"India Has a Soul"
A meeting report by Georgia Braun
On March 11, 2005 Vassula and I, Georgia Braun, your reporter, arrived in Calcutta to visit the Archbishop there, Lucas Sacar, who is a friend of True Life in God, but as he was away on a trip, Vassula left him the New CDF Document outlining the Vatican's modifed position on True Life in God. We then went to the Darjeeling Diocese, West Bengal, being graciously welcomed by Father Hawkins and members of his diocese at Matigara. Vassula discovered that the True Life in God Messages are being read by all the Sisters of Mother Teresa at the Auxilium Convent, St. Mary’s Hill in Kurseong, Darjeeling, where they are caring for twenty-seven abandoned babies who are less than one year old.
Vassula in front of the Auxilium convent with Father Stephen Raphael
After two hours by car, we had tea at St. Mary’s Hill with Bishop Stephen Lepcha, and some friends and the nuns there.
On March 12th, Vassula received a warm welcome, and we were reminded by the Bishop that Darjeeling is unique and one of the most beautiful places in the world, it being rightly called the Queen of the Hills.
Geographically, there are difficulties in traveling around and the means of communication has its problems, too. The Christian population in Darjeeling is very small. Nevertheless, we had a nice sized and intimate gathering there to greet Vassula. These beautiful people promised to act like leaven for True Life in God in their diocese. Being loving people, with peace and harmony a distinctive part of their culture, they felt that Vassula’s presence would only reinforce their practice of getting along with one another irrespective of caste or creed.
Vassula was assured of their prayers to take the love of Jesus far and wide spreading the Good News of God’s love for everyone. They acknowledged that Vassula is God’s chosen one to do this, but Vassula says that True Life in God is an Apostolic Call for everyone to read, live, and spread the Messages.
On behalf of the Parish Priest, Organizing and Swagat Committee of St. John’s Church, Kurseong, the Parish Priest and the faithful of St. Paul’s Church, Kurseong, Rev. Fr Edward Gurung, the Headmaster of St. Alphonsus School, his staff and students, all the Sisters, staff and students of St. Helen’s and St.Joseph’s, people of Kurseong and all other participants who have come here from different parts of the hills, Vassula Ryden was lovingly welcomed in their midst.
Starting at 10 a.m.and for the next three hours and a half, Vassula spoke at St. Alphonsus School Assembly Hall. After the welcome, there was an offering of "khadas" and a Nepali dance. Mr. Rajen Banerjee translated Vassula’s address into Nepali. Present also was Mr. Claudius Yonzen who had translated the first volume of True Life in God in Nepali.
Since this was her first visit there, Vassula spoke about her beginning with her guardian angel Daniel and also the intimacy that Jesus wants from each one of us by saying always "we us" for Jesus is our Holy Companion...She explained also what it is to walk with the Lord: First we must repent. The deeper our repentance, the more room we give to the Holy Spirit to invade us. We shall then be on the path of virtues by being nourished, raised, and clothed by the Holy Spirit. These steps will not be ours but God’s. Thus, away from carnal and earthly pleasures, we will do only the Will of our Triune God. While still on earth, then, we shall be living a True Life in God. Vassula’s sharing moved the audience, and many were seen breaking into tears. One said, "Now I understand Christianity and we must change for the better." There were about two thousand people at the meeting. This Prayer Convention was organized by the True Life in God Organizing Committee of the Catholic Associations of St. Paul’s and St. John’s Parishes of Kurseong, and the Coordinators of the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel of St.Mary’s Hill. Father Stephen Raphael gave inspiration and support for the entire program.
In the afternoon, Vassula was invited to speak to about seventy seminarians by their Rector, Father Gomesat the Salesian College of philosophy. Vassula reminded them that they must repent, empty themselves and give space to the Holy Spirit in order to meet God and walk with Jesus. Father Gomes said what struck him was her conviction of Who the Father is, the deep relation the Father has with us, and that He is not a judge, not somebody severe, but a Gentle Father and that their relation with Jesus is like a brother.
Kurjeon-Darjeeling, India. Vassula with bishop Stephen Lepcha, Father Raphael of Calcuta and Rev. Father Edward Gurung, head master of St. Alphonsus School.
Kurjeon-Darjeeling, India. People are listening to Vassula.
On March 13th Vassula and I flew to New Delhi, where we were welcomed at the airport by Father Joseph Thomas, Christopher Daruwalla and the local prayer group.
In the evening the Archbishop, Vincent Concessao, with the prayer group invited Vassula to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, and the Archbishop’s House Library. Present were persons representing the many Christian churches of India, mostly from New Delhi, but also present was Bishop Karam Masih, from the church of North India.
Present, too, were representatives of the Methodist Church, the Indian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church and many sisters from the Convent of Jesus and Mary in New Delhi.
In the evening during her presentation,Vassula explained two ways she receives the messages: through the intervention of interior words, namely locutions, and the second way is through a light of understanding in her intellect. It is like God transmits His thought into hers.
In the evening She also said that Jesus wants the unification of the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches into His one Body, the Church. Jesus says our division is a sin and since we go on staying divided, we are also sinning. Unity can only come about through love and humility among people of all churches. Each church should be willing to die to its ego and its rigidity. Then through this sort of death in dispassion, Christ’s presence will live in them. Jesus Christ wants the unification of the dates of Easter between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church. Then, He shall give many graces to the churches. The audience was very impressed in a positive way. At that time, Father Joe Thomas acquired some CDF Documents to give to the clergy.
New Delhi, India. Vassula with Archbishop Vincent Concessao, and Father Joseph Thomas after the meeting of many different Christian churches of all India.
In the evening the On March 14th, Vassula, Father Joseph Thomas, Christopher Daruwalla and I visited the Navita Retreat House, Ish Bhavana, the Carmelite Convent. Vassula pointed out how fitting that the Carmelite Sisters, who are contemplatives, are reading the contemplative Messages of True Life in God.
New Delhi, India. Vassula visits the Carmelite convent.
Vassula also had an interview from A.R.D., first German television, by Miss Meera Menezes, who wanted to know about the messages, how she gets them,and if she goes on getting them still. Among her replies, Vassula, who loves India said to Miss Meera, "I would love to live in India, for India has a soul."