Vassula reports on her visit to Benin, Africa, April 2000
One can be justified by charity
First I thank our Lord for all the efforts put together by Catherine Hounsokou of Benin in which she prepared her country to receive the messages of our Lord. I also thank all those who gave her a hand and collaborated in this venue and for those who hosted us. This visit as all other visits was totally from the Will of God. He moves me where He wants me to go and I, for my part, I obey and go where I have to go. I hope that my visit will be fruitful to all Benin as it was fruitful in the other countries for the Glory of God.
The golden rule in our Scriptures is to treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets. Unfortunately many Christians, lay people and priests do not read enough the Scriptures and still worse, do not follow Jesus' teachings. They do not live the Gospel. This is one of the many reasons why God intervenes in our times and He comes all the way to us to speak and reason with us. The Church is in shambles and many do not want to admit it because of their pride. If everything was fine, God will not have had to intervene.
Here I was preparing to arrive in Benin but already the devil had tried to intervene. Not unusual. When the demons hear the footsteps of the Holy Spirit approaching in a country, they all come out of their holes to attack God's Mercy and chase away any Hope that will knock on people's door. They will use all human weaknesses to execute their works of evil. And so it was with my coming to Benin; an Italian priest, spoke on the radio against me. His declaration against me, not only was calumniating, but it lacked charity, and was misleading as well, giving the Benin people erroneous information. Jesus taught us to be compassionate as our Father is compassionate. He said: "do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves." But we have learnt from Scriptures that a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness in his heart and that a good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart. In other words, a man's words flow out of what fills his heart. I was thinking, "what have certain priests done with Jesus' teachings and councils? Why aren't they valid for them anymore?"
It is in the power of God and not ours, that He has revealed His message not only to the Christians of Catholic faith but to all others including non-Christians. Last August, I was invited by the Hiroshima Buddhist monks so that they hear the message of God. A Christian message. God goes to everyone even to those who, in this world, live with a different tradition than ours. God is just and He acts with righteousness. So no matter who they are, and where they come from, they are also called by God through His Mercy to hear His Divine Call and change their heart. The message is nothing new but a repetition to what He has given us already.
Now I was called on the 13th of April to give my witnessing in Benin and many of the faithful had come to hear; among them was Mgr. Dagnon and sitting near him the ex-president of Benin. And they were all attentive listening to the words given by our Lord in True Life in God, while I was quoting them. Catherine gave a small introduction by saying: "We are the light of the world. A light should not be hidden but placed on a lamp-stand where it shines so that everyone may see. Our light must shine in the sight of men. We are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless it is good for nothing." Then she compared the messages and my testimony to the light and the salt, because through them many hearts are changed through repentance and souls are brought back to God. Among the 800 people (apart from Bishop Dagnon) we could not see any priest or nun, which reminded me once again the parable of the wedding feast.
The following day Catherine had invited all the heads of different traditions and practices of religions practiced in Benin, mainly the voodoo tradition. The following day, Friday the 14th of April, Catherine had invited personally and had asked the Department of Cultural Relations to invite all the authorities of the different traditions and practices of religions practiced in Benin. Among the people who came were mainly the heads of the Voodoo tradition. I was not aware of this at all; had I, I would not know how I would have behaved and I might have been intimidated. I had understood that there would be different hierarchies of Christians and the exception would have been an Imam from the Muslim religion. Even when I was witnessing, I had not the slightest clue who they were in spite of their glittering robes and colourful crowns. Perhaps our Lord wanted it to be that way. Among them too was one Imam leader. In this gathering were a few protestant ministers and a few who belonged to different small churches as well not recognized by the official Church.
In the meeting I spoke freely to them and the Spirit of our Lord inspired me to take up the message of St. Michael of the 14th October 1994 which spoke of Satanic cults and about the crime of abortion. I also spoke of the love of God and of forgiveness.
And as I watched them gathering, taking a seat each, I said to myself: "although they do not seem to be from our Church they have come out of their way to meet me and hear the messages. They showed towards our Creator generosity for accepting the invitation, and He will not forget it. Whereas the priests, who are taught the law of love so that they transmit it by word and action and who are asked to imitate Christ, they have not come not even for the sake of charity. I left my house by the command of God and traveled to bring to them the message of our Lord all the way to their feet but they did not welcome the message of our Lord. They did not give it even a chance.
But these people here, although they do not come from the same background or religion, they showed me so much more generosity and charity in the lapse of those two hours than those priests who were invited, and yet did not turn up. I saw in them a respect towards me who am a foreigner. Charity, because they have lent me an ear and did not judge me or condemn me and they came out of their way to meet me; they showed me patience and tolerance with my discourse that was at times giving away sparks that could have easily put aflame the whole gathering, as it contradicted and collided with their tradition.
During the questions and answers they expressed themselves to me with respect which I rarely find in our own Christian brothers when one comes to contradict their ideas, and ideals. One example was in Nairobi, when we visited the Anglican Vicar, Rev. Peter Njoka, who, after listening to my testimony made us understand that after the Gospel God has made no sound any more. When I said to him, 'so you made out of God a dead God, limited Him according to your limits and placed Him in a tiny box." he got up with rage because I offended him and literally threw us out of his office.
While witnessing, twice I heard from them that I was a very courageous woman. Of course, since I spoke freely to them because I ignored who they were...
