point out that the specific appointment with Fr. Kingsley Iayamanne, and not only, was arranged by the two priests who welcomed us at the airport. Fr. Kingsley after discussing with Vassula for quite a while about the Message and the mission she has been given by our Lord gave her his blessing for the next appointments and speeches she were to have in his country.
On our way to our hotel, Katarina told us how, during the last four months that the meeting was been prepared, Jesus Christ had opened door after door, confirming His sentence "... do your best, and I will do the rest ...". In a country so big and so poor, everybody worked together and in a short period two paged information leaflets were everywhere in three languages; English, Sinhala and Tamil. In all newspapers there was an invitation for Vassula's speech and a brief review of the Message Jesus Christ is giving for the last sixteen years. Posters were everywhere. Surprising were the faith, love and enthusiasm with which the priests have embraced the message of Christ. Father Louie-Marie who teaches at the Seminar in Kandy - we would say in School of Theology - since he recognized the Voice of our Lord through the messages and understood that the writer of this Hymn of Love is God Himself, did not hesitate to use it throughout teaching to his students. It is important to report that in Sri-Lanka and India the priests who believe in the messages work with great love and zeal for this revelation of Christ by undertaking the most of the preparation for the meetings of TLIG and the translation of the messages in their language. In Sri-Lanka the first book has already been translated and the second is on the way.
The next day, unfortunately, Vassula's morning appointment with the Archbishop was cancelled due to sudden illness and admission of the second to the hospital.
During the whole morning we were guided through the neighborhoods of Colombo where the beauty of the tropic plantation is contradicting to this country's poverty. The great heat and high humidity, which many times make it difficult for us even to breath, don't seem to bother the inhabitants to be outdoors or to work under such difficult circumstances as to gain the least they can, just their daily meal. Beside the great buildings, numerous are the shacks made by grass or plastic, where families live.
Playgrounds hardly exist; public schools look more like small prisons with steel bars on the windows. Time seems as if has stopped a long time ago and makes one wonder why should all this be.
Why should it be so difficult for the people in this part of the world to earn even the basic needs for their existence, something where in other societies is just a fact?
We take for granted so many things but they are not. I have many times said but for the first time I really felt how blessed we all are and at the same time how much ungrateful.
Usually, we Christians seek God or go to Church, in great difficulties or when we have need of his help. How many times have we run towards Him just to tell Him "I love you Lord, thank you for everything You have given us through Your Great Mercy?
Trapped in our rationalism and our culture, sunk in the misery of our daily life we have forgotten to give our Lord our love and honor He deserves.
These people with their sweet smile always on their faces and their warm heart have given up all their hope only to God and everyday they should be living examples for all of us.
We visited the Queen of Angels' Church where on the 15th August 1998 during mass our Holy Mother appeared leaving Her "shadow" on the wall where was Jesus on the Cross as well. The Archbishop and the priests have tried to "clean" the walls by scrubbing them as to exclude any trick - scheme. The "shadow" not only did not go away but a year later on the 16th August 1998 moved and placed itself further left from the Cross where it still is today. Since the day our Holy Mother appeared in this church every day and all day long the faithful pray the Rosary in that church.
It was moving to see the church-warden recognizing Vassula from a newspaper or one of the leaflets which was given to all churches of Colombo and running up to us to give us photographs of our Holy Mothers miracle and to speak with Vassula for a while.
The evening we were invited to a dinner, which suddenly turned to a speech of Vassula since all were asking and had great thirst as to learn why God is talking and what he is saying in the Messages. For an hour and a half, Vassula explained how she accepted the Divine Messages and how since then her and other lives in the whole world have changed.
When God appears it is not just to say "Hello". The world today has been delivered to chaos and is far away from our Lord's Love. As a caring Father, He is interested about His children and appears to them because of His great Mercy towards them as to call them back to Him and bring them to reason.
So, the first step we should all do is to repent and with simplicity of heart come near to God and know Him without forgetting that He is Holy. The evening went on in a very pleasant, warm and full of God's Love environment.
The next day, Sunday 28th October 2001, the first scheduled speech and presentation of the Message in Sri-Lanka took place. The stadium of St Joseph's College was ready. The icons of Jesus and Holy Mary's were decorated with flowers, the choir was ready and a poster on the wall welcomed Vassula in Greek. At the entrance were the priests who welcomed Vassula and a warm applause escorted her to the stage where from she was to speak. Our Lord must have been very pleased that day when His children Christian, Buddhists, Protestants, Hindus ran to listen to what He had to say through His prophet.
Vassula spoke about many things the Holy Trinity had given to her for each and every one of us through this message of reconciliation, love and peace.
About God's paternal attitude toward His children and tender, loving presence, ready to forgive the repented sinner and asking for our intimacy but never forgetting that He is Holy.
About repentance and purifying ourselves through confession so that the Holy Spirit be able to work in us and lead us to deification through God's Love.
About prayer, which is our communication with God and that unceasing prayer is to long for God all day long which leads the soul want to do God's Will out of the love the soul feels for Him and thus sin less.
About the Second Pentecost that is the individual transfiguration of everyone who gives his will to God to be transformed into a better person, in the image and likeness of God.
