The Words of the Kwak Family after 2007
The international and intercultural marriage blessing is the most basic of our activities, and its purpose is the complete realization of the ideal coming about through God-centered families. All of us, especially leaders, should think about two things concerning the blessing. The first is related to ourselves. The ideal that results from the blessing is not something that can be realized through hearing Divine Principle lectures. It cannot be conveyed through the guidance of other Unification Church members.
When we think of the word "blessing," we should always first think about ourselves as blessed individuals. In our families, are the parent-child relationships, brother-sister relationships, and the husband-wife relationship as they should be? We need to check this. If your own family is not as it should be, what can you say to others about the blessing? It would be ineffective. It wouldn't matter if you shouted out at the top of your lungs. Don't you think Heaven is looking at your standard?
Next is the extent to which you have given the blessing to your tribe. Moreover, are the three generations in your family -- you, your children and your grandchildren -- aligned vertically in a single line, so they can inherit True Parents' tradition? That is integral to the blessing.
Therefore, you cannot fulfill the blessing through giving Divine Principle lectures. Please don't forget that each person and each family has this serious responsibility, and please educate all blessed families in this way.
Second, since the blessing is so precious, it should be given out to the world. We have to give the blessing to all our neighbors and to all of humanity. Unfortunately, because we gave the blessing as part of past conditional dispensations, by giving the Holy Wine and a simple prayer, the blessing became ritualistic, formalized, yet informal at the same time. Even though there was a need for conditionally giving the blessing during certain periods of time, according to the demands of the providence, the blessing demanded by Heaven now is by no means conditional. We have to give the official blessing. You should think of that as being the way to spread Heaven's will. Please educate all church members and families in this way.
What I am about to say is not only a conclusion for this meeting but also guidance I sincerely want to give you. Father often says that he no longer sees any boundary between Cain and Abel. Father is asking us to bring ambassadors for peace who know nothing about True Parents directly to the peace palace. This indicates there are no boundaries now. It is as if the high tide and low tide have met and become one, so that we cannot tell the difference between the two.
Therefore, if we look at the Unification Church from an external point of view, this is a time when you can find both true Unification Church members with substance, who are trying to follow God's heavenly path in a truly fruitful way, and people who are really difficult to see as being church members. There is no need to scold or speak ill of such people. It reflects the time of the providence. Now everyone is together. The atmosphere is not just like this in the church. Barriers are now being taken down in general society. So don't try to be holy and stand separately. Instead, go into the world and put down roots in the world. Now some are actively setting foot in the realm with the worst smell, that of politics.
From that perspective, we have to think seriously about this year's motto. How are we going to fulfill the ideal of the combined jubilee years, the seventh and eighth years of Cheon Il Guk, which is based on the Universal Peace Federation? What is Cheon Il Guk? It's not a church-related ideal.
During True Parents' birthday celebration, we sang the Cheon Il Guk national anthem as if we constitute a nation. That is the kind of time we are living in now. Therefore, we shouldn't become stuck in a denominational or religious mind-set any longer. We are not holding our own denominational events now. None of our important events, especially our big events, are for the Unification Church denomination. We need to become leaders who accurately understand the position we are in at this time.
So what did Father do? More than a decade ago, Father told us to do home church, tongban gyeokpa, and hoondok church. Generally he hasn't instructed us to make big churches. We have to know this. Why is this? We have to dig deep into the world and shine our light from there. That's what tongban gyeokpa, the family church movement, the home church movement, and especially hoondok church, are all about.
Actually, as our religious activities, such as hoondok church, family church and tongban gyeokpa, encouraged our interaction with local communities, it is not a contradiction that this might, for some, include working in the field of politics. Since much has been prepared, we should not still be hanging onto the church out of habit.
What is Ahn Shi Il? Why are we holding pledge service on Ahn Shi Il instead of on Sunday? The age in which we hold pledge service on Sunday has passed. From that point of view, heavenly fortune is now asking for new things from us, so we have to avoid becoming stuck with a denominational mind-set. Therefore, if you present Father as the founder and representative of the Unification Church, a religious denomination, you will immediately receive persecution. People will say you are a heretic. Father is not leading a denominational movement. Everything he is doing is a part of a peace movement, an international movement.
