A Spiritual Echo of Unity
An Address given by Vassula Ryden to the Ecumenical Conference of the World Council of Churches
The following is a transcript of Vassula Ryden's address to the Ecumenical Conference of the World Council of Churches, held during Unity Week, January 23, 1992, in the Ecumenical Center, Geneva, Switzerland.Listen to a recording of this talk HERE
[Ms. Vassula Ryden is a voice of spirituality and unity. She speaks to all Christians, Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants, transmitting a message of peace love, and unity: "May they all be one," by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Many who have listened to the message have found it to be a deep source of inspiration. She has been invited by interested colleagues.] (from the material introducing Vassula's talk)
I will read you a small introduction about myself, and then later on I will read you a few messages of unity.
I'm baptized Greek Orthodox, of Greek parents, and we are all born in Egypt. My husband is Swedish, and a Lutheran. I have two sons and I am a housewife. I was never taught any catechism, let alone any theology. I abandoned the practice of my faith entirely, especially when I was married. I had not heard that the Lord can give us extraordinary favors like locutions and intellectual visions, or lights infused into the intellect.
One day, when I least expected it, God came suddenly upon me and seized me. It was at the end of November, 1985. That part of the month I was preparing a painting exhibition. I was playing tennis from morning till night (whenever they wanted Vassula they could get her at the tennis court), and I was modeling clothes.
God was very far from me. When God approached me, He sent first my guardian angel. He came to me while I was preparing a grocery list. He presented himself and gave me Daniel as his name. As simple as that! You can imagine my surprise and my joy. Later on, I found out I could communicate with my angel. I heard his voice in my heart and I wrote down, as under dictation. My mere thought, which I also wrote down, was answered. So everything began in this style.
The first day, when my husband learned about it, it never occurred to me that he would doubt. He knew that I was in my normal mind. I wasn't somebody to invent such a thing. He just believed. The Old Testament frequently shows us angels used by God, not only as messengers, but as instruments, too.
After a week, my angel asked me to read the Bible, and I had none at home, so he told me to go and fetch one. I did, and when I opened it to read, like he told me to do, I opened to the psalms, and I couldn't understand anything, although it was English. That was God, trying to tell me I was blind and it is all dark around me, and therefore I can't understand what I am saying.
The angel gave me a purification. He started to show me all the sins I had not repented in a very special way, very special, because, it was like God sees our sins, and not like we see them. And there's a big difference. I suffered a lot because I hated myself, and I hated everything I had been doing.
My angel asked me to go over to the seminary, which happened to be opposite our house, in Bangladesh. I found a priest, and I revealed my writings, and told him everything. He was stunned, and he didn't believe me. I was shattered because, in my ignorance, I really thought he would believe me, since he was dealing, day and night, with God and angels. From then on, he treated me as one who is mentally disturbed. He then sent me to another priest who concluded that I was dealing with Satan. So I ended up with one thinking that I'm mad and the other one thinking that I'm satanic.
After a few weeks, instead of the regular visit of my angel, it was the Lord Himself that visited me. In the state I was, I did not leap with surprise. Since I did not know the Lord, I considered everybody who descended from heaven equal. The first thing the Lord said was "I, God, love you. Love me." Then He asked me to say the Our Father to Him.
A few days later, Jesus asked me a question. He said, "Which house is more important, your house or my house?" I said, "Your house, Lord." So He blessed me. Then He said, "My house is in ruin. Renew my house." I almost cried, because I said, "How? How can I do anything? I don't know anything about the church. And I don't know anything about catechism, absolutely nothing. You're asking something I cannot do."
In the meantime, the first priest, who thought I was mentally disturbed, started to suspect that it might all be from God, and said, "Vassula, I feel very sorry for you, because God does not come to anyone in such a way, giving so many graces, without wanting something."
