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Invited to live

244 pages
The history of Invitation to Life is linked to the story of Yvonne Trubert, founder of this Association, and to the thousands of people, who for more than twenty years, have followed the path of Christ, to find new hope and meaning in their lives. Through an approach based on personal stories and the precepts of love, the reader will discover the singular quality of Invitation to Life, an ecumenical movement now established on five continents, for the sole purpose of renewing human dignity.
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On the path of Invitation to Life

Written by a Collective
Literary direction of Albertine Gentou

On the path of Invitation to Life


INVITED TO LIFE Written by a Collective Literary direction of Albertine Gentou. English edition edited by Naomi Knight Sub editors: Alison White, Pete Kimberley Published in French under the title Invités à vivre.

We would like to express our gratitude to Yvonne Trubert for allowing us to quote certain of her themes, to all those who shared their personal stories and allowed us to publish them. Special thanks to the whole team - Maud, Lorène, Marie-Helène, Arnaud, Sara, Rousbeh and Christine, who enthusiastically helped to put this book together. Thanks to all the members of Invitation to Life and also the non-members, who have been with us through the years. Thanks to Pierre, Gerard, Bernard, Alain, Nicolas, Marcel, Philippe, Michel, Philibert, Hervé, François, Jean-Pierre. Thanks to Fabienne, Christine, Marie, Nada, Carole, Louise, Patricia, Bernadette, Catie, Sylvie and Anne. .. Thanks to all those who have put their trust in us, and for the love and fraternity which enabled this book to be written. Albertine Gentou
Cover photo by A.G productions
2007 5-7, rue de l'Ecole polytechnique; 75005 Paris
http://www.librairieharmattan.com diffusion.harmattan@wanadoo.fr harmattan 1@wanadoo. fr

@ L'Harmattan,

ISBN: 978-2-296-03766-3 EAN : 9782296037663

Forward to English edition
Our journey started when Michael brought a copy of Invités à vivre from France to New Zealand. Alison, a teacher of both French and English, began by translating the Preface from the NI book. I offered to edit the fIrst transcript into a more flowing format and we agreed to work together. We regarded a protocol as important for the translation work. Prayer was our essential tool, and we were both aware ofbeing guided through the prayer. It was also important to research all biblical, legal, medical and geographical references for their English equivalents. This was time consuming but very necessary to clarify the transcripts. My background in nursing and pharmaceutical work proved useful here. Daniela organised NI members from all around the world to take part in the translation work, which was then sent on for editing. These translations were written with different levels of expertise. Some needed further clarification from Alison and Pete. I would then edit the chapters into an easy-reading style, before we checked and rechecked against the French edition. The work was very intensive but interesting, and required close co-operation. I feel deep respect for those NI members who have generously revealed their lives in these chapters. They are an inspiration to all who read their stories and follow the teachings of Yvonne. It has been a privilege working with Alison to translate the message of faith, hope and love expressed within these pages. 7

Weare especially indebted to Pete Kimberley for his extensive translation and checking work and to Albertine Gentou for her continuing support. A special thank you to the team of translators, all IVI members, who made the English edition possible: Alison, Ari, Beth Ann, Catherine, Cécile, Daniela, Danielle, Elisabeth, Eric, Erik, Hania, Helen, Lucy, Maria Isabel, Nada, Pete, Rosemary. We have received an Invitation to Life. Naomi Knight, editor


Acknow ledgements Forward to English edition
Preface. ........................................................................ Il

6 7

Foreword Introduction: For a better understandingof this book
Part One: The Witnesses Representatives: Maurice, Georges, Agnès, Daniel The Faithful: Philippe, Marie, Michelle, Suzanne, Denise, Micheline, Trinite, Pascale The youth: Aline, Vincent, Christelle, Sophie, Lanto International: Francine, Tissie, Fabio, Zahra, France, Nada, Katy Part Two: The Teachings Sayings Selected extracts Bib Ii0graph y

