Written by a hermit nun living in Wales, UK, who contemplates the messages of True Life in God
September 2005

The writings entitled True Life in God, (TLIG) speak constantly of God offering the world the grace of divinisation. To divinize means to make humans into gods by participation in the Divinity of the Godhead.

This concept can cause alarm to people unless they realise that it is another term for being gifted with Eternal Life. It is the Eternal Life of God. Christ promised it to us. St John’s Gospel and epistles are full of Christ’s promise. St Peter’s letters allude to it and St Paul’s letters to the seven churches are also full of it. This is why Jesus Christ came – that we may share His Divine Life; that we may be one with the Father as Christ and the Father are one. That is, not similar but as Christ and the Father are one – a divine union.

We are called to be sons and daughters of God. We are called to be the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head of His Body the Church. The Body is to completely one with its Divine Head. What Jesus Christ is by nature as the Son of God we are called to be by grace – each according to that degree or capacity to which God had in mind for us when He created us. Head and Body divinised with the Divine Eternal Life of God given to us in Christ Jesus which was won back for us by His redeeming life and death.

We are to be holy as our God is holy – not by coercion, but by willingly fulfilling the command of God (c.f. Leviticus 19:2 and Matthew 5:48); not out of duty like an abstract action but out of real love for God.

Only God is holy; “You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High Jesus Christ”, we sing each Sunday and feast day. To be holy as God is holy is to be holy with the very holiness of God Himself. The holiness of God descends and God unites Himself to each one so that the very powers of the soul (memory, understanding and will) are in perfect union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When this union is total, utter, complete, that is divinization, nothing more, nothing less.

The full union of the soul and the Trinity is termed Mystical Marriage. Mystical Marriage means that the Holy One, the Triune God, weds the soul to Himself in perfect fusion while the “spouse” retains perfect individuality and free will.

The Father in His Divine Power inheres and unites to the memory as understood as a power of the soul. The Eternal Son in His Divine Wisdom inheres and unites to the understanding as understood as a power of the soul. The Holy Spirit in His Divine Goodness inheres and unites to the human will as understood as a power of the soul. With The Divine presence in the powers of the soul the person thinks, acts, and speaks only as directly informed by God’s Power, Wisdom and Goodness. The soul ceases to act outside the influence of the Divine Light. We call this “Christlikeness”. People who meet a divinised person will describe the encounter as, “It was as though I were speaking to Jesus Himself”.

The Father can only inhere the memory if it has pure hope1 . The Eternal Son can only inhere the understanding if it has pure faith2 . The Holy Spirit can only inhere the human will if it has pure charity3 . Put simply, hope empties the memory, faith empties the understanding and charity empties the will. These three powers of the soul have to be emptied by the theological virtues because these transcend human reason and logic. The purely human way of knowing, through the senses and discursive intellect, must be transcended before one can be disposed to unite with the transcendent God. All means must be proportionate to their end: must manifest a certain accord and likeness to the end. Peas will not cook until they reach the same temperature as the hot water. Logs will not burn until they reach the same degree of heat as the fire. Nothing, and no creature, can serve the understanding as a proportionate means to the attainment of God. Everything the intellect can understand, the will experience and the imagination picture, is most unlike and disproportionate to God. The void created by the Theological Virtues of faith, hope and charity are most like God in the sense that they adapt man’s faculties for participation in the transcendent God. They lift man above himself, transform him, and dispose him to regain the fullness of the divine image and likeness wherein he was created and for which he was created.

The Catholic Catechism, No. 1812 states, “The human virtues are rooted in the Theological Virtues which adapt man’s faculties for participation in the Divine Nature: for the Theological Virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their ORIGIN, MOTIVE and OBJECT.”

The Four Cardinal Virtues are also infused in us by Holy Baptism along with the Three Theological Virtues. These seven virtues exercised in a heroic manner are the grounds for both beatification and canonisation. The Cardinal Virtues are Fortitude, Temperance, Justice and Prudence. All these will be fully operative in the Divinised Soul.

Fortitude aids the passions of hope, despair, fear, daring (courage) and anger. These passions arise when difficulties are encountered in gaining good or avoiding evil. Temperance aids passions of love, hate, desire, dislike, pleasure and sadness (pain). These are concerned with good and evil without any perception of difficulty. Justice perfects the will in man’s social actions. These three Cardinal Virtues are governed by the fourth, Prudence, which flows from charity within.

