Vassula’s Mission to the Philippines
May 11-13, 2008
"... every step you want to take, come first to Me; come and consult Me. Pray to the Holy Spirit of Counsel and Advice, and I mean every step. Everything you want to undertake, come to Me first - I will guide you. Never, never plan on your own. ? ... pray for discernment. Do not hurry. I have laid down My Plans long before you were born..." (TLIG 27 Dec. 1988)
This Message was in the hearts of the TLIG Philippines Association organizers all throughout the preparations for Vassula's short visit. In the 3 days Vassula stayed in the Philippines, she spoke in Cebu, Lipa, and in Manila - in the most prestigious of venues: the Office and Residence of the President of the Philippines! An intense programme awaited Vassula as she embarked on this very special trip to Asia, starting with the Philippines.
May 11 Pentecost Sunday - Cebu Coliseum Meeting, CEBU with Msgr. Kriekenbeek
The 2008 visit of Vassula to Asia began in Cebu, Philippines, on the invitation of Msgr. Frederick Kriekenbeek, Spiritual Director of the Charismatic Communities of the island of Cebu. A very familiar figure in the True Life in God Pilgrimages, the soft-spoken monsignor had gotten wind of Vassula's intended trip to Asia, and immediately revised his plans for their annual Pentecost Sunday celebration. This occasion was foreseen to gather many different charismatic groups on this special day dedicated to the descent of the Holy Spirit on the world. Vassula was his perfect guest speaker, and to hold the crowds, Msgr. Fred was obliged to organize this event in the biggest of venues in Cebu, the Coliseum.
Cebu is the second city of the Philippines, and the cradle of Christianity in the country. It was to the shores of this island south of Manila that the Catholic faith was brought by the Spanish conquerors in 1521. Nearly 400 years of colonization carved the Christian identity of the Philippines, the only Christian country in Asia. Vassula's 3rd visit to Cebu was marked by a great assembly in Cebu Coliseum on May 11, where 10,000 people from several Charismatic Renewal Communities joined to call on the Holy Spirit during a whole day of prayer, proclaiming the theme: "The Holy Spirit Unites the Church and All of Us!" The Messages of True Life in God are an urgent call to Unity of all in the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church, as well as in our hearts, our families, communities, and our countries. As the bearer of these Messages, Vassula was invited to speak on Unity and on the Holy Spirit.
"...Love is the root and the foundation of unity. If the Church is not yet living in full communion it is because everything that is expressed or discussed and explained is done without love, it's sterile. This division is directed against Christ. All who call themselves Christians and abide divided have broken the Commandment of Jesus Christ who said: "Love one another."
"...How can we say we live in Christ if we have not made peace or reconciled with one another? Has it ever occurred to the people of the Church that they are living daily the sin of their division? Therefore, if this is known to us, the shepherds' and all of us have to choose.
There are two choices here. The first choice belongs to God and comes from God and that is: to live in love, peace, humility, reconciliation and unity. The second choice belongs to Satan and comes from him and that is: hatred, war, pride, lack of forgiveness, ego and division... we will be held accountable and we will all pay for every arrogant attitude, every pride, every prejudice, for our grudge, for the lack of charity for our coldness and for every word we uttered against one another, for our ego, and so on, because we would be breaking Christ's Commandments."
"...it is Satan who likes to keep the Church divided, because if we are united we are strong, if we keep divided we are weak! Satan is then working to divide more and more. He then penetrates into the families, divides the families; he penetrates into relationships, into friendships, divides friends; he penetrates into governments, divides the governments and puts war in the hearts instead of Unity!"
"...The triumph of Jesus' Heart, which is the Unity that He wants in our times, will wipe out all the Satanic movements, all that is prejudice, all that is pride, all that is against God. Let us be His people, His true people for Unity!"
A Charismatic Meeting is characterized by the presence of Christians from all walks of life, families, religious, and many young people who come together to invoke the Holy Spirit in prayers and in songs of Praise and Worship to the Holy Trinity. Their pleas to the Holy Spirit to outpour His Seven Gifts rise to Heaven in an atmosphere of abandonment and expectation, and in the joy of fulfillment as each one breaks out in spontaneous prayer. To the uninitiated, this emotional manifestation of faith with arms raised and voices proclaiming Jesus as Savior, Lord, and King may seem exaggerated, but once caught up in the Holy Spirit's flow, this channel of adoration and praise to the Most High is in the most natural order of things.