15 19
31 61

113 137

197 223 245

It is now two thousand years since Christ revolutionised the world with bis laws of love: "You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." "Love your neighbour as yourself' "Love one another as I have loved you." In this oppressed land, gripped for centuries by diverse authorities and now, yoked to the Roman Empire, Christ's appeal for love sounded strange indeed. Jesus announced to a people, overwhelmed by despair, that God his Father would soon reign on Earth in a spiritual kingdom of glory and light. With poetic mastery he taught bis remarkable parables. Through miraculous cures, exorcisms, and the prayer of love which he taught his apostles, the Our Father, he convinced the ordinary people, the humble, deprived and rejected; all those he felt closest too. For himself Jesus claimed no title except to do the will ofhis celestial Father. He came "not to abolish the law but to fulfil it," and none could turn him from bis path. Already his followers saw in him the long awaited Messiah, recently announced by John the Baptist. Such audacity, stamped with the mark of blasphemy, was to lead Jesus to his death, a crude death of common law reserved for the worst criminals, whose fate he would share, hung between two of them on the cross. Yet his extraordinary message of universalism and freedom would soon break down the ancestral values and age-old traditions. Although not yet visible, a new order was being established. This great change would transform the world, transcend divisions, and question allegiances. Il

Two thousand years later, what has become of the teachings of Christ? Has our world upheld his precepts of love? Have we changed? Certainly, the words of Jesus have spread to all continents; they have crossed the seas and inspired populations. The Churches have transmitted this new awareness, this message of hope and life, which has changed the destiny of man. Yet what of the wars and atrocities that have been perpetuated in the name of God? What of the controversies and factions which have profaned Christ's sacred vision ofpeace and love?

Our 21st century, lulled into a flourishing

materialism, has not escaped from troubling turbulence. y et beyond hatred, poverty and futile guilt, the prospect of a better world remains unchanged. The teachings of Christ give us a unique and brilliant source for a new and peaceful universe, based on God's love, which brings reconciliation, peace, trust, and hope to mankind. The collective work presented here, under the direction of Albertine Gentou, brings to light the work of Yvonne Trubert. For more than twenty years Yvonne has inspired people from all walks of life to fmd within themselves a new breath of life, energy and love. Her teachings are a guide for the inner salvation ofhumanity. Contrary to many systems of positive thought, the words of Yvonne Trubert have no other objective than to liberate mankind from the multiple chains we have fashioned for ourselves, chains which hamper our daily lives in a thousand ways. Yvonne Trubert's goal is anchored in a return to the source of the Gospels. She teaches prayer. This prayer leads to a new reality, indeed a new way of living, a new reconciliation among mankind. No illusory paradise is proposed. Happiness is not attained without an individual struggle against everything that blocks the presence of God; the inner light and beauty 12

which irradiates the life of man. Welcoming, listening and sharing, which are skills we all can learn, are central to this teaching of fulfilment and freedom. Every type of problem in daily life is explained in sayings or extracts from within this work. These teachings reject mediocrity. They push one to comprehend a powerful process in which truth is experienced as a personal evolution. Those who are guided by the light of faith, and attribute their progress to "Invitation to Life", speak with passion of this extraordinary message of universal wisdom and inner freedom. For them the arduous path of selftransformation brings the prospect ofreuniting with God's eternal values for mankind. Inspired to reject excess materialism, they work with others to seek a way of life based on a foundation of solidarity and self-renunciation. Yvonne's teachings present a new dimension, which guides the future direction of their lives. Her wisdom has strengthened their faith and revealed a bridge to God. From a murky past confined in a complaining world of suffering, not so much physical as spiritual, a bridge towards this vision has been shown. An alternative, lucid and profound vision that opens wide the door to a recovery of the soul. Mankind is treated generously, without hiding the real difficulties from seekers of self- transformation. It is no small thing to surrender oneself entirely to the love of God! True support is needed in the spiritual struggle to answer the call of Christ. Those who are hungry for God will find nourishment within these pages where in union with Christ and his kingdom, love flows around like a light breeze. Yet, is love something to be afraid of these days? Dare we still speak of love? These pages invite us to live with joy and love in our being. Marie Mignon-Garde! 13

Many of our contemporaries feel concerned about the future when the problems of our planet are reviewed on television: financial scandals, AIDS and cancer, global warming and disasters, pollution and the pains of our civilisation - there is every indication from the news that the situation will not improve. Nowadays, we have two types of people: those who are resigned to circumstances, and those who in their search for solutions, have joined together to work for the greater good of humanity. Daily life has become a perpetual struggle; parents tremble for their children as drugs and racketeering proliferate in the schools. We see misery everywhere. Many grieve for their fading youth as they watch the wrinkles form; a man weeps for the wife he loves - she now lives with his closest friend; a neighbour is in depression after losing bis investment on the Stock Exchange. Some sit on the fence, some mock, yet when disaster strikes, their derision turns to fear. They seek answers in all directions, before admitting that they too need to find more meaning in their lives. Eating, sleeping, working, making love and acquiring money: this is not sufficient to justify existence. Some ask God for answers or seek religions and retreats. Others join voluntary organisations and charity groups. Some talk of Invitation to Life. Is this organisation a new church or a cult? No. Invitation to Life was founded in 1983 by Yvonne Trubert, a French woman born in Brittany. A mother of four with several grandchildren, she was about fifty years old at the time. She had raised her children, worked at several jobs, including a cleaning business, when in 1976 she dedicated herself to helping 15

