Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Heaven. Place or state of mind? Many people regard "heaven"* as the place they hope to live someday. To them, it belongs only to eternity but has little to do with today. Yet Jesus teaches us to pray on earth as it is in heaven." What is he trying to tell us? Is it possible to bring heaven down to earth?
In this the first of three books by Reverend Paul Werner, potential answers to this compelling issue are given. Throughout his more than twenty-two years as a member of the Unification movement, Reverend Werner has studied the Bible and the Unification Principle intensively. His life of faith is exemplary: his faith tested and strong. He is a man of prayer, and his devotion to God is very visible.
This project ensued the task of perusing over one hundred fifty talks given between November, 1983 and July, 1985. Rather than choose a specific topic on which to speak each time, Reverend Werner encouraged the members to prepare questions for him to answer. This resulted in queries on innumerable subjects-life of faith; spirit world; how to develop courage; who is God; what is prayer, indemnity, love, and so forth. Answers were given extemporaneously.
While looking through the massive stacks of transcripts to choose the selections for inclusion in these books, I never ceased to be amazed at the insights he imparted. Dotted throughout each chapter are countless personal testimonies and lessons to be learned from life. With humor and incitement he renders methods to nurture faith, and potential ways to develop a strong relationship with God. He makes us examine ourselves and where we are going.
Rather than using the format of question and answer to present this material, we felt to excerpt the inspirations, thoughts, and stories and group them under chapter titles and/or subheadings would best capture the spirit with which they were shared. The passages presented in each chapter are not meant to flow as one speech, rather each stands alone.
This material was given orally. However, in order to bring the contents to an audience of readers, of necessity, the editing had to follow a certain vein. I therefore regret any imperfection in transmitting the spirit -- the humor or the tone of seriousness-with which Reverend Werner so skillfully conveyed his heart.
To me, these books are a valuable aid in cultivating stronger faith and a greater love for God and True Parents. An index is located in the back of each book in order to better reference the myriad of topics covered within the broad chapter headings.
In describing the basic contents, I would like to coin the phrase, "inspired guidance." As the reader will realize, Reverend Werner has within his mind and heart a huge treasure chest of spiritual jewels. Very often one person's question would unlock several doors at the same time and out would pour much more than a simple answer.
Although the words conveyed basically speak to an audience of Unificationists, they can also address the hearts of people of any faith who may question the purpose of life, or desire to grow spiritually. I invite you to embark on your journey throughout these pages and would like to point out special highlights you will be able to enjoy:
"God's Heart" encompasses more than inspiration on this little-known entity. Chapters on "God's Suffering ... God's Trust ... God's involvement, " follow. Christianity generally mentions little or nothing about these very invisible qualities of God's heart and therefore, for centuries the misconception that God is a happy and joyful God has been perpetrated. People generally assumed that His heart was brimming with love and joy at all times. Yet once we are able to gain insight into the true nature of God's heart, we will learn better how to love and embrace Him.
The material in the chapter entitled "Loving God" reveals that the secret to loving God is to develop a longing for Him. We so often regard God as the strong one-not needing our love and respect. But Reverend Werner proves this premise invalid and by revealing God's predicament, he encourages us to proclaim our love for Him. Although it may be a new concept to many people, in several excerpts of this chapter God is introduced as the master architect of our lives.
"The True Family" chapter allows us to pull back the curtain and view some well-remembered incidents of Reverend Werner's meetings and experiences with Reverend and Mrs. Moon. Within its pages, he shares many of the intimate times, and his expanding insights into the kind of man Reverend Sun Myung Moon is-as a parent and leader.
Many people believe that the creation of the world was no accident and indeed was the handiwork of God. Armed with this supposition, Reverend Werner investigates God's emotions at the time of the creation. As well, he examines the purpose behind this massive work. Also included in "The Creation" is a unique look at the cycle of creation, the beauty of nature, and the importance of each human being becoming a co-creator with God.
Many people question whether there will ever be a "Kingdom of Heaven." While those who believe it will become a reality generally feel that it will exist only in the spirit world, Unificationists maintain that it will also be erected in the physical world. This chapter uncovers a glimpse of what it could entail to build the new Jerusalem.
The importance of "Action, " the need for "Friendship," and the beauty contained in "Judgment: Sorrow or Joy?" are presented in these respective chapters.
"The Arts" is quite a unique collection of thoughts on the influence music, art, literature, dance, and drama have upon our lives. Reverend Werner also discloses an inspiration which portrays how God stimulated the great artists to create their masterpieces.
"Suffering" allows us to connect once again to the heart of God as we see through His eyes the suffering of the world and the suffering of His children.
The selections included in "Our Position" are meant to give insight into what Unificationists should understand our privilege and responsibility to be. What does it mean to walk a life of faith? Who are we and what does God expect of us?
The chapter on "Witnessing" encompasses several aspects of this major work of restoration including what kind of motivation the witnesser should feel and the ultimate responsibility witnessing entails. Thoughts are presented about how not to limit one's witnessing to people in society, but to witness" to the members of our family and community every day.
The majority of religious people believe in the existence of a spirit world. "The Reality of the Spirit World" examines why we should begin now to prepare for our future life there. Covered are such questions as: when do we begin to live in the spirit world?; what will life be like?; do spirits participate in our lives here on earth?; what is the relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds?
"Indemnity" has become one of the most frequently used words in the Unificationist vocabulary. Because Reverend Moon has stressed that we become familiar with the term "Tang Gam, " the use of it too is becoming more widespread. The chapter entitled "Tang Gam/Indemnity" expresses the difference between the two and the necessity to understand it. What is the effect of each-for individuals, families, nations, and the world? What should be the central motivation in paying indemnity? What is God's intent in providing us with Tang Gam? Answers to these and other questions are explored.
The chapters on "Attitude" and "Public-Mindedness" speak mainly about the attitude we should develop in order to be successful in living our life of faith to the fullest. Practical tips on how to banish "Fears and Insecurities" as well as developing "Self-confidence" are contained in the respective chapters.
"Life" reveals a glimpse of how people in different nations have to live. Reverend Werner challenges our hearts and minds to reflect on the quality of their lives, and to live for others instead of just ourselves.
The second book in this series is entitled, In Harmony with the Eternal. It will contain the following chapters: "God's Love," (including material on Seeing through God's Eyes), "Relationship with God ... Loving True Parents ... Sensitivity," "Life of Faith" (covering a broad spectrum of topics such as Integrity, Constancy, Commitment, and Discipline), "The Principle ... Prayer ... Restoration" (including Restoration of Relationships), "The World ... Personal Problems ... Harmony ... Tears," and "Blessed Family."
Book three, Tapping the Unlimited Reservoir, will present Reverend Werner's insights of: "God," "Experiencing God," "True Parents," "Love," "Salvation ... Jesus and Christianity," "Leadership," "Satan," "Responsibility ... Repentance and Forgiveness," "Perfection ... Respect," and "Our Offering."
In closing, I would like to commend the contributions of: Carolyn Bing-Wo for her persistent efforts in transcribing the tapes; Franco Famularo for his editorial comments, his help in proofreading the manuscript, and his assistance in tabulating the index; Pier Angelo Beltrami for the beautiful cover design; and Bill and Pepper Parker for their assistance in the reading of manuscripts and the selection of material.
On behalf of all, I hope you will savor the words you are about to read; may they inspire you in your quest to live in heaven right here on earth.
* Throughout the book, when the word "heaven" appears, if it refers to the Kingdom of God/the Kingdom of Heaven, the "h" is upper cased. When it refers to the realm of God, heavenly realm, the realm of goodness or the spirit world, the "h" is lower cased.
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