Anyone coming into such an arena and saying that we are heretics would look crazy. Father does not even relate to people like that. We should understand this. Think of Father's difficulties in light of his life history. What has Father done that would justify his being shunned? Why has he been so ignorantly misunderstood and persecuted? It is because other believers, with the interests of their own denominations in mind, and with narrow views based on their doctrines, have made Father's course difficult, and tried to trap him. Through misinformation, they have made it so that we cannot say anything. Please understand that we must leap over that.
Yesterday's commemorative event was truly such a day of celebration, gratitude and joy, wasn't it? Especially now that Father is eighty-nine years old, each birthday celebration is precious. Do you think we will be able to celebrate True Parents' birthday for another hundred years? Another fifty years? So it was such an inspirational, good day.
Nevertheless, as I was leading the event, my heart would not open. I felt so sorry and at a loss for words. It shouldn't have just been a place of celebration just for us. Ours is not the standard Heaven originally wanted. Did you feel that way, too?
Why is that? There is less meaning for us to celebrate True Parents' birthday within the church. We should realize that it is not simply meant to be an event belonging to one denomination, and we should set our standard accordingly.
There are so many things we can be proud of when it comes to Father. The ideal that comes through fulfilling the blessing, the blessed family ideal, is a brand created by Father that we can be proud of eternally. Can anyone imitate the blessing?
Next is the ideal that results from the fulfillment of peace. Father has never hurt another person in his whole life and has constantly spoken about peace, even in the face of being cursed, treated unjustly and even beaten. Father has spoken only about peace and has never thought about taking revenge on others.
Having in our hearts the ideal of the exemplary family and the community ideal of peace, we can overcome the barriers of denominational differences and work to fulfill Cheon Il Guk in the world. You can do this. Cheon Il Guk is a world of peace, and no one has a greater vision for peace than True Parents do.
The basic membership units or cells of Cheon Il Guk are the blessed families, which should be wholesome, ideal families. Who could refute this? This should be what we feel called to achieve.
I have an earnest request to make of you. Please think about this. How many years have we been talking about Cheon Il Guk? How self-absorbed are we, without having accomplished it? Our thoughts are inflated like balloons. Because we talk about Cheon Il Guk, we all think we are citizens of Cheon Il Guk.
Even as we proclaim Cheon Il Guk, how many of us seriously reflect on an ongoing basis about the qualifications needed to become a Cheon Il Guk citizen? Even as we boast about Cheon Il Guk, we are unable to think about what we should be doing to become Cheon Il Guk citizens. We are talking about peace in order to promote True Parents' brand of peace, but are we going to become the true subjects and owners of a peaceful, ideal world? If people had to become perfect individuals in order to become members of the Family Federation, they would automatically be justified in taking central roles in the peace movement and in establishing Cheon Il Guk. But this is not the reality.
We need to go back to the original point of perfecting our character, which we have skipped. We received the blessing without perfecting our character. We received it on credit. We have become indebted to God and to Father. We have to pay off this debt by completing the task we omitted to fulfill, that of attaining perfection.
Therefore, even though we are members of the Family Federation who are part of the peace movement, we should not be lazy in our own lives of faith and in building a vertical relationship with God. We are not conscious of how important this is.
Please think about this. Don't think about the theories in the Divine Principle. Instead, think about your daily lives. How many times a day does your original sin and fallen nature squirm within you? When are you going to put an end to them? When will you liquidate them? Are we thinking about that seriously?
Many Christians have hoped for heaven in the far future and waited for the Lord. Because they have thought that heaven exists in the spirit world, which they can neither see nor experience, they think they will go to heaven if they have faith, effectively anesthetizing themselves.
But we understand the importance of the kingdom of heaven on earth. If heaven is to be fulfilled on earth, we need to go there while in our bodies. But how thoroughly have we checked the standard of our own bodies? How well have we been able to liquidate the workings of the original sin and fallen nature in our bodies? Concerning this truly essential and fundamental question, we need to become increasingly serious.
I will say this once more: God's ideal is unrelated to formal logic. We have to perfectly fulfill all the conditions needed to qualify us for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. We have to become people with a heavenly lifestyle.