other people. She listened to those around her, starting with family, neighbours and acquaintances. In this way she offered comfort to those in need. Then in 1983, with the support ofher friends, Yvonne founded an ecumenical association. While living faithfully by the Christian message, she offered the practice of prayer along with the teachings of Christ and the gospels. She presented harmonisation and other tools, which will be discussed in the following pages. This knowledge was to help people release guilt feelings and destructive tendencies, to find again their divine dimension with a new sense of love and freedom. An excellent intention, but can this be achieved? Yes, through faith in God. These teachings explain that those who turn away from God are unable to reach their full potential. For many centuries now man has been destroying himself in his quest for power. He has waged war against his neighbour in an attempt to feel alive. Seduced by the life of luxury, he has wrought destruction on himself and the environment by rejecting the laws of God, which nourish and feed him. According to Yvonne, we must regain our deeper values and work to overcome the stress and strain of life so that we can find peace and hope again. She explains that there is no miraculous intervention, no passport to heaven. Being an IVI member does not insure against misery. The results depend on the investment made. For the alcoholic and the addict, it is more than freedom from addiction. They must wake up, change their attitudes and live a saner life. Transformation is not spectacular for those who take this path; with time and perseverance, patience and humility, the awareness comes that in everyone there is a spark, a great purpose and power, an energy of love which we call God. Love is more than words - it implies action, a gesture towards another. Therefore, it is important to care 16

for others, to honour the words of Christ: "Love your neighbour as yourself," by respecting the living temple where God seeks to abide within. Yet how can we reach these goals? We can learn to live together by meeting in groups, where we pray and share experiences through giving testimony and harmonisations. Further details of these practices are available in the book. In brief, harmonisation is an exchange of energy between two people, through prayer: one gives and the other receives. After relaxing with a harmonisation, one feels more aware of the inner presence of God. The harmonisation does not entail any healing therapy or hypnosis. It is energy, channelled solely for the comfort and benefit of the client. Sometimes, we can answer a cry for help with a prayer, a kindly glance, or a helping hand. Christ said, "When two or more are gathered in my name then I shall be among them." No man can evolve alone: Invitation to Life is built on this important truth. Thus, we redefine the word "brotherhood". God means love, energy, universal consciousness. The battle between good and evil is fought first in spirit, where the ego, our mental aspect, struggles to control the divine force, cosmic spark, our indwelling soul. There is no point in waiting for suffering to occur. It is time to seek life's purpose by reaching out to others. The reason for these pages is not to preach or give instructions. Each person can pray and give support to other people in their own way. To help Invitation to Life to be understood, it seemed essential to collect the thoughts and testimonies of those involved in this collective experience - to present testimony, and testimony alone, to record this exalting human adventure. 17

Everything you need to know for a better understanding of this book.

Regarding this book By defmition, a biography or study, no matter how serious, can never be complete, for the simple reason that a character or community is never static. Everything is in a state of endless evolution, for change is the essence of life. Our goal here is not to prove a point, but rather to present the Association of Invitation to Life, to go beyond the façade and show the way it functions, as explained by those who walk this way oflife. Here are some of Yvonne Trubert's sayings, which are characteristic of her teachings, and further explained by the stories of twentyfour people who follow this path. There is also an explanation for certain keywords. What is Invitation to Life? Invitation to Life is an association created to facilitate the spiritual growth of mankind and support those who seek the harmonious fulfilment of their lives. It presents the means and structure for members to gain increased awareness, fmd their soul potential and reach their goals, as they follow the teachings of Christ on a daily basis. Invitation to life, usually called lVI, was founded by Yvonne Trubert in 1983. The daily management of the Association is entrusted to an administrative council, in accordance with the French law passed in 1901. Today IVI is present in more than 50 countries. Invitation to Life recommends a demanding daily effort to modify negative 19

