True Life in God
Vassula Ryden was born in Egypt in 1942 to Greek parents and immigrated to Europe at the age of fifteen. From the time she was very young she experienced terrifying nightmares, which she attributed to Satan. By the age of ten she was a mystic united in spiritual marriage to Jesus. She was subsequently able to see the souls of the dead surrounding her, but then became spiritually indifferent.
While living in Bangladesh in November 1985, Vassula claims that an invisible being, which identified itself as her “guardian angel” contacted her. The entity manifested itself by moving Vassula’s hand to form words and drawings. Without being able to control the writing, Vassula began to receive between four to six hours of guided dictation each day.
Three months later, an entity who identified himself as “God the Father” contacted Vassula. The “guardian angel” then submitted her to a purification week, which was followed by a visit from an entity who identified himself as “Jesus.” This entity also communicated through guided dictation. The messages were compiled in a book called True Life in God. Other figures have also intervened at times, including the Virgin Mary, Michael the Archangel, Saint Padre Pio, and the devil.
The content of these messages is religious in nature and directed towards the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The main themes are the "abomination of desolation" in the Catholic Church, Christian unity, adherence to Pope John Paul II, an imminent “purification,” and the importance of making the messages known in order to end the division among Christian denominations.
The writings, which consist of several hundreds of pages, have been translated and published in 40 languages and promoted throughout the world. Vassula Ryden maintains that it is not channelling or a spiritualistic phenomenon such as automatic writing, and that the author of the messages is really Jesus Christ.
In 1995, the Roman Catholic Church issued warnings against the writings through the publication of a Notification by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in which several negative elements and errors were mentioned. The notification pointed out the ambiguous language used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, the millenarian prophecy of an era of peace and prosperity before Christ’s Second Coming, and the arrival of a Church that would be a kind of pan-Christian community. It concluded by requesting the faithful not to regard Mrs. Ryden's writings and speeches as coming from a divine origin, but rather as the result of her private meditations.
The True Life in God messages warn of eternal condemnation for those who oppose them, explicitly contradicting the Church’s teaching that private revelation is never necessary for salvation. A message from “God-Father” states that it is a mortal sin to criticize TLIG and refuse to believe in the authenticity of the messages. Vassula thus counters her opposition with the threat that they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit and committing the unforgivable sin.
Vassula’s books of automatic writing have been editing by whiting out offensive passages. For example, in book eight of the unedited version, the entity named Jesus reveals who he is when he states that Vassula should “keep close to Me remember that we are in Hades, but My light covers you...” Because the word hades means hell or the abode of the dead, one possible interpretation is that the spiritual entity moving Vasula’s hand does not reside in heaven. Book eighteen contains a message in which the entity Jesus states that his mother will “reign” on Vassula’s grave and a sign will be left there.
In thousands of published messages, the entity named Jesus laments that because his “sacerdotal souls” live in total darkness, they will be condemned. He calls priests the “thorns in his head,” suggesting that their main crime is that they refused to disseminate the urgent message of Garabandal. According to the entity, confusion reigns in the Church because everyone does not accept the authenticity of the thousands of apparitions being reported throughout the world.
On December 1, 1987, in what Vassula describes as a “begging” voice, the entity Jesus said: “Propound My Word; promote Me… promote Me, do not remote Me! Now you are remoting Me, you are not protecting Me!… Those thorns [sacerdotal souls] now should find me and repent; their hands still, with fresh blood from the past; responsible for all the crimes and atrocities. I want them to repent. They defied My Mother’s Messages of Garabandal, never diffusing It like It should have been, ignoring it’s urgency.” Employing poetic language filled with grammatical errors, the entity accuses priests of being responsible for all crimes and atrocities in the world, implying that it is because they did not diffuse the messages of Garabandal. The same accusation is found in Gnostic teachings—that the Catholic Church is responsible for all evil for attempting to silence those who practice forms of divination, which is condemned in the Bible as evil.
The Day of the Lord, according to Vassula, is also the Warning, Purification or Rebirth. On this day any remaining evil tendencies “will be rendered inactive” and all will become one with the entity. It is identical to the New Age teaching that at this moment of rebirth all souls will take a quantum leap forward by submitting to diabolical possession, thus allowing Satan to rule the world. A historical moment when God forces himself on mankind to “render their souls incorruptible and free from sin” has never been part of Catholic teaching.
In November 2005, Mrs Ryden obtained an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat from a bishop and a cardinal, both long-time Catholic supporters of the seer. The Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat have been included in all the linguistic editions of the messages printed since that time.
In January 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed an internal communication to all the Presidents of the Bishops' conferences around the world reconfirming the negative doctrinal judgment of the 1995 Notification regarding Mrs. Ryden's writings and advising the faithful not to participate in True Life in God prayer groups. This document reads as follows:
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