THE TRUE LIFE IN GOD MESSAGES
by Fr Gregory, Father Superior CSWG
Father Gregory is Father Superior of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God, a small community of Anglican monks living in Crawley, UK. Other testimonies from the community can be found here
These Messages Are From The Holy Trinity
The Messages, which Vassula has been receiving since 1985, have been studied by several eminent theologians, who have found them to be entirely consistent with the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church. They have been astonished to observe that Vassula, who had no previous catechetical training, could record teaching about the most profound doctrinal and spiritual matters with such ease and no trace of error. Moreover Vassula herself and the Messages have been investigated by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who were satisfied by her answers to their questions. Cardinal Ratzinger asked Vassula to publish their questions with her answers, along with the related correspondence, which she has done; and the booklet, entitled 'True Life In God: Clarifications With The Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith', is now available gratis for all the clergy.
The Lord makes it clear in the Messages that they in no way add to the revelation, which is already complete in Scripture, but that they are intended to be reminders, to be heard in the Spirit, of what is now often ignored in that revelation, according to the provision He describes in John 16:12-15. In every age the Lord inspires His prophets for this task. Those who are enlightened by the same Spirit as moved the prophets to speak words from the Lord will discern the authenticity of the words of the prophets; and in the same way the Holy Spirit is the only Person who can finally convince the reader of the authenticity of the Messages of True Life in God. Indeed even those who have been satisfied, through external verbal criteria, that the Messages are genuine will still need to be taught by the Holy Spirit how to hear them from the heart, in a fully personal way, in order to benefit from them in the way that the Lord intends. Thousands of people from all over the world have already witnessed in this way to the authenticity of the Messages, and have found them to be, as the Lord has described them, His love hymn to His people.
The Messages Are A New Mode Of Evangelism
The Messages are intended primarily for the re-evangelisation of a generation that has been seduced by the prevailing rationalism of the age into apostatising from the Faith of their forebears; and since this rationalistic mentality is now spreading throughout the whole world, the Messages also present an effective method of evangelism for those who have not yet received the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel presented our pagan ancestors with an orderly and 'rational' universe that was apt for scientific study. By a profound 'metanoia' they adopted a mentality derived from the Word and Wisdom of God, the very Person who is the Son of the living God. For the creation can only be perceived and understood rightly, when it is being received and used as a good gift coming out of the love of God; and this true perception needs also to be fired and enlightened by a corresponding response of love to the Father-Creator for His good gift.
God never intended that humans should use the things of this world, nor their rational faculties, apart from a loving dependence upon His Holy Spirit of truth and His revealed purpose for His creation. The rationalism of this age is therefore a regression from the wisdom that derives from faith. It is satanic, in that it derives from the original temptation to misuse the human rational powers and the good things of creation for self-willed ends. As a consequence of this misuse, 'the whole creation has been groaning and in travail together until now'. The primary aim of evangelism should be to restore the 'sons of God' to their faithful service of the revealed purpose of God for His creation (cf. Romans 8:19-23).
The Messages of True Life in God are accordingly an especially apt mode of evangelism for our day, because they begin with restoring the relationship of trust and loving dependence that the heavenly Father intends for each one of His children. All are invited personally to hear and respond to the Messages for their on-going self-knowledge, repentance and conversion of life. The Lord Jesus Christ would assure each and all of His ready forgiveness of those who turn to Him in repentance, and of His longing desire to be united with them in His Sacred Heart. The more faithless and disorderly the world becomes, the more essential it is that all Christians should strive for purity of heart, in order to be able to 'see' the loving presence and power of God at work in themselves and in the world around them, and to 'hear' His prophetic words of promise and warning. Here is a God-given opportunity to form and empower a 'mission-shaped' Church.
Restoring the Scriptural Language of Prayer and Worship
In the Messages the Lord restores the use of the typological language found in the Gospels, further developed by the New Testament writers, and refined by the Fathers and other spiritual masters of the Church. This typology unites the Old and the New Testaments by using words from the Old Testament, such as 'serpent', 'Abel and Cain', 'Egypt', 'wilderness', 'promised land', 'temple', 'sanctuary', etc., with renewed spiritual meanings, to relate the new people of God to the present spiritual realities of the Church, now fulfilled by the coming into this world of the Kingdom of God in Christ and the Holy Spirit. The key to the use of this typological language, as a means of profound spiritual communication, is the word 'heart', common to both Testaments and the whole spiritual Tradition of the Churches of East and West. The human heart has been created by God to serve within creation as a temple of the Holy Spirit, and the centre of unity for each person and humanity as a whole.
By His incarnation and redemptive work, the Lord Jesus Christ has restored the human heart to its God-given purpose for unity. Jesus now holds the whole world in His loving Heart for its salvation, and He shares this concern first of all with His Mother, Mary, whom He has appointed to serve as the Mother of all Christians (cf. John 19:26-27 & Revelation 12:17), by whose loving intercession we are nurtured in the Holy Spirit and protected from Satan. We are now in the era of Christ's coming; not yet His final coming, but rather in that preparatory era when 'all things are being put under His feet', through the heart to Heart union with Him, in prayer and worship, of Mary and all the faithful members of His one Body, the Church; for He has triumphed over all His enemies on the Cross.
Why the Clergy Need to Read the Messages
The Lord claims the right, as the Head of His body the Church, to direct it in its obedient service to Himself , and to re-form its unity in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly He has much to say in the Messages to correct and encourage the shepherds of His Church. He wants them to share with Him the pain that wracks His Body, while the hierarchies still maintain their separate ecclesiastical identities. This sharing in Christ's sufferings is necessary for overcoming the divisions and restoring the unity, and thereby making effective the evangelism intended by the Messages. For they are given for all Christians, and indeed for all of humankind, to prepare them for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the fire that the Lord comes to cast upon the earth, to save His people from the darkness and death of separation from Himself. Moreover He wants His priests to restore the integrity of the Eucharist as the celebration of His Perpetual Sacrifice, so as to gather His whole priestly people into the unity of that Sacrifice, and to feed them on Himself at the heavenly Table of the Father; for He is true God and true Man, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, to whom be glory for evermore!
Father Gregory CSWG