TLIG magazine issue 41

T R U E L I F E I N G O D 40 On March 7, 2018, Vassula presented her book Heav- en is Real but so is Hell at the Ianos Bookshop in Athens. The book has been translated into Greek from the English original. Vassula was scheduled to arrive in Athens on March 6, but due to technical problems she arrived on the morning of March 7. As soon as the book presentation was announced, a strong reaction began in the media. On the morning show hosted by Kampouris, Ola sti fora (All is out), Father Tsakalos, one of the guests, spoke-out against Vassula, leveling false accusations and calumnies at her, calling her a false prophet, accusing her of accept- ing bribes and charging for admission to her events. The ESPRESSO newspaper front page headline read: “The new ATHANASIA of Aigaleo.” On Facebook, there was a page warning Orthodox Christians not to attend her meeting, calling her “deceived.” For these reasons, in order to prevent any trouble- making, three security guards were employed for the event. The presentation encompassed four main speakers: Georgia Papadopoulou; Father Theodoros Kontidis, Catholic priest and editor of the OPEN HORIZONS magazine; Mount Athos monk Vassi- lios; and Vassula Rydén, the book’s author. Georgia Papadopoulou began by stating that Vassula receives no financial gain from her book; all proceed- ings go to fund the Beth Myriams (charity houses of Our Lady supported and operated byTrue Life inGod volunteers), and towards book reprints. She went on to provide a brief outline of Vassula’s story. She said that Vassula was born to Greek parents in Heliopolis, Egypt, and that she had received no catechesis. She then described how Vassula was approached, first by her guardian angel and then by Jesus. Father Theodoros Kontidis then took the podium, giving his own personal testimony. When he came across the True Life in God book, the first thing that struck him was not only the spirituality of the Mes- sages, but also the attitude and the sweetness of Jesus; how intimate He is and how much He cares about man and his problems. He was also very impressed by how willing God is to forgive us for our sins and to raise us to Him. What he most wished to inves- tigate was how theologically sound these Messages were. After reading them, he found no theological error whatsoever; to the contrary, they were all in ac- cordance with the teaching of the Church: Jesus as Savior, Our Lady, the Saints, and the Sacraments of the Church, spiritual life, temptations, and the spiri- tual struggle facing humanity. He concluded by say- ing that if he were to write a book of this kind, he could write 5-10 pages at most, and even then, there might be some mistakes. In this book of Messages, consisting of hundreds of pages, he did not find the slightest theological error. He said the book is theo- logically flawless--that this woman who did not even know how to cross herself suddenly began writing tons of theologically sound messages. This can only be accomplished through divine intervention. Father Kontidis also raised the issue of the Lord’s wish for Church Unity, and he wondered if anyone could un- derstand the importance of this issue better than him- self, since he grew up with an Orthodox father and a Catholic mother. Mount Athos monk Vassilios then stepped-up to the podium and referred to the book of the True Life in God Messages as a warm message aimed at the hu- man heart, emanating from God’s Love. He thanked the Patmos Holy Monastery and the abbot he had had in previous years who supported him when he took the True Life in God book in his hands. He said that the abbot had given him permission to teach children at the local Sunday school. At that time, all of his speeches were inspired by the TLIG Messages. In this book, he went on to say, one can find the Holy Bible in condensed form, whereas exploring all these teachings on Mount Athos would take many years of research and daily study. He is deeply touched, as he said, by the way in which God approaches man. It may seem unorthodox to some, but God’s Spirit and love are one and the same for those who know Him and possess Him. Finally, it was time for Vassula to speak. She said that her Greek is not good and that she had attended an English-speaking school, so Jesus speaks to her in the language she understands best. After she thanked the previous speakers, she said that the book she was pre- senting is her autobiography. She tells her story in it. The book of True Life in God Messages has been in the writing-process for the past 33 years. It is im- portant, then, for one to know the person who wrote it while receiving these messages, and how God ap- proached her. She discussed the way in which she can hear God’s Voice inwardly and clearly. Before this gift began, she lived a worldly life, never attending church, never seeking God. The only thing she could remem- ber was the Our Father prayer, only because she had learnt it at school. Even that, she never recited. Everything began in Bangladesh in 1985 she went on, Athens, Greece Bookstore Presentation