An Interview with Vassula Rydén, author of ‘Heaven is Real But So is Hell’
On her recent visit to London I had a long conversation with Vassula Rydén, Founder of ‘True Life in God Foundation’, who has been receiving and recording messages she believes are from God since 1985, when her life radically changed from carefree socialite, tennis player and diplomat’s wife, to that of scribe for spiritual messages to mankind.
The publication of these messages has led to controversy and persecution for Vassula, encounters with the Church in Rome and sceptical Christians, and also to the building of a large followership of dedicated people keen to hear the messages she conveys.
Having started out with little or no knowledge of the Bible, or theology, Vassula started to share her conversations with God with the wider world, and now travels the globe sharing them with an audience now numbering many hundreds of thousands.
This is a short extract from our conversation.
Welcome Vassula. As I understand it, you started receiving messages in 1985. Do you still receive messages; and if so, how often do you receive the messages nowadays?
Okay, the latest message. Yes, I still receive messages, but not as often as in the previous years because in the beginning it was every day, a calling, and I understand why, because it was to teach me many things. The Lord had to teach me many things, the catechism, everything came from him. I had never opened a spiritual book in my life. So to come to your question, yes the latest message I received was about four days ago and that was a message for the next pilgrimage that we are going to do in Rome in October this year and it is for the Priests and for the lay people as well.
It is a long message concerning the church and unity, and it is a message of hope. I am very happy with the latest message that came in.
Tell me more about how the messages have changed over the years.
Yes, there is a kind of order with God. God is a God of order – we know that. Now just imagine how it changed, because, of course, in the beginning, the Lord had to teach me many things: spiritual things, always regarding the scriptures next to my hand. He had to teach me the basics, if you want, of spirituality. I had never had any catechism myself so it was really the Lord my teacher and he told me many things. At first, I would say the messages were like a tête a tête, an intimate, one to one conversation.
Yes, I understand.
It was like ‘try to learn to get to know me, understand me, and love me’. That was the kind of intimate message; but remember, also, as I say in the book, ‘Heaven is Real But so is Hell’, that these messages are for everybody. That means take away Vassula’s name and put in your name, because he speaks to everybody. So it was very simple teachings, but very deep teachings although they sounded very simple. He never talked about his church in the beginning; it was just to learn to love him and serve him because you cannot serve the Lord without loving him, and that was what he was trying to teach me.
Once this was achieved, then he came into the messages of unity and the church and after some time, of course, the teaching was different because it was starting to tell me the problems of the church. In the beginning, I had kind of refused to learn, because I didn’t want to get involved with their problems. I mean, I said to myself, ‘well you know if they messed up the church, I mean, I am not responsible, why should I be the one who is going to sort it out?’
This was the reaction I had. I thought, well so far so good. He told me how to get closer to him and to love him and go back to the sacraments of the church. All this is good. But what am I going to do with all these new messages coming in with the problems of the church, the division and their quarrels? So that was a little bit of my reaction.
However, in the end I accepted and I said all right let it be his way, let’s see what he wants, and what he wants to tell me. So he started to talk to me about the hypocrisy that has spread all over the western world – that means Europe – and how bad things are in the church and that the division hurts him very much, and he began to tell me about the division. But of course, there was a lot of other progress and messages, after the message of the church unity.
There were teachings of how to get to a higher level in spirituality, to the point of getting into what he calls ‘impassibility’. This word impassibility means to have an angelic virtue; that means being so much detached from everything regarding where you are living, in this world, to be much closer to God, almost being like the beatific vision although you are not yet there. It was really mystical theology and that progressed into very, very deep spirituality.
With your book Heaven Is Real But So Is Hell, what is your most important message to all your readers?
The most important message I would say is to get to know God and understand God. To believe in God, Christine, that’s not good enough, because even the Devil believes in God, the Demons believe in God but they do not love God.
But to get to know God and understand him is a tremendous spiritual achievement because by knowing God and by understanding God you become intimate with God and your heart opens to God and you become an apostle to cry out to the world for peace, reconciliation and unity because all of us belong to God and this is one of the powerful messages that brings hope to the people that God is alive and cares for us.
And is there anything else you would like to say about your book or about your work in general, as a concluding message to your readers and people who aren’t yet aware of you and your message and your mission?
Yes, I would say for certain, from 1985 till today I have been receiving so many messages that give hope.
God, the Father and Jesus, I would say, the Trinity and our blessed Mother, because she also gave us some messages, have given instructions of how to pray, how to be, how to follow the path of virtues and how to be close to God to gain heaven.
It’s all in the messages, and I would say to people – God did not spend almost 30 years to write all these messages for them to finish up in a drawer, it’s for them.
It is the love letter from God to all of us. It is his love, him to all of us, and I would recommend everybody to just have a look into the messages and read them, and they will discover God and their life will really totally change.
Totally change how? You know, people say well it’s going to be boring, or something like that. I don’t know how they would react if I say that, but it gives so much hope. The closer they start to get to know God, the more they will be able to feel, through all the trials that you can pass through in life, you can still be passing through them with hope, and not get so desperate and go into despair.
It gives hope. All the trials, all the persecutions you’ll have, all the problems you’ll have, you’ll be able to live them with hope and survive. So I would say I recommend them to read the messages for True Life in God. It’s their love letter from God the Father.
Christine Miller June 2015
This bestselling book, which sold over 50,000 copies in the USA, outlines Vassula’s personal journey toward religious enlightenment and discusses recurring questions about God and unjustifiable world disasters. Heaven is Real But So Is Hell ultimately upholds a message of hope. It is a book for those who have strayed from religion as well as those who are seeking truth in an increasingly complex world.
Vassula Rydén was born in Egypt to Greek parents but grew up in Switzerland. The True Life in God Foundation, www.tligfoundation.org, which is committed to spreading the messages around the world is based in Switzerland and has council members from the UK, Singapore, Philippines, USA, Ireland and Spain. She has two sons by her first marriage and currently lives in Rhodes with her second husband. Vassula continues to speak to God.
Published by Alexian on 17th November 2015