emotions such as fear, jealousy, resentment and anxiety, which cause suffering to ourselves as well as others. The basic principles of IVI tend toward simplicity, without any esoteric concepts or selective intellectual process. What we believe Of divine essence, spirit and matter, atom and energy combined, we are more than we appear, more than we ourselves believe. The inner unseen soul is often overlooked in our mainly materialistic culture. However, this immense and powerful soul contains an infInite potential, which has been forgotten. When we ignore this other reality, the invisible divine energy that dwells within, we remain imprisoned by fears and self-imposed limitations, which prevent us from reaching our full potential. Yet we are all unique with specific talents that create the inner heart and foundation of our beings, on which we build our lives and our relationships with others. By becoming our total selves and sharing this with the world, we fulfil the purpose for which we came to Earth. With knowledge and respect for ourselves and other people, we will participate in the building of a better world. As the journalist Gerard Moatti wrote (in "Les Echos", Thursday 17thOctober, 2002): "Solidarity should not be confused with brotherhood, and the solutions to our problems will not come from institutions. We must stop regarding society as a collection of people, and bring responsibility back to the individual." We in Invitation to Life believe that recognition of the individual involves development of a spiritual aspect. Therefore, we must endeavour to free ourselves from traumas that limit and prevent our soul potential. This is a personal effort based on experience. Each individual has experienced so much pain and suffering, that no one can 20

achieve success alone. Fears and guilt are hard to deal with and accept, even harder to control, so we need help from others to achieve real progress. Members of IVI belong to prayer groups. In these groups we practise quiet, respectful listening, as each person shares experiences and solutions. This cooperation helps us understand our pain and the effects on our daily lives. We can then begin to correct those issues caused by unconscious reactions. How we function When we come into contact with IVI we are welcomed by a member of the Opening Mission and invited to attend an information meeting. We learn among other things, that IVI activities are organised in seven Missions: Opening, Teaching, Harmonisation, Listening, Linking, Discovery, and Writing, the latter being in charge of the IVI Journal. Those who wish to join are assigned to a new group by the Teaching Mission. Here their progress can begin, whether or not they are committed to the Association. Once a week, each group convenes to pray and hear a tape on a specific theme: forgiveness, perseverance, etc. Then, during a respectful silence, each person in turn can testify and thereby release the stress and strain of daily life. A shared meal follows to end the evening. During the tirst months, the group is animated by experienced members of the Association. Then comes the "seminar", a weekend during which Yvonne Trubert transmits the rite of the harmonisation to new members. (See the following page). Having learnt how to harmonise, each member of the Association can volunteer to serve in IVI centres, or join pilgrimages and missions, which visit groups in France and other countries. In this way IVI members support and comfort each other and also those in the 21

community. We need to mention that Invitation to Life is an association of volunteers - except for the office and accounting staffwho receive a salary. Our spirituals tools In order to create harmony between the ego and the soul, the human and divine aspects of man, we use three 'keys' to release our energy. They are prayer, harmonisation and vibrations. These keys enhance communication with a higher dimension. They expand our consciousness and regenerate our souls. These are the tools that support and accelerate the dynamics of transformation. Like our body, our soul needs nourishment: the food is prayer. We pray to God with the rosary each day, reciting Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. By repeating these prayers, we calm the mind and find peace within our souls. Prayer is direct communion with God. We express our faith and appeal for His divine love and guidance to heal our emotional and physical pain. Following a precise sequence of movements, the harmonisation concentrates on energy centres known as chakras, which relate to certain organs and physiological functions. In his book Croire et Guérir (Believing and Healing), Régis Dericquebourg defines the harmonisation as: 'a light massage on the body of a person who remains clothed and covered. During this session of about thirty minutes, the person lies down, preferably with the eyes closed. The harmonisation cannot be done without prayer

- in this

case the rosary, which is said silently, in respect

for the values of the one being harmonised. It is clearly noted in the IVI constitution that in no case, when the harmonisation is given to a sick person, is it intended to replace medical treatment. The harmonisation is not a medical treatment. 'It is used on a complementary basis', as explained on the Association's 22

