Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is "True Life in God" of God or of the devil?

Yesterday, I started a series of articles to come on the book "True Life in God", messages to Vassula Ryden mainly from Jesus, but also from His Mother, St. Michael and others.

I received a comment from "Father Terry" pointing me to two particular among several articles critical of the book.  That one was largely outdated, and the other erroneous is not surprising, since with the internet there are praises and criticisms of everything you can imagine.
What is important is discernment, particularly in matters of faith. Here is what Jesus says in the book to Vassula on January 22, 1989 "pray for the Spirit of discernment and of truth to come upon you always".
Either something is of God or it is not.  If it is not of God, then it is of one of two things.  It is either of the devil, or of one's own imaginings.
Vassula Ryden, whose hand has written the messages found in 'True Life in God", was born in a Greek Orthodox home, though she knew next to nothing about the Orthodox faith.  She was married, divorced, and remarried, and had little interest in matters of God.  If you read the progression of the messages in "True Life in God"  what is evident on one level, is that the Vassula grows into a deep faith in and love of Jesus Christ.  What is also evident from her background is that what is written could not be written by her without some kind of serious intervention. 
Simply put, how could a woman of her background imagine what is contained in the book?  This is not J. K. Rowling kind of writing, where her imagination runs free and comes up with fantastic stories.  This is a book about faith in Jesus Christ, where the reader is led back to the Bible, and where Jesus explains the meaning of matters of faith to Vassula.
So, if the book is not a product of Vassula Ryden's imaginings, then maybe it is of the devil.  On January 13, 1989 Jesus and Vassula have this conversation:
Jesus? One priest now has said that Your works You are giving me are spiritism, because of the writings. Please help me.  
Vassula, I will help you; Glory be to God for delivering you from evil; let all those who doubt and accuse you of all sorts of calumnies, remember My words in Scriptures: a good tree produces good fruit; peace, My Vassula; rejoice when people abuse you and persecute you, for your reward will be great in Heaven;  
beloved, those that assert that these Works are not from Me, the Lord, but are through spiritism or occultism, I ask them this question: can Satan divide himself against himself? if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom then stand? – My grace is upon you, My child; but they have not understood.
You may remember from the Bible where when Jesus was told he was a demon, he said this same sort of thing.  In 1989, Vassula was still very much of a blank canvas, like us if we are fortunate, and so had no real knowledge of what "spiritism" was, and so no way to respond to it.   Jesus, being very patient with her gives her the answer.

In the book, Jesus invites Vassula and all of us to pray the prayers that are found to the left of this page under the heading "Daily Prayers Requested by Jesus".  They consist of the prayer to Saint Michael, in which we ask Saint Michael to be "our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil."  I may not know the mind of the devil, but I am pretty sure that the devil would not be urging us to pray the Prayer to Saint Michael.  The Memorare prayer to the Blessed Virgin is also not likely to be on the devil's list of things he wants us to do, and the "Novena of confidence to the Sacred heart of Jesus" is definitely not on his to do list.  Oh, and throughout the book Jesus and Mary urge Christians to pray the Rosary.

So, really, do you think the devil is writing this?

So, if the book is not a product of Vassula Ryden's imaginings, and not of the devil, then that kind of leaves us with only one option.  It must be of God.

Well, aside from things like I just pointed out, which are found on every page of the book, the urgings of God for us to get our heads out of the way and turn our hearts to him dominate.

Most important is the fruit.

When people read this book, and stick with it for a while it bears fruit.  It takes about 100 pages or so for us to drop our guard and let it sink into the depths of our hearts.  At least, it did for me, and friends of mine who have read it as well.

The result in me and in them has been a desire to pray more slowly and carefully, realising to whom we are praying.  In those I know who have read it or heard the messages, or even watched videos on the True Life in God web site, growth in abandonment to God has occurred, sinful compulsions slowly wane, and hearts grow in love of God, love of neighbour and love of self as a Child of God.

"True Life in God" is not about Vassula Ryden.  Though it is her story to an extent, it is my story and your story, and above that, it is the story of a God who loves us so much as to pursue us by any means we will allow him to.

Do not judge a book by its cover, but by the fruit that it brings about in you.

5 comments:

editor said...