At one point when one of the Voodoos stood up addressing me lengthily, perhaps showing me that he disagreed with me, a man from a local Church, not a priest, no, but a man that the priests probably reject, stood up and answered the Voodoo instead of me. In a very respectful but powerful manner at the same time, he defended my cause and the cause of the messages. He said, "I was here yesterday when Vassula addressed us, and the things she said were full of Holy Spirit and love. She transmitted the love of God to us and I have learned many good things from her, she taught us of how to leave space inside us for the Holy Spirit so that He perfects us. She gave a love message for all of us, to our country, to our people". And he went on that way. All of them listened very attentively and after his speech, all of them applauded him. Then I added saying: " where there is love there is God and where there is evil there is Satan. We should not judge because God lets the sun shine on the good man as well as on the evil man." I continued to tell them that the Holy Spirit should not be obstructed by our vices and sins. So what we must do is to empty ourselves through repentance, repenting our evil ways, then the Holy Spirit will perfect us to honour God by doing His Will.
Then one of the Voodoo said that he finds many of the Christians he met hardened at heart and that they do not live up to their Christian standards, but practice evil. I replied, 'and that is why God intervenes in our times, because of just that, God comes to wake us up with reminders." Hearing this, he nodded his head approvingly.
I noticed their eagerness of willing to hear and by their questions I understood that they wanted to learn and understand certain things about the Holy Spirit and the beginning of creation. The meeting finished with applause and their old leader (which I found later on that he was their ex-leader) shook my hand to greet me farewell and said: "May your God bless you and our gods accompany." Well, I could have answered him saying that my God is enough for everything but I saw that the man had good intentions and meant well and by the time I would react he was gone already.
Coming out of the hall I met with the Imam and offered him the Angel Book which he accepted happily. When I was in the car, Catherine told me that in there were at least 16 Voodoo leaders of the country. This was breaking news to me. When I realized I almost fainted. Only then did I understand why she was so jittery.
In fact, just before going to the meeting, Catherine was very nervous, and I wondered why. She asked me to drink a whole glass of holy water. I was perplexed. Then she asked me whether I was wearing an exorcised Benedictine crucifix. I was wearing another crucifix and she asked whether we can get one right there and then from just anyone. I was even more perplexed of her insistence and her worry. So I calmed her down and said to her that I am used to talking to different hierarchies and to theologians, still not being aware who the guests would be. So in the end we left for the meeting.
Perhaps in my next visit to Benin, our Lord will make all of us meet once more and give me another opportunity to evangelize and tell them more of the Goodness of our God. This meeting was so that the prophecy of the 8th August 1994 be accomplished when God said: "I will speak to people who never called Me or invoked My Name...". And why did I want to write about this? Because we believe that we, as Christians, are righteous and that we can see, but in fact we are far from being righteous and many of us are still blind. God is calling us day and night to REPENT so that through repentance we can obtain the fruit of LOVE. We forget that the last can be first. Have we understood the parable of the Pharisee and the publican? In the end at Judgment Day we shall all be judged according to the measure of the love we have had on earth. But Love is missing. Many preach the Gospel, which is based on love, but many who preach it do not act according to the gospel. No wonder why God intervenes. But those very ones who do not read the messages and oppose them are those who do not live the Gospel and so it make it easy for us to detect them. They do not like it because when in any time God intervened it meant that those He chose to be responsible to shepherd His sheep are not doing their duty and so they feel threatened when God intervenes to speak to us and correct us. Humility is missing. Scriptures say: "Those who have never been told about Him will see Him, and those who have never heard about Him will understand." (Rm. 15,21) Scriptures never lie.
With this I want to complete this testimony by an extract from True Life in God. A message given on the 19.1.95. My Grace is upon you, generation, but not for long now; instead of fanning the flame of love I am offering to you all, freely, through these Messages and allowing My love to spread and inflame each heart, so many of My sacerdotal souls are doing the contrary. Soon, and that is your soon, when you will be covered by your blood, I, as Judge then, will remind you of the blood you were carrying on your hands for having prohibited so many to receive My graces through this Reminder of My Word. You are as the Romans, crowning Me with thorns daily. Are you going to say then as Pilate: "I am innocent of this blood," and wash your hands in perfumed water? You refuse to accept the antidote to death, you refuse to acknowledge My Word given by My Holy Spirit in your days, and take My Word instead frivolously. Men of no faith at all! You listen and listen without understanding, you see and see but cannot perceive My Glorious and Infinite Mercy I am shedding on you!
Ungrateful generation; you turned My testimony of My Holy Spirit into a myth! You turned My Mysteries into a myth and your pastoral staff now has turned into a scepter of falsehood, so to whom shall I compare you in your absolute nakedness? To Cain? To Pharaoh? To the Pharisees? Or to Judas?(...) but it had been said that your era (...) will raise its sword against Me and My saints. My Reign on earth is at your very doors but you do not want it, no more than you want to hear My Word. Your wicked heart pays no attention to My warnings because you have renounced you humble shepherd's staff and preferred the scepter of falsehood.
And when you hear The Word from My Mouth you do not warn your heart nor think of warning others. No, you see the Sword coming but you pay no attention (...) You object and encourage others to do the same: "all this is nonsense, pay no heed, it is hysteria; do not listen to this frenzied lot; do not listen to 'True Life in God', invention of the Evil one;" you would say, to reduce My Voice and you hasten to call what is divine and holy: 'evil and a lie'.
Bloodshed, generation, will pursue you. Every ravine, every hill, every sea, every mountain will be struck down by My Sword; bloodshed will pursue you, because of your sin and you shall die. But, if however, even today you will renounce your sin and repent with your heart and promise to live in charity, union and peace, you shall live and I will recall your sins no more. (...) You who persist in declaring that I am not the Author of this Message, I tell you: you judge by human standards, and you glory in your glory... beware, then, and keep your tongue from judging: I am the sole Judge and you are indeed in My Hands.(...)Pray for unity, reconciliation and the revival of My Church. Be one in My Name.