At Baptism all the Theological and Cardinal Virtues are infused into our soul by the Holy Trinity. When charity is the motive for all our actions these virtues are perfected by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That is, one is first motivated by love of God, and then love of neighbour as God loves him. (John 13:34: “Love one another as I have loved you”) The Holy Spirit’s gifts are knowledge, understanding, fear of the Lord, wisdom, piety, fortitude and counsel.

Sin, every slightest movement of consent in the will contrary to the glory of God, whether or not externally expressed, clouds the transparency of the soul. Each “cloud” has to be cast out, evaporated, to restore transparency. This is effectuated by the co-operation of our free-will with the virtues. The “voids” created by the practised virtues are precisely this “transparency” through which the Divine Light inheres and thereby divinises us. Such divinisation is open to all, and only sincere repentance is needed to open the floodgates to grace for the journey to begin.

In True Life in God we find:

 

all souls to which I am joined become brides as well, for in My intimate relationship I have with them I become their Bridegroom each day of their life; and so it will be with you if you will be enamoured of Us; voluntarily you will thrust yourself in Me and savour the fullness of My Divine Love; from your birth I was eager to possess you and while I was seeing you grow I was, in secret, already celebrating our betrothals; I would have flown to you at your first sign of repentance I would cry out pounding My Royal Sceptre:

“Acquitted!”

and would brand your forehead with My fiery baptismal kiss fragrancing all the universe; this would be a foresign of our matrimonial celebration, and I would offer you as a gift of My Love to you a crown made of the most fragrant flowers

each of its petals representing a virtue; only then would you be able to say, “I see…” and truly mean it.

(“Odes of the Holy Trinity” page 49)

Vassula Ryden’s messages from Jesus promise that each one will receive a personal theophany. (Note: A theophany is a vision of God whether by symbol or an intellectual vision or a spiritual vision.) This will be a descent of the Blessed Trinity that will act as both a warning concerning our spiritual state and the offer of the grace of repentance. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be perceived in a grace of enlightenment.

…your soul will see what they had once seen in that fraction of a second, that very moment of your creation…

they will see:
He who held you first in His Hands;
The Eyes that saw you first;
they will see:
The Hands of He who shaped you
and blessed you…
they will see:
The Most Tender Father, Your Creator
all clothed in fearful splendour,
the First and the Last,
He who is, who was, and
is to come,
The Almighty,
The Alpha and the Omega:
The Ruler;4

That is, we glimpse the Father. Then we will also perceive, in our spiritual vision, the Light of the Holy Spirit piercing us from the penetrating gaze of Christ who is also before us. Our soul will become aware of all the events of our lifetime for our eyes will be transfixed by the eyes of Christ which will be like two Flames of Fire. (Note: the flames of Christ’s eyes are the Holy Spirit cf Dan 10:6, Rev 1:14: 5:6) Our heart will look back on all our sins. (See TLIG September 15, 1991 for full details of Second Pentecost) We will see all the truth concerning our spiritual state before God exactly as He sees us. Normally this is the vision given to us in the moment of death when the soul is engulfed by Divine Truth and sees the spiritual reality of evil in itself and, consequently, its just judgment.

With this truth experience is offered the full grace of complete and sincere repentance. Because all our sins are revealed (including those we deny having because we have become habituated to them and lost the sense of sin concerning them), our contrition will be an Act of Pure Contrition. The Catholic Church teaches that an Act of Pure Contrition renders a person ready for instant entrance to heaven (e.g. the good thief on Calvary). This is because it is sanctifying, being that it is the direct fruit of cooperation with the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Sanctification – the Holy Spirit. Hence it is that our contrition which results from this theophany (otherwise called the Second Pentecost) renders the soul, after sacramental confession, receptive to the direct fullness of sanctity which, being fully cultivated, leads swiftly to divinisation. Without the seeing of all our sins this would not be possible, for to be contrite for only some of our remembered unconfessed sins would leave the impurity of the rest of them and prevent divinisation.

The sanctity given by Jesus at this moment is the garland of virtue as promised in the above message. It has to be sustained and developed by a life of wholly living the Gospel in unceasing metanoia and theosis, that is, turning to God totally and being consciously humanity for the Word on earth. The sanctification of the soul as a pure gift does not last but vanishes with sin. However, the infusion of virtue, especially the virtue of true contrition, makes possible a withdrawal from the desire to commit Mortal sins and even deliberate Venial Sin; sin will be eliminated from the person’s life by choice.