True. One day Jesus asked me, "Would you like to serve me?" And I did not answer because I was frightened. Since everything was being written down, I lifted my hand, because I did not want this to be written down. It really scared me. I did not know what God would ask of me. I thought maybe He might tell me to leave my family and run to be a Carmelite. I wasn't ready. So, I pushed Him away. But I couldn't be quiet the whole day and the whole night because He said, just after that, "I can abide in you, in spite of your awesome weakness." Then I felt very, very, sorry, and so I decided to plunge into darkness more or less. The next day, I came up with His own question, and I said, "Would you like me to serve you?" So He said, "I will raise you to appease my justice. I will raise you to delight my soul. You have no merits, none at all, but I favored you, in spite of your wretchedness, for my loyalty and my gentleness are without measure."
One day the Lord gave me a vision of three iron bars standing near each other. The vision was pursuing me all morning. Then He infused in me a light to understand its meaning, and when I understood that they represented the Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Churches I panicked, and I said, "No, I don't want to be involved in these things. It was nice to be just You and me, but now that You're going to talk about churches. I don't want to be involved in these messages. Keep me out of this. At any rate, I have no idea of the churches' programs. Take someone who knows all these things, and has authority, and who's respected by the church."
But Jesus said, "I shall form you and teach you." I said, "But I know nothing at all." And He said, "I have chosen you because you have no authority, and you are nothing. Through your nothingness, I will reveal My Greatness. Through your misery, I will show My mercy. And through your frailty, My strength. Remain nothing, so that I may be everything. I do not want a rival. Die to yourself, so that My Spirit breathes in you. Efface yourself so that only I may be seen. I have chosen you, unfit for this task, helpless and small, without prestige, to manifest, through you, My Passionate Love. My church needs a renewal. I have come to consolidate My Church, so allow Me to use you."
I was called under Divine dictation every day. The Lord always asks my permission, "Allow Me to use your hand, allow Me to use your time." He never forced me. With my permission He started to detach me from everything that had taken His place. My first lessons were to learn to love Him. He had only to reveal His Heart, and when I saw the depths of His Love for us all, and the wounds we are still giving Him, I could only surrender and love Him. The Lord asked me to lean on His Heart, just like John. When John leaned on His Heart, He had given Him the courage to be with Jesus below His Cross.
The Lord kept me hidden, teaching me and dictating to me for three years. I was alone. There was nobody to counsel me. Jesus explained to me the problems in the church. He also explained parts of Scriptures, for example, Apoc. 11:12,13,21,22.
Then exactly after these three years, the Lord pushed me to go out in public. I had no idea that the messages were Ecumenical, nor that they were imbued with the teachings of the Holy Spirit. I have received nine prophecies about Russia, where one of them came true.
The other big issue Jesus is bringing up is unity, and this is what I shall read to you today. I will take directly His words, which are printed and you have copies, I think. I will only take excerpts because the whole messages are very long.
This is one of His messages:
"tell them that he who maintains to be just, yet remains divided, will eat from the fruit he has sown and will perish, tell them also how I abhor insincere hearts; their solemnities and their discourses weary me; tell them how I turn away from their loftiness and their rigidity; their judgment appears indeed great and impressive to men but not to Me, I cannot congratulate a dying church nearing putrefaction; tell those who want to hear that: unless they lower their voices, they will never hear Mine; should they lower their voices then they will begin to hear Mine and thus do My Will;"
"I am One, yet each one of them made a Christ of their own; I am the Head of My Body, yet all I see are their heads, not Mine; tell them to lower their heads and they will see Mine; tell them to lower themselves so that I may be able to lift them to Me; ... tell everyone that I shall establish My Kingdom in the midst of poverty those very ones who have time to hear My Spirit, adore Me and do My Will; in these My Soul rejoices! " (October 7, 1991)
"this fortress they have built to divide you is already condemned by Me; you are all brothers in Me, this is what you are to teach them to believe and persuade them to do; -- as for those who remain divided in body and spirit differentiating themselves under My Holy Name I tell them as I have told the church in Sardis; you are reputed to be alive in the eyes of the world, but not in your Maker's Eyes; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast and wherever the corpse is, there will the vultures gather;
