The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
Good morning, brothers and sisters. Thank you for coming all the way to Las Vegas to share this Sunday morning together with Lovin’ Life Ministries. We’re truly delighted to be here and to meet all of you from the West Coast.
We’ve had a very exciting month of October thus far. As you know, on October 14, at Sun Moon University in Korea, my father and mother, the True Parents, presided over the blessing of over 40,000 couples. Many of them were going to the blessing for the first time, but many of us were there renewing our vows, really remembering what the blessing means to all of us as well as the importance of committing to God and to our community before ourselves.
It was such a wonderful blessing ceremony, but for me it was truly a profound one because my eldest son and his new bride were also participating in the blessing. My parents had been looking for a bride for my eldest son, Preston, for quite some time. My parents had been after me with many pictures of potential spouses for Preston, but they came across this lovely young lady named Krista Un Jung at one of the Hoon Dok Haes we had at East Garden. Mother wanted to meet this young lady and asked her up to the second floor. Shortly thereafter Father joined, and both of them said, “Bring her to Korea.”
I had an inkling of what was to happen, but they didn’t tell me anything. They didn’t give me the final word. All they said was, “Bring her to Korea.” I knew that they were considering other candidates as well. I tried to prepare my eldest son as best I could, saying, “This is probably one of the most important times in your life, probably the most important meeting that you’re going to have with your grandparents. So keep an open mind, have a grateful heart, and just be ready for anything. And hopefully your experience will be far better than mine.” So off we went to Korea. When we arrived, then Father and Mother let me know their decision, that it was to be Krista Un Jung. So we had to quickly prepare for the blessing, and they participated together with 40,000 couples.
Among the couples that were getting blessed together with them was the second daughter of the former president of Korea, President Park, who was assassinated. She came to be blessed with a gentleman that she wanted to share eternity with.
The world is coming to understand how incredible it is to be living in a time when we have our True Parents here and that for the first time in history we can truly inherit the true love of God, inherit meaning that we have a chance to substantiate the true lineage of God. It’s an invitation for humanity to literally graft onto the original olive branch and thus not just in spirit become one family but physically also become one family.
This is something that has always inspired me when I heard the Divine Principle, when I thought about the concept of the blessing. To realize that the world is recognizing the concept of the blessing and how beautiful it is to truly dedicate yourself to God and to humanity first, before yourselves, truly practicing living for the sake of others, is wonderful to behold. I just want to do my part as senior pastor of Lovin’ Life Ministries to make sure that the American movement does not get left behind because there will be so much interest in new people wanting to be a part of this movement and wanting to walk down the aisle and be blessed by our True Parents.
Brothers and sisters, our Father has spoken time and time again about how he will be leaving us in the year 2013. Even when we were there for the blessing and had a celebratory luncheon, my father started out reading the text, but of course digressed a bit and gave his insights on the different points that he wanted to make in his speech. But at one moment he got quite teary-eyed and wanted someone to bring the book that he likes to read at Hoon Dok Hae which is favorite speech. My father was talking about how everything that he wants to teach is in this book. “This is the book that encapsulates what I have done with my life.”
He was talking about how it wasn’t intentional when he started writing this speech for it to be 33 pages long. He told the audience, “Look at the book: It’s 33 pages. It represents 33 years of my crucifixion, of my road of suffering.” Then he said, “Look at the last page. It’s barely three sentences long.” He was talking about how there’s a constant repetition of the number 3, explaining that he has only three years and three months to go.
I think my father was realizing, “If only I had a little more time.” He’s thinking about everything that he would like to do, he is thinking about why he was given life to begin with and the kind of life that he has led thus far, in trying to substantiate an ideal family, sharing God’s grace with all of humanity through this wonderful thing called the blessing.
Watching my father get quite teary-eyed thinking about the time when he will have to leave us for the next life, I could sense near-desperation in his heart to share the breaking news with the rest of the world that our True Parents are here and that an opportunity exists for all of humanity to really and literally become one family. I could not stay until the end of my father’s speech, and I heard that he continued until 5:00 in the evening; I had to catch a flight back to New York because I had President Obama coming to the Manhattan Center.
When I