On the Holy Spirit:
"...True Life in God has abundant teachings on the Holy Spirit. We know about Jesus Christ from the Gospels, the Father from the Old Testament, but we know little of the Holy Spirit."
"...consider ourselves like a fish that swims in the water, breathes, takes its life from the water; so it is with us and the Holy Spirit. If we are with the Holy Spirit, we move in the Spirit, we act in the Spirit, we live in the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we would die spiritually, and dry up spiritually."
"...the Holy Spirit is waiting to invade us, to possess us, but He cannot if we are filled with iniquities and vices. We must die to our ego and to ourselves so the Holy Spirit can breathe in us a resurrection breath. Let us empty ourselves from sin by repentance, a true repentance with tears, to make space for the Holy Spirit."
...we are in the second Pentecost! The Holy Spirit is coming like a tide slowly and steadily, gushing till it becomes a river to renew us, to renew the Church...we are the New Jerusalem, the City of God that is being renewed, that will come like a beautiful bride in the sky after having been purified by the Holy Spirit. The New Heavens, the New Earth, the New Jerusalem, through the Holy Spirit!"
Vassula's talks on Unity in the morning and the Holy Spirit in the afternoon were the nourishment for this whole day's activity. They were some of the highlights of this celebration of Pentecost, along with the DVD projection of the testimony of a powerful conversion of a moslem to Christianity, Holy Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament Procession in the Coliseum. This one day in Cebu was a day filled with joy, a day filled with the Holy Spirit.
May 12 Visit to Archbishop Arguelles in LIPA, BATANGAS and Meeting
Vassula flew from Cebu to Manila, and drove 3 hrs. south to visit Archbishop Arguelles in his Lipa diocese. His Excellency was pleased to see Vassula and eager to know how her mission for Christian Unity was progressing in spite of the obstacles continually put before her. The Archbishop's granting of the Imprimatur for the 12 volumes of True Life in God, and his constant support have been a source of great encouragement for Vassula. This was the opportunity to speak to him about the confusing letter to the Bishops issued early last year by Cardinal Levada's office which contained many errors regarding herself and her mission, and to reassure him that she was requesting Cardinal Levada to continue the 2 ½ year dialogue she had with the CDF under his predecessor, Cardinal Ratzinger, who was proclaimed Pope a few months after the study's completion.
Vassula spoke at the Canossian College Hall after the Mass celebrated by the Archbishop. Her subject on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, was Our Blessed Mother which gave Vassula the opportunity to share the many Messages from Our Lady and about Our Lady in True Life in God. Vassula once again pleaded for prayers for the conversion of the world, would the Queen of Heaven not turn Her ear to hear the fervent supplications of Her very devoted children, the Filipinos?
"O Royal Virgin, inseparably united to Jesus' Heart, I offer You all the sinners of the world who offend Your Son in the Blessed Sacrament. May they who strike Him, be forgiven by God through your Innocence, Your Blessedness and Your Sweet Heart which became the Holiest Tabernacle of God; AMEN." (Vassula - April 9, 1998)
At dinner, Archbishop Arguelles welcomed the news of Vassula's visit to Rome at the end of January this year. There, she was able to greet His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI from the first row during a public audience in the Vatican. Vassula described how happy the Holy Father was to see her well, as she put in his hand the latest One-Book True Life in God publication in English. She was able to briefly inform Pope Benedict that all 12 volumes were now compiled in one, and included the CDF's 5 Questions put to her during the study, and her Answers. In November 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger had advised Vassula to insert these CDF Questions & Answers in every volume published of True Life in God, in all languages, so that everyone would be informed that his Office had worked to clarify the difficult points in the 1995 Notification.
After dinner and before driving back to Manila, a TV team interviewed Vassula and Archbishop Arguelles, ending her second day in the Philippines.
May 13, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima - Vassula meets the President of the Philippines, and Speaks in Malacanang Palace, Manila
A civic-action women's group called "Mahal Ko, Bayan Ko" (literally translated "My Beloved, My Country"), with the President of the Philippines, Her Excellency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's permission, invited Vassula to be the Guest Speaker for their gathering in Malacanang Palace on May 13, 2008, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. This dynamic group is composed of Christian and Moslem Filipino women striving to help progress the Philippines. In a country besieged by political problems, the division in the hearts of its citizens is in need of healing, and the President had been calling the country to unity in order to advance. This concerned Women's Group suggested that Vassula speak on True Life in God whose themes of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Unity would give a spiritual dimension to the President's call and the country's need for Unity.