Hi Michael

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951006_ryden_fr.html

This was the authoritative document I was trying to find on Google unsucessfully

Went right to the source this time

Unless she has expressly corrected her errors, the date has no bearing

Note the signatures

So as I said - be careful and examine both sides

God bless

Fr Terry


CONGREGATION FOR DOCTRINE FAITH

NOTIFICATION ABOUT THE WRITINGS AND ACTIVITIES
OF MRS VASSULA RYDEN *

Many bishops, priests, religious and laity are addressed to the Congregation for an authoritative pronouncement on the activity of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, spreading in Catholic circles throughout the world, by his words and his writings, messes ages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.

A calm, attentive examination of the whole issue, undertaken by this Congregation and to " ├ęprou worm the spirits to see whether they are of God " (cf. 1 Jn 4, 1), revealed - in addition to positive aspects - a set of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine.

Having identified the suspect nature of the source terms of these alleged revelations, we must still underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.

They're involved in things with ambiguous language of Persons the BlessedTrinity point of confusing the specific names and functions of the divine Persons. It was announced in these alleged revelations, an imminent period of supremacy of the Antichrist in the Church. We prophesy in a millenarian, a final glorious intervention of God; ins taurerait on earth, even before Christ's definitive coming, an era of peace and universal well-being. It was announced over the imminent arrival of a Church which is a kind of community panchr├ętienne, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

The fact that, in the writings of Mrs Ryden, the first insurers listed above no longer appear, is the sign that the alleged " heavenly messages " are merely the result of private meditations.

In addition, Ryden, participating usual ment for the sacraments of the Catholic Church while being Greek Orthodox, aroused great surprise ment in various circles of the Catholic Church seems to be above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm , it creates is an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of his Church, by placing themselves outside the ecclesiastical discipline of it.

Whereas, despite some positive aspects, the effect of the activities of Mrs. Vassula Ryden was born NEGATIVE, this Congregation requests the intervention of the bishops so that they adequately inform their followers, and they do not see a place in their Dioceses for the dissemination of his ideas. It also invites all the faithful not to regard as supernatural rels the writings and speeches of Mrs. Vassula Ryden and to preserve the purity of faith that the Lord has entrusted to his Church.

Of Citythe Vatican, 6 October 1995.

JOSEPH + Card. Ratzinger Prefect



+ Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary


* AAS 88 (1996), 956-957.

editor said...

PS
I meant to apologise for the translation - credit and/or blame Google

Michael & Tina Brandon said...

Father Terry

I have read the 1995 document, and also the Levada document from 2007, as well as the CDF's similar report on Saint Faustina. The CDF is not infallible, obviously.

The CDF must be prudent, and must take time.

If TLIG is of God, then the CDF cannot stop it. If it is not of God, then it will fall down pretty much on its own.

God Bless You

Michael Brandon

David Cesar said...

I have been reading the "True life in God" messages since 2003 and I can only say what a complete joy it has been for me and my entire family. It has been a spiritual journey that has awakened my soul as a Roman Catholic and brought me so much closer to the Father, Son and Holy spirit. I always wondered what the Protestants meant when they said they had a close personal relationship with Jesus and now I know what that feels like. I know how it feels to go the Eucharist Adoration and I know how important the Eucharist is because of the intimacy I feel when i receive the divine presence. I just wish my Protestant brethren understood that aspect of Jesus.
The messages have had a big impact on my 4 daughters and my wife. All of them have had been reading the material and last year my daughter Meghan (now 22) entered the Fransican Sisters Minor convent in Ft Wayne, Indiana. She read all the messages at age 16 and knew then that she wanted to be a religious. What better fruit than this?
God is so good, please open your heart and pray to understand what he is saying to us now in these messages.
David Cesar, Buflo., NY

Michael Brandon said...

David:

I understand where you are coming from, and it is difficult to put the joy we receive and fell into words.

I remember when I encountered Jesus personally, and from that encounter I could relate to my "born again" Protestant brothers and sisters. However, the encounter that True Life in God engenders in us is a deeper love of the mystical, the mystical Body of Christ in the Eucharist, and in our fellow man.

When I first encountered Jesus personally, I wept for joy that I was loved, forgiven and not abandoned to my own sinfulness.

As my encounter with Him has deepened through TLIG, I continue to marvel at His Majesty, His Mercy, and His Abundant Love for me and for all of mankind.

Where in my first experiences of Him, I felt that I was hit with a fire hose full on, it now feels that I am being hit with the entirety of the ocean, and yet I am not afraid, just washed incredibly clean, and filled with His love.

Mere words cannot explain. They are just too inadequate to describe the heart.

God Bless You and your Family.

Michael Brandon
London Ontario