website. 'It gives comfort, relieves fear and suffering, helps to restore the vital energy and brings a desire to heal and live again.' In fact, it helps each individual gain a better emotional balance. In cases of illness, those who have been harmonised face up to the problem and the necessary treatment with a more positive attitude. In Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, Columbia, Argentina, Belgium and Australia, doctors have learned to harmonise. They advise patients who express a wish to be harmonised to arrange a separate time from regular medical visits. These doctors have noticed that beyond the obvious improvement in the patient's well-being, the harmonisation helps alleviate physical symptoms such as pain, which is recognised as a subjective experience. The effects of harmonisation over fIrst and second degree burns are especially interesting, as the results are objective, systematic and indisputable. To observe such burns healing after a harmonisation is verification of its value. When healthy individuals are harmonised, they experience physical relaxation with a sense of peace and well-being, which is most appreciated in their busy lives. The third key: Vibrations use a system of breathing and sounds to link the earth with the cosmic energies and individuals with the universe. A group of people create vibrations by repeating sounds together - similar to chanting mantras. They experience a sense of peace and connection to the earth. ln his book 'Croire et Guérir' , Régis Dericquebourg also writes: "These vibrations regenerate the chakras of the earth, which have the same need for energy and life as those of man. They energise, feed and help the earth to heal. In fact they are a form of harmonisation for the earth."


What we develop through this daily practice: - Self-confidence, which means, trusting God within and therefore an ability to approach others without fear of being judged. - To see below the surface - to acknowledge the soul and dignity of other people; to listen to the one who does not talk, and talk to the one who does not listen. - To discover again the true meaning of love: the energy that connects all mankind without distinction, not just the emotional bond between two people. - To accept responsibility for our lives and actions; to participate in the life and transformation of our world. - To be free - free of fear, guilt and emotional distress from childhood. - To rediscover the joy and good fortune ofbeing alive. - To live fully in the present moment, unencumbered by the past and without fear of the future. - To cultivate hope, which reassures us every day that God loves us, listens to our prayers and heals us when we fail. A few words to understand Invitation to life: There is perhaps one word that overshadows others on the path of Invitation to Life: simplicity. This path is neither secret nor sophisticated; it is the application of the values given in the Gospels, simple, timeless and accessible to all. But sometimes they have lost their deeper value and become a set of rules, with a sense of obligation, which makes them hard to incorporate into everyday life. To transform ourselves, we must integrate the fundamental values of faith, hope, charity, patience, perseverance and tolerance... so that they become the source of our thoughts and actions. Below are definitions, some from famous men - with mention of their authors.


Others, in quote marks, come from the teachings of Yvonne Trubert. The Soul The soul is the divine aspect of man given by God, "created in his own image" as the Bible relates. Rediscovering the latent potential of our soul implies listening to and being guided by the voice of God within. Such is, we believe, the purpose of our path on earth. Love The concept of love as an emotion between two people who have chosen each other, is a very limited understanding of this word. Love, the energy of God, is the most powerful energy of all. Love is our link with God. He is our life, our soul, our divine spark, our connection with each other. Love enlivens these soul connections, which are often buried beneath such issues as jealousy, judgments, power play, resentment and games of seduction. Loving 'one's neighbour as oneself is deeper than kindness or indifference. It is the ability to see each human being with love and compassion, as through the eyes of Christ. "Loving others implies respecting, understanding, listening, sharing, and simple ways of helping. " God "Man is miserable without God," said Pascal. Away from God, man is limited; he suffers if unable to energize from the divine source of life. "We were taught to keep our distance from this God, who somehow judged our thoughts and actions, through a father' s eyes at best, but more often as an uncompromising judge". We try to live by the teachings of Christ, who says that God is a father overflowing with love, longing to welcome bis children 25

back and forgive, as in the story of the prodigal son who was welcomed back from his wanderings and forgiven by his father. "God did not create love. He is love." Listening Above all, Christ advised his apostles to console. Consolation is given by listening, or showing friendship if someone is alone. "Listening is giving love, and loving is giving life". See in the Extracts the chapter dedicated to the Listening Mission. The listening session In the IVI centres, members of the Association as well as non-members can receive a harmonisation or a listening session. With the prayer and support of a person trained to listen, those who come for a session can speak from their heart to clear their conscience. Emotional release and a sense of well-being can be gained from trusting a compassionate listener. Faith "Faith is trust we place in God". Faith is not an abstract word, or a state of grace that has fallen from on high. Having faith is trusting God with each moment of our life, confident that He leads us on the most enriching path, the path that is best for us. "Living in trust means knowing that God provides for our present and future needs." It means entrusting God with those troubles that are too heavy for us to bear, while being completely certain that he lifts and carries us forward. Faith is therefore the sister of hope, as biblical theology stipulates. Joy "We need to break down the walls of our prison. Joy is the way to reach life and freedom." Through difficult 26