The primary means of sustaining the gift of sanctification leading into divinisation of the soul will be the Most Holy Eucharist which will fully release its Divinity. This releasing of Divinity will be facilitated by our will’s perfect alignment to the Will of God. Without this “pipe-line” even daily Holy Communion does not release its inherent divinity to the soul but only the lights and graces that help us towards such a conformity and unity of will with God.

As mentioned above, only the Divine Light of the Holy Spirit revealing all our sins enables this instantaneous gift of sanctity, that is, as long as we completely accept the grace of repentance. There is no “vacuum” in the human soul. When the will is turned completely to God it is instantly filled with God since it is the Holy Spirit’s movement which brings about such a turning as we accept His grace. Then, instantly, Christ inheres in the soul. Christ, in taking up His possession of souls in the state of Pure Contrition, resides in them as He promised5 , just so long as the person sustains this possession by practised virtue through to Mystical Marriage. This is what is known as the “Second Coming”, or, the “Reign of Christ on earth”: He reigns in His Divinity in the soul and governs and directs its thoughts, words and deeds in goodness and virtue.

The Second Pentecost and the Second Coming are thus two aspects of the one theophany. Those symbolic images in the Book of Revelation indicate this. The promise of Christ’s thousand-year reign (c.f. Rev 20:6) contains the biblical number that symbolises the divine eternity. So it simply means that Christ will reign in His Divinity. He will do this by reigning in the souls of men. (See separate article on The Thousand Year Reign of Christ)

The theophany prophesied in the TLIG message of 15th September 1991 takes only moments in itself, for it only takes a single flash of the Divine Light to reveal everything to us. The effects last hours, days or weeks and, in some cases, lead to months of mourning, with pure contrition, over acknowledged sins. Some persons who have already received this grace have spoken of mourning over Christ whose pain at their sins is felt by them at the moment of their enlightenment. Others speak of a quiet flowing movement of grace that lasted many weeks and brought the sins of their life before them gradually over time and with less pain.

The contrition evoked by the Second Pentecost experience remains in the soul as a deep abiding sense of sorrow. It is this which enables the soul to avoid all sin with a very fixed and determined resolution of will not to sin again. When sin exerts an attraction this attitude of sorrow influences the soul with a quiet, gentle, magnetism in opposition to sin. Thus we are aware of being graced into sinlessness (if we accept it). The first month or more of resisting sin is the hardest because we have to erase the habit of sin, but we have this inner help; we find it is true that with God all things are possible – leopards can change their spots, lions can lay down with lambs, the suckling babe can put its hand in the vipers den unharmed. All these refer to spiritual realities.

How do we know that a theophany, a light of the Holy Spirit within a vision of the Father and the Son, can effect a conversion causing a person to change so drastically that they soar into sanctity and divinisation (mystical Marriage) in a few short years? How can a theophany give a person in ten years that sanctity of life which takes a lifetime in others? There are two answers. The first is obvious: Vassula herself gives the message that the Holy Spirit will raise us from spiritual bodies wormy with corruption lying in a desert of sin and will confer the Spiritual Nuptials of divinisation upon us. Her own life gives witness to this exact message. In a word she is a sign of the message she preaches. The second answer is that we know of this possibility because these types of conversion are found in the testimonies of others and have been written down and preserved in the Church in the lives of many saints. The rapid flight from sin into holiness is seen especially in those saints who lived very short lives. These short lives are meant to reveal to us the possibility and power of God to effect this transformation for anyone at any age. Some are tempted to despair because of their sum of years, but God can do it. Then they also witness to the truth of the central message of True Life in God.

In itself the Second Pentecost grace is not new. The only reason it is considered unique for our era is because of the universality of its coming. Likewise, the divinisation of individuals is not new. Some of the earliest Christian writers wrote of it and the Orthodox Church has retained the use of the word, as well as the spirituality of repentance and divinisation, holiness and holy sorrow. In the Catholic Church we have given the name Mystical Marriage to the state of divinization, hence we are more familiar with that terminology in the West.

Christ has reigned in His divinity in countless myriads of souls on earth since Christianity began. In the early Church the name “Eternal Life” (as given in the Holy Gospel and Epistles) was given to the core reality of receiving God’s own Eternal Life which made us partakers of the divine nature 6 . The reason for its uniqueness as the Second Pentecost/Second Coming theophany lies not in its mode but in its universality. That which has been received in the past by the few will be received by the many. Never before, have all the members of the Church been without sin. That is why it will be unique. Only in Mary at the foot of the Cross, at the death of Christ, was the whole Church sinless, without spec or wrinkle, and utterly pure in faith.