humble yourselves and bend to be able to unite and glorify Me; you speak of the Spirit but do not act in the Spirit; "you speak of the Way but you rank first to obstruct It! -- how little do you know Me... you call out My Name, yet you murder My children between the sanctuary and the altar; I tell you solemnly, all of this will be brought to you in the day of judgment; can you face Me and truly say: "I am reconciled with my brothers;" can you truly say: "I have not differentiated myself among brothers, under Your Holy Name; I have treated them as my equal;" when you present your case before Me I shall then say to your face: "away with you, you have not treated your brothers as your equal; you have massacred daily My Body; where is your triumph? while I was building, you were tearing down, while I was reassembling you were scattering; while I was uniting you were dividing!" yet, even today, if you come to Me as you are, I can heal you, I can transfigure you and you will glorify Me;"
"I am shouting and I am trying to break through your deafness to save you, and if I reproach you it is because of the Greatness of the Love I have for you; ... tell them that the Heart of the Lord is Love and that the Heart of the Law is based on Love; tell My people that I do not want administrators in My House, they will not be justified in My Day; because it is these very ones who have industrialized My House. I have sent you My Spirit to live in your hearts, this is why the Spirit that lives in you will show you that My Church will be rebuilt inside your hearts and you will acknowledge each other as your brother in your heart;" (October 14, 1991)
And Jesus, asks,
"Righteousness always preceded Me and Peace followed My Footsteps; am I to say the same for you? who will make up for the years of your division? solemnities and discourses do not interest Me; pretense and lip-service do not deceive Me either; oh daughter, what I wish them to understand, especially those who live in My Wounds is that My sorrow is great, and the reason why I have put some things rather strongly, is to enable them to preach something of the Spirit and not of the letter; I want to fill their Spirit with My Transcendent Light so that they see things with My Eyes and not with theirs; to see things with My Divine Light and not theirs; I am known to be Faithful and Righteous and it does not mean because they lack fidelity and righteousness, I too will show them less Fidelity, Righteousness and Peace, and not come to rescue them; --- even if all of them turn away from Me and from My Ways, I will remain Faithful and True; "(October 25, 1991)
"'My Spirit will be at work restoring Peace among brothers and through My Cross and My Wounds I will unite you all in one single Body and have you glorify Me around One Single Tabernacle
" --- tell Me, are you not all alike, made by My Own Hands? who has not been made according to the likeness of My Image? because of man's base pride, My Father's Cup is filled with His justice, because of their rigidity they are left uninhabited! many of them talk of unity and brotherhood, but their words are fallacious, void; -
prove yourselves in your Maker's Eyes by bending;
-- once you lived in humility simplicity and unbounded love with rich food covering your table; yes, the greatness of My Church exceeded everything and every living creature, because the Eucharist made the life of My Church; -- if My Church today lacks brightness it is because many of My churches have abolished My Perpetual Sacrifice; -- can one peer through this shadowed darkness and still claim they can see? can one boast of having escaped ambushes in this darkness? but so long as you say: "we see; your guilt remains! I have said that there are other sheep I have that are not of the one fold and that I have to lead as well; but no sooner do I bring a wandering lamb back to the fold to lead a True Life in Me, no sooner do I restore his sight than you charge on him to take away the Kingdom of Heaven from him; -- could a devil open the eyes of the blind? could he make him cry out 'Abba!' so, unless you repent, My Father's Hand will fall upon you;" (November 25, 1991)
"and now I make a special appeal to all those who are under My Name and are working for Unity and Peace; I ask you to come to Me like a child and face Me answering Me these questions: brothers, have you done everything you can to preserve the unity of My Body? tell Me brothers, where is the Peace I bequeathed to you, the Gift I have given you? Why are you continuously differentiating yourselves in Me? are you sincerely trying to be united again in your belief and practice? I tell you solemnly to renew your mind with a spiritual revolution, a revolution of love; forgive the grudges you have against each other and come to Me renewed, come to Me pure; wake up from your sleep! I am at your very doors knocking; do not be like salt which has lost its flavor, be like a
I, your Lord,