About the Holy Eucharist and how important it is to receive God. Jesus says: "... to save all the humble of the earth who receive Me, and to give them imperishable life, I become Bread Myself to give you and through this Communion, I sanctify all who receive Me, deifying them, to become the flesh of My Flesh, the bones of My Bone; by partaking Me, I who am Devine, you and I become one, single body spiritually united; we become kin for I can turn you into gods by participation ..."
About the events in the word today and their warnings in the Messages. There is no peace in the world as our ego is very powerful and we refuse to do God's Will. Our refusal to do God's Will, makes us responsible for the world's situation today. Because our will is God's greatest rival. About apostasy and rebellion that dominate in our days. But God can transform us if we accept to die to ourselves and therefore allow the Lord to undertake and transform us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In such difficult days for mankind, God is asking for more prayers, "unsatisfied you have become generation" God tells us, meaning that ungratefulness is our gravest sin as we forget that everything good we have comes from Him.
The about one thousand five hundred people, almost without breathing, listened to Vassula while she talked about the Salvic plan of Peace and Unity from God. Without God our table is empty. Without Him, Peace and Love are missing. A soul cannot live without God; it takes its life from God. So after a period of alienation and rebellion we must return to God and make peace with Him.
After Vassula's speech, Holy Mass took place and passages of what Jesus tells us through the Messages were read. In honor of Vassula, who was a special guest, the priests offered Holy Communion, Body and Blood, to all who were there, something not usually done in the Catholic Church during mass where so many faithful participate.
Everybody was asking to learn more and the books almost disappeared. Many were interested to participate in prayer groups and even before we left Sri-Lanka a date had been set for Vassula's next visit. And all this, in a Buddhist country where Christians are very few, on contrary with what happens in countries where Christianity is the official religion where Christians are cautious to believe that it is our Father who speaks to us today. Let's glorify God who has allowed us to live such sensational moments with our brothers in this country.
We left Sri-Lanka having in our hearts all the wonderful and blessed moments we lived there. We continued our journey to Bagladesh stopping for a few hours at Singapore. It was a good chance to meet with our brothers of TLIG who live in Singapore. They were waiting for us at the airport, we all had breakfast together and they discussed with Vassula about the problems they have in their country. They surely need our prayers, our support and more contact between us.
TRAVELLING IN INDIA
After the bitterness and disappointment we had in Bagladesh, we continued our journey to India, our last station of this journey. Even though we arrived at night, we were expected at the airport of New Delhi by Doris, priests and others, from the TLIG group of India, who at that time filled us in with the meetings - appointments of the next day. Some of the priests we met at new New Delhi were with us at the pilgrimage in the Holy Land on March 2000.
We all remembered that then Vassula reminded us through the messages, how much Jesus is in pain because of the division of the churches and how great a sin it is to be divided like we are. The division is like a harsh master inside us and we should not give him any chance to rule upon us. But God who is the Source of everything that is good, can annihilate this harsh master, because His law is a law of Goodness and Life. She asked us then to become workers of the Lord, who like good farmers we shall sow seeds of love, peace and unity. Christ's words, through Vassula, have become alive by India's priests. That appeared when a meeting took place of Vassula with priests from fourteen Christian Churches. In a hall of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church about forty priests from the Latin Church, Malabar, Malankara, Syrian Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Mar Thomas Church, a reformed church of Orthodox, Baptist, Anglican Bishop E.S.Peters, Evangelical church, Pentecostal church, C.N.I. church of North India, church of South India, Indian Pentecostal church, had the chance to listen to Vassula in a two hour speech.
She briefly reviewed how she firstly received the Messages when she was still living in Bagladesh, Messages which were not only for the Christians but for all God's children. But the discussion focused on the passages concerning the Unity of the Church, which is His Mystic Body and explained the vision with the three bars, which have to bend so that the church could be one. The first step that must be done is that the date of Easter should be the same for all. She referred to the Second Pentecost and characteristically said that a person could not live spiritually without the Holy Spirit, like a fish trying to live outside water. She also talked about the rebellion in our days, explained the prophecy of 11th September 1991 as well as other prophecies she had received by our Lord like the one about Russia. The questions, which followed showed how much they were concerned about what Christ says through this Message concerning reconciliation and unity. A press conference followed with many journalists from local newspapers. Some of them published articles with photographs of Vassula. Leaflets and invitations were given and big posters where everywhere. A big linen poster - invitation for Vassula's meeting had been put up at the entrance of the church. In the fever of the preparations the priests found some time the next morning to tour us at some of the sites of New Delhi. They tried to do as much as they could to please us. But what really moved us and should be an example to us are the love, devotion and unity with which the priests worked to prepare the meeting of TLIG in India.
The bishop of the Catholic Church in India blessed Vassula for the afternoon meeting and generally for her mission. In a big hall, the stage was put and the choir was ready. After a minute's silence for peace in the world, Vassula started her speech, which lasted about one hour and a half. She covered many of the subjects the Lord mentions in the Messages. At the end she blessed all who were present. About one thousand five hundred people, who came to Jesus Christ's invitation although the difficult circumstances and politic state which exists in India - were enthusiastic over what they had listened and Vassula with difficulty managed to leave the hall as all of them asked for particular prayers at the end from her. For once again the words of Jesus Christ became reality according to the message of 22nd January 1998: "... since you are so precious in My Sight, India, I have sent to you too My Seeds so that you sow them in your ground and the harvest will be rich and plentiful were you to set your heart to work the soil; and your earth will respond to the grain; then everyone will know of My Love and will respond to My Call ...".