Vassula was given the place of honor as she stood beside the President in the Palace Hall during the Holy Mass celebrated in homage to Our Lady of Fatima by 2 Bishops. After the Mass, Vassula was asked to address an audience of 500 people which included the President, the Bishops and priests,and the members of the Women's committee. This was diffused on nationwide TV. Her 30 minute talk was inspired in its urgings to live the Scriptures by forgiving, by softening hardened hearts with Repentance and Reconciliation, the fruits of which are Love and Unity. Vassula once again reminded the Philippines of its spiritual mission of being "an altar of incense", an altar of prayer for the conversion of the world. A Filipino's deep devotion to Our Lady is the foundation of his mission which is to deepen his knowledge and love for God and to pray for those others who are lost, to return to Him.
Some excerpts from her talk:
"...the Philippines, the Filipino people! Your faith is great and Our Blessed Mother is with you! Persevere, never give up your faith, don't go backwards! I have been invited to speak in 67 countries and I have never seen Christianity like in this country. But you have not only to show rosaries, icons, statues of Our Lady, and prayers... prayers without love do not count. The Lord says they must come from your heart, live the Gospel, proclaim the Gospel, pray a lot but do it with love and sincerity because God cannot be cheated."
"Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.." Mt 12:25
..."Satan likes us to be divided. He comes into homes, he splits up the couple, the family, he divides friendships, relationships, he divides countries, he divides the people of the country. And why? Don't you see that division comes from Satan, not from God? So we have to really fight with love to take away everything of criticism in our hearts, and judgements. Because that is how Satan works. He puts this confusion in our hearts, and after, he puts quarrels, disputes, and where does this lead? To DIVISION! So long as we remain divided, there will be continuous upheavals, wars, terrorism and all that is happening in our times. We see that the world has become more cruel, and Jesus says it is because of the wickedness, selfishness, and egoism of this world. Satan has a hold on us, and all these wars emerge from that."
"Jesus says: if the churches are able to go beyond the negative obstacles that hinder them to unite, obstacles that according to Scriptures are against the fulfillment of the unity of faith, love and worship among them, I will be faithful to My promise of releasing a time of peace in the entire world; this peace will draw every being into my Mystical Body, fulfilling My Words given to you all in My prayer to God the Father, when I implored: ‘may they be one in Us, as You are in Me and I am in You, so that the world may believe it was You who sent Me.’ Jn 17:21 (TLIG 10 Dec. 2001)
On Our Lady's great feastday, her calm deliverance of this heartfelt discourse to a divided but God-fearing nation struck the hearts of those present. A woman in tears came to Vassula after, resolving to forgive her daughter-in-law... a Moslem woman lobbying for dialogue between Christian and Moslem Filipino politicians was enthusiastic to bring Vassula's words to her people, the Bishops were touched to hear the Scriptures come to life in Vassula's words, and were surely grateful for the encouragement towards the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Vassula gave the President her gift, a copy of the One-Book edition of True Life in God. Afterwards, everyone was invited to the Palace dining room for breakfast. Vassula was asked to sit at the President's table with her family and the close members of her staff, the Bishops and priests. During the meal, the Bishops had the opportunity to speak with Vassula, and ask her to sign their TLIG books. Her Excellency, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the President of the Philippines, was very thankful for the grace to be prayed over by Vassula and the Bishops on that day.
Vassula's last night in Manila was spent in her hotel room being interviewed for a weekly prime time TV show called "Heart to Heart Talk". True Life in God and Vassula were featured on this 1 hr. television program which was diffused nationwide, and to Filipino cable channels in Australia, the USA, Middle East, and Europe.
The first leg of Vassula's 2008 Asian Trip was accomplished. The enthusiasm of the Philippines for the Messages of True Life in God launched Vassula's mission in Asia this year which continued on to : Singapore, Taiwan, China, and India. Many thanks to the TLIG Philippines Association, His Excellency Archbishop Arguelles, Msgr. Kriekenbeek, the "Mahal Ko, Bayan Ko" Women's Committee, and Her Excellency, the President of the Philippines.
By: Cecilia B. Lutz