We must totally cut off from Satan. How can Satan exist in heaven? How can you carry your fallen nature with you into heaven? How have you liquidated your fallen nature? What indemnity have you paid for the liquidation of your original sin? Father speaks about this a lot nowadays. He says, "Although you may not know it now, when you go to the spirit world, you'll find it's stricter than you think. There are no discounts." Father reads several Peace Messages every day before coming to Hoon Dok Hae, because he wants to repeatedly strengthen himself. That is what he does.
When I put together the points Father is always emphasizing, I always come to a conclusion that leaves me awestruck. I realize that loving people who have found peace and harmony within themselves can enter heaven and Cheon Il Guk, but people who are self-centered, interested in self-gain, disharmonious or engaged in conflict cannot.
Another thing Father emphasizes is that because Cheon Il Guk is a nation, with God and True Parents as Lord, the relationship is not one of parent to child but one of a king to his subjects. In the parent-child relationship, parents can forgive, hold back, or even let their children try again if something goes wrong. However, because the relationship between a king and his subjects is a matter of governance, requiring law and order, God and True Parents must rule based on heavenly law and order. From this point of view, please inscribe the need for self-examination in your hearts.
I don't think of this in a convoluted way. Instead, I recall a section in the Principle of Creation, which along with the other great principles it contains depictions of human beings as being prouder and more dignified than do to the doctrines of any other religion in the world. It is the section on the human portion of responsibility.
Adam and Eve had that portion of responsibility; therefore so do True Parents. Father said Mother has a portion of responsibility. He has also said the True Children have portions of responsibility. How about us? You and I, and everyone in the world without exception, have portions of responsibility. None of us has completed his or her portion of responsibility. Everyone is either at the starting point or in the process of fulfilling his or her responsibility.
I confess to you: going toward perfection, completing one's portion of responsibility, becoming one with True Parents, is so difficult and so tiring! It's an extremely difficult issue to deal with. I can feel this with my own body in my daily life.
That we could meet True Parents during our earthly life is a privilege and a grace beyond words. Therefore, Satan is very actively working to keep us from getting to perfection. People frequently say, "Well Father already brought Satan to submission..." That is Father's achievement. But Satan hasn't submitted to you yet, has he?
What does it mean to bring someone to submission? As long as you have conditions Satan can use to attack you, Satan can claim you as his at anytime.
No matter how close you are to God or to True Parents, if you have a condition Satan can use to hook onto you, he can laugh at you and say, "You are someone I could claim at any time. With the lifestyle you are leading, how can you call yourselves a blessed family? Anytime I grab hold of you, you have to follow me." Why did God have no choice but to give Adam and Eve, children he had created, to Satan? Even God had no choice when they set the wrong conditions.
True Parents found us, who were born as fallen people with original sin, and gave us the blessing. We skipped over the requirement that we perfect ourselves before the blessing, yet we have not understood the value of the blessing we received. We have been living our lives however we wanted to. What can God do if Satan accuses us and wants to drag us away? We need to consider this.
Satan is always tempting us and trying to bring us under his dominion. Satan tries to activate our fallen nature as a condition to tempt us.
Even though we say we should live in harmony based on the Principle, we fight with others. Even though we have learned through the Principle that we should give true love, we become greedy and think more about ourselves than about others. Putting ourselves first and fighting with others are signs that Satan has been stimulating our fallen nature. You permit fallen nature and original sin to remain within you. Although the original sin was conditionally removed through the blessing, you have to get Satan completely off you before no traces of original sin are left behind.
We can feel our fallen nature active within us, but we just cover it up and think, "Soon I will be a citizen of Cheon Il Guk. The new heaven and new earth have opened up, so I am part of a new age. I'm a citizen of heaven." I'm at a loss for words on how self-deceiving we are and the kind of thoughts we have. I believe we (especially our leaders) should be careful about this point. We should govern ourselves well and educate members about this truth.
Brothers and sisters, do you think you can use tricks in Cheon Il Guk? Do you think you can just line your own pockets in Cheon Il Guk? Nevertheless, with our fallen nature, we encounter the falsehoods and vices of this fallen world, adopt them and repeat all of them. We live haphazard, "good enough" lives, filling our pockets, lying when we choose to, and deceiving our original minds. We are accustomed to living this way. This is something we must liquidate by any means necessary.