Sinlessness is the direct fruit of co-operation with the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. Divinisation, or Mystical Marriage, means that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit possess the three powers of the soul (as we saw earlier).Because the human will allows God to inhere it fully, the person wills only what God wills. Hence sin is eliminated. The New Eden Jesus speaks of to Vassula in TLIG is truly the Garden of Eden: sinless in the pristine dawn of creation. But it is not a place. It is in the soul of man. We will be in the New Jerusalem, which is the Church. We will enter into the Mystical Marriage with the Lamb – but all this is within the person who receives the Second Pentecost, repents and lives all the virtues and the Holy Gospel. In a word, in the person who becomes another Jesus by grace as Jesus was by nature. Adam in Eden is called by St Luke “the Son of God”7 . Speaking of the Law of the Old Testament St Paul writes to the Galatians, “Now that the time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”8 .

In the context of this article “faith” does not refer to the fact we believe there is a God, but that we put our faith in God. Many believe there is a God but few actually put their faith in Him. Putting our faith in Him means we really believe all He has promised to do for us communally and individually. Thus we will act in total abandonment to the will of God with unquestioning gratitude. We really believe that whatever good or evil befalls us comes from our loving Father for our spiritual good. This is faith in God. Ezekiel’s theophany, where he saw glowing bronze at the heart of the cloud9 , prefigures the body of Christ glowing in the furnace of suffering (Jesus: Feet of burnished bronze10 ).In divinisation on earth we experience the Cross: pain at the heart of divinisation. We become glowing bronze at the heart of the cloud of Divinity.

In order to prepare for Mystical Marriage Vassula advocates pure theosis: “Us, we”: We consciously do every act together with Jesus by inviting Him to do every human daily act in us, with us and through us. This effectuates unceasing prayer and the elimination of all sin, for in Jesus’ presence we only allow in our environment of home, work, or entertainment what is not sin. This brings many forms of suffering.

Divinisation and mystical marriage is not possible without total knowledge and repentance of all that is sin within us even if we are living an apparently good life. Recognition of hidden sin – in the deeper levels of the attachment of our will to unacknowledged sins – is only possible by an infusion of Divine Light. Even now, the revelation of our sin is often the unrecognised presence of the Holy Spirit shining in us: we can only see what needs cleaning when light shines on it. Such grace of the Holy Spirit for our initial conversion is needed during life – the lives of the saints reveal this (see following). Because the promised theophany reveals all sin the pain can be too much for some. We need to prepare for it with lives of holiness by theosis: “Us, we”.

St Clare undertook a life of austere penance because, she said in her Testament, “The Most High enlightened my heart to do penance.” On her deathbed she could only speak to the sisters of the sublimes truths concerning the Holy Trinity in her soul.

Being enlightened, St Francis of Assisi set out on a life of poverty and Gospel living, yet he too needed the Holy Spirit to reveal deeper truths about himself. “Who are You and what am I?”, he prayed. When Brother Leo asked what he meant by this prayer, Francis replied, “Two lights were shown to my soul: one of the knowledge of myself…I saw the grievous depths of my own vileness and misery…”11 .

St Faustina writes in her Diary, “Today the Lord’s gaze shot through me like lightning. At once I came to know the tiniest specs in my soul, and knowing the depths of my misery I fell to my knees and begged the Lord’s pardon, and with great trust I immersed myself in His Infinite Mercy”12 .

St Catherine of Genoa “experienced such a sudden and overwhelming love for God and so penetrating an experience of contrition for her sins she almost collapsed. In her heart she said, ‘No more world for me! No more sin!’ She remained at home in seclusion for several days, absorbed in a profound awareness of her own wretchedness and of God’s Mercy”13 .

St Gertrude wrote, “after the infusion of Thy most sweet light, I saw many thing in my heart which offended Thy purity, and I even perceived that all within me was in such disorder and confusion  that Thou couldst not abide therein…when I reflect on the kind of life I led formerly, and which I have led since, I protest in truth that it is a pure effect of Thy grace, which Thou hast given me without any merit of mine. Thou didst give me from henceforward a more clear knowledge of Thyself, which was such that the sweetness of Thy love led me to correct my faults far more that the fear of the punishments with which Thy just anger threatened me.” This grace was followed by St Gertrude perceiving the Trinity within her. 14

Of St Birgitta of Sweden we read, “…when her husband died, she underwent the profound conversion of her being into the bride of Christ” 15