August 3, 1999
Report on Vassula's prayer meeting in Kobe:
About three years ago an American lady married to a Japanese living in Kobe picked up a copy of True Life in God messages from a friend of hers. While reading it the words, ,Wake up, hit her like a lightening bolt. She got up, looked toward Heaven and answered: "I am awake". She became thirsty for God's Word and soon after that she opened her home to hold some prayer meetings. It started with three or four and since has grown to fourteen.
It was last year when I told her about Vassula's forthcoming visit and Lauri Watanabe, the lady's name, extended me an invitation for Vassula to come to Kobe (meaning door to God), the very city that had been hard hit by an earthquake about five years ago. I remember that we both at the same time had the conviction that the Holy Spirit was behind this plan and this assurance carried us through ups and downs to today's meeting. From the initial "private" prayer group meeting it has grown to a full-fledged meeting with 180 people attending that day.
After a short introduction and welcome by Lauri's husband, Samio, Catarina, who is from Greece accompanied Vassula and her son Fabian on this trip to Japan: she gives us an equally short but poignant testimony of her salvation by Jesus through the Messages of True Life in God.
There are about 50 new-comers to this True Life in God meeting, but a great number of them already had read the messages. Two priests attended the meeting as well as Christians from the Anglican denomination; invitations had also been sent to the Protestants and Orthodox, however none of them showed up. Non-Christians also were present. Believe it or not, but about fourty of them have already formed a prayer group for the last three years without knowing God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! Since they began to read the messages (about a year ago) God is becoming an ever growing reality in their daily life. We are hearing quite a number of similar facts these days in Japan, where the Lord reaches out to the not-yet-baptised to find true worshippers as Christians are either too busy or just think they are saved since they are baptised! The first will be the last, and the last will be the first. So we were quite happy to have these non-Christians among us and thanked the Lord for it.
Vassula gave a short presentation of her family and how all the Messages started, how she lived a life away from God and God in His Mercy reached out to her. He sent her her guardian angel, who spoke to her and brought her back to Him. But to do so she had to go through a purification: "Like a film, I saw with God's eyes my offences to His Love. So bright that the smallest blotch is seen totally black. When I saw my soul, I really repented, hated myself. After that, God the Father spoke to me."
Afterwards, Vassula goes into a lengthy presentation of the heavenly Father, as if inspired and pushed by the Holy Spirit to do so. When I heard her correct the distorted image we are having of the Father in Heaven a popular Japanese saying popped up in my mind: It goes this way. 'Fear three things in your life: earthquakes, thunder and your father!' The image of the almighty samurai which is transmitted from one generation to the other somehow remains imprinted in today's Japanese' mind, and it is quite far from what Our Father in Heaven is!
This is how she saw and describes Our Father in Heaven: "Many people, to this day, have made a completely wrong image of the Father. Some people believe that He is only like a judge, strict, to condemn us only, very severe and … He is the opposite! It took me by surprise. When I heard the voice of the Father and when I felt his Presence it was so different from the image people make of Him! He was so paternal, so simple, so fatherly, so tender, so full of Love that I forgot myself completely in His Presence. He asked me to pray the prayer that Jesus gave us, which is the 'Our Father'. As I had completely forgotten myself and in such a quick moment I felt that I really belonged to Him. And instead of answering Him 'Yes, Lord' I answered 'Yes, Dad'. This is a very familiar way of speaking and I could not understand why and how this word 'DAD' slipped out of my mouth. It was because of His Presence, very familiar and He really made me feel that He is like My Dad. Of course I was really afraid after I said 'Dad' to God. 'What did I say!' and He said:"Daughter, do not fear for I have taken this word in My hand like a jewel. I want you to speak to Me this way. You come from Me", and that is said for each of you because He said to take away Vassula's name and put in your name."
At this stage, few eyes remained dry and as if it were not enough to correct this wounded point, the heavenly Father insists so that we, His children, may find back the way to intimacy with Him. He said: "You come from Me, you belong to Me, you descend from Me and you are Mine. You are My Seed. So come to Me, approach Me, do not fear Me. Don't be afraid of Me, only when you rebel against Me. I want you to love Me. But you'll never be able to love Me, descent, if you don't approach Me. Come and fall into My arms and I'll teach you. I want your intimacy with Me, just like a child with his Father."
Vassula explains: "The secret of knowing and understanding God is to approach Him like a child, speak from your heart, you don't have to fear him. But we have lost that image of God! Although Jesus came to show us the Father, in our rationalistic world, we have lost that image. Many people have intellectualised God. God is a living Presence, He knows you more than anybody else, since He created you."
Here, Vassula relates us again the moment when The Father asked her to say the "Our Father", but it was never said well enough as she was always either saying it too fast, without thinking about the deeper sense of the words or being restless. A state quite familiar to us, since many were laughing. Was it for not having said all the 'Our Fathers' she omitted for a long time? No, it was not for that. It was to teach us: "You too, when you pray, make an image of a living person in front of you. Because when you invoke the name of God, His ear is stuck on your lips listening to you. Don't you ever believe that He is not listening to you. So every word you say, and if it comes from your heart, really meaning it, He knows it is sincere because He has ears, he can hear, He has a Heart, which can be touched. He is pleased."
Still talking about the Father in Heaven, it is now Jesus' turn do describe Him.
"My Father covered your path with sapphires: a King, yet so motherly; a Judge, yet so tender and loving; the Alpha and the Omega, yet so meek. Come, I and you. We? Us?" (10.8.94)
A little further, the Father Himself expresses through Vassula His Desire to have us purified from all sins so as to establish us again in the original splendor:"
Sons and daughters ! You are the offspring of the Most High. You descend from Sovereignty and Splendour. Oh come, you belong to US (the Holy Trinity) ; you belong to heaven you are of royal descent, you are blessed in Our Image, so allow Me to clothe you in My splendour. Open your heart and I shall save you. (22.7.94)
Thus we should not be afraid to confess our sins and admit that we are sinners to Him and that He can transform our heart into a Heaven:
"My eyes are worn out with vexation and the violence of the world, for no evil can become heir of My Kingdom. Even if you are utterly wretched, come to Me and tell Me: "Look Father, see all the stains on my soul? I had constancy in Your Commandments, yet, I know Father that You are all merciful and generous. From your precepts I can learn Wisdom. Teach me Your Will Yahweh, teach me your judgements. Come and bind me to you Father, and remind my wretched soul that I am heir of Your Kingdom too. Though my temptations are countless, I trust in Your saving help.
And I will answer you: " Blessed ! ah blessed of My Soul ! at the memory of your creation, I wept. I wept tears of joy. I had set you in your mother's womb with a heart, to live and share My Glory. Do not turn away now: I have heard your prayer that was said in purity of heart and I tell you: you are very precious in My Eyes and now for the sake of My Love I have for you, seek from today: Love, Peace and reconciliation. Alone, you are not. I am with you always and bless you without ceasing.
Vassula continues: "Jesus is tender, as tender as His Father. So God wants us to be pure, because we can't go to heaven without being pure. And there are a lot of people who say: 'I don't see God.' People speak about God, and they know God, but they neither see Him, nor hear Him. To this people Jesus says:
"Come, you who err still in this wilderness saying, "I have sought My Redeemer but have not found Him. Find Me, My beloved, in purity of heart, by loving me without self-interest. Find Me in holiness, in the abandonment I desire of you; find Me by observing My commandments; find Me by replacing evil with love; find Me in simplicity of heart, sin no more. Cease in doing evil, learn to do good; search for justice, help the oppressed ; let this wilderness and this aridity exult; let your tepidity inflame into an ardent flame. Relinquish your apathy and replace it by fervour ; do all these things so that you may be able to say : " I have sought my Redeemer and I have found Him. He was near me all the time but in my darkness I failed to see Him... O glory be to God! Blessed be our Lord ! How could I have been so blind?" I shall then remind you to keep and treasure My Principles, so that you may live. (8.7.89)
At the beginning Jesus said to Vassula and through her to all of us: "I want you to die to yourself, so that My Holy Spirit has space in you. I want you to die to your will, so that My Will become the will in you and then you will be living according to God's law, which will lead you to Holiness and into Heaven."
Jesus said: "Allow My Holy Spirit to transfigure your soul into a garden where I can have My rest in you. My Holy Spirit can transfigure your soul into a palace where I Would be King and reign over you. My holy Spirit can transfigure your soul into a heaven where in this heaven I would be glorified." "So, lower your head, lower yourself, so that you'll be able to hear My Voice. Lower yourself entirely, so that I can be able to lift you."
Jesus' teaching continues and touches the importance of the Eucharist, as It is the Bread that lasts forever.
Equally important is the subject of the prayer: it is a school of love. Unceasing prayer is to long and thirst for God all day long. By doing so we would be following the greatest commandment of all, which is to love our God with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our strength. Then we would only think of Him! We want to be with Him already. God gives us this gift, when we ask for it. And it does not end here as we cannot say: "I love God, but not my neighbour". That would make us liars. Here Jesus' Mother and our Mother Mary takes over to give Her message:
"Love is to live in the Truth. Have you not read that if you give away all that you possess, piece by piece and if you even let them take your body to burn it, but are without love, it will do you no good whatever. Have you not understood that if a single one of you is hurt, all parts of the Body of Christ are hurt and suffer with it?
If you hurt your neighbour, you hurt Christ's Body, not your neighbour. Can you truly say: "I came to God with reverence, sincerity and love." "When?" will He ask you, "when have you come to Me with reverence, sincerity and love? My Body you have mutilated - I have been judged, treated with insult, calumny and I have been betrayed by falsehood. I was despised and rejected, utterly disgraced by your lips, so, when have you come to Me with reverence, sincerity and love? I am asking you to give some definitive proof of your love for Me.(6.12.93)
On the Rosary, some day Jesus asked (almost begged) Vassula to learn to say the Rosary: "I don't know it, but I'll try to learn" she replied. And Jesus said, "Ah, if only I could hear these words from all lips!" Jesus enjoys to see people trying. Vassula keeps explaining the importance of the Rosary as it is The Chain that will tie up Satan in the end. Because it is a humble prayer and Satan hates all that is humble! So he tries his best to take it away from you, and lead you back to him. But God is ready to take you as you are. Don't wait to be a saint. Only a mere smile to Jesus, and all Heaven rejoices with your smile.
Before closing the meeting, as if she felt the need to remind us of the assuring Presence of Jesus in our daily life, Vassula says: "Jesus does not want you to ever think that you are alone. You are never alone".
Jesus says: "I am so near you, even if you don't see Me. If I materialise and you could see Me, you would even feel My Breath on your cheek, so I am near you!"
Jesus urges us: "Never forget Me! Never neglect Me! I am your holy companion, and wherever you go I am with you!"
Let's do everything together with Jesus, WE – US. Jesus, let's pray the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, Giver of Life,
Holy Spirit, Thrice Holy,
grant us that we too may
grow in love to know God
and to obtain His Kingdom
Let us die to our principles,
let us die to our partiality,
let us die to our tepidity,
let us die to our lethargy and our ambitions;
come and revive us into Your Purity.
Remind us that incorruptibility will bring us
Near the Trinitarian God
Most Powerful and Most Holy,
hence nothing impure
will be able to find its way in me. Amen.
(TLIG Prayer book)
Throughout this meeting with His prophet (Vassula) it was as if I heard Our Heavenly Father calling His children to return into His embrace during this year of the Father to enjoy a full communion with the Holy Trinity during the great Jubilee.
The years of preparation for the Jubilee have been placed under the sign of the Most Holy Trinity: through Christ — in the Holy Spirit — to God the Father. In the mystery of the Trinity, the journey of faith has its origin and its final goal, when at last our eyes will contemplate the face of God for ever. In celebrating the Incarnation, we fix our gaze upon the mystery of the Trinity. Jesus of Nazareth, who reveals the Father, has fulfilled the desire hidden in every human heart to know God.
What creation preserved as a seal etched in it by the creative hand of God and what the ancient Prophets had announced as a promise is disclosed in the revelation of Christ.(8)
Jesus reveals the face of God the Father "compassionate and merciful" (Jas 5:11), and with the sending of the Holy Spirit he makes known the mystery of love which is the Trinity. It is the Spirit of Christ who is at work in the Church and in history: we must listen to him in order to recognize the signs of the new times and to make the expectation of the glorified Lord's return ever more vibrant in the hearts of the faithful. The Holy Year must therefore be one unceasing hymn of praise to the Trinity, the Most High God.