As long as we are self-centered, we cannot be free from Satan's hooks. Sometimes you might think, "Well so-and-so does that much, so I can do this small amount. This small amount will not be a problem." Rationalizing in that way is one aspect of fallen nature. It's not right at all.
Don't concern yourself with what someone else is doing. He or she cannot live your life for you. We are each living our own life. Only we can establish good conditions, and no one other than us can liquidate our bad conditions.
Father particularly asks us to take ownership over everything; in fact things go very well when we take ownership of what we are doing. What is the most important thing to have ownership of? In the end, we should have ownership over Cheon Il Guk and become owners even of heaven, shouldn't we?
If you compare such a standard with your own, you might discover problems, especially in your relationship with your spouse or with your children. There may be difficulties in the relationships among the three generations of your family. You have to deal with these problems by yourself. No one else can solve them for you.
It is really good news that Cheon Il Guk is approaching, and we are now in the era after the coming of heaven. We should be grateful for this. However, if we think about it deeply, it means we now have much to do.
Heaven has many things to remove from us. You may realize this yourself. You might think that if you live your life a certain way you are living for God's will. You might wonder why certain things happen to you. You might wonder why your leaders seem unaware of what you are doing. Perhaps you often have this feeling.
Of course the leaders you relate to, including me, probably make lots of mistakes. But if you think about this from another perspective, the living God may be removing your fallen nature and vestiges of original sin through such relationships.
If your thoughts are self-centered, you will often be unable to interpret things that happen to you and the difficulties you go through, no matter how hard you try. But if your perspective takes the heart of the living God into account, you will realize there must be something He is trying to solve through your experiences.
What I am grateful for is that I have experienced the work of the true, living God. It brings me so much consolation and strength to know the living God exists. This leads me to believe it is good that we each have many difficulties and ups and downs in our hearts that we cannot express to others. Please realize that you can receive grace, not through talking about your difficulties, but through burying them in a deep place in your heart and thinking about them once in a while, especially when you are going through hard times.
What is clear is that no matter what someone's position is, or how elevated that person's status is, he or she still has a portion of responsibility. It is also true that you cannot follow the straight and narrow unless you continually set conditions that keep you free from Satan's accusation and allow you to keep to the Godly, public path in every situation. From our knowledge of Divine Principle and through observing True Parents' lives, we should be confident that this is true for all of us.
If this were not true, why would True Father go through so much suffering at the age of eighty-nine? Why would True Parents be on the front line, taking responsibility for everything and going through difficulties? When taking this into account, we can see that the difficulties you and I go through are not really difficult. Think about Father and take control of your difficulties. Keep in your heart the precious experiences that only you have gone through.
The conclusion we can draw is that the problem is not outside. It's inside. The outside world is neither scary nor threatening. You have already heard today how much the world changes every year. The outside world is already collapsing. The problem is not outside. God is liquidating evil according to the heavenly way and heavenly fortune. The problems are in our own Unification Church, in our organizations, in our own families and in us. We must solve these problems.
Therefore, more than at any time in the past, you and I must be grateful for the merit of the age God is giving to us in the, conjoined jubilee years, these seventh and eighth years of Cheon Il Guk. Each moment of each day, we should have the consciousness to check and search ourselves. We should become owners of the Universal Peace Federation and take internal ownership over our movement.
Next, even if we experience difficulties, tests and situations we cannot understand, we should be confident of the existence of the living God -- the living, working God, the God who is the essence of love -- and accept our trials as part of a course we all have to pass through in order to become victors.
You and I have the privilege to become eternal citizens of Cheon Il Guk in this time when its gates are open for the first time in history. Therefore, please do your best this year, centering on these principles, so that your victory can be offered in loyalty and filial piety to True Parents and your individual victory can be included in the victory of the whole.
Divine Principle talks about individual perfection and the perfection of the whole, doesn't it? Don't you think that if we search within ourselves while we are working to fulfill God's will, the result will also be a personal victory for each of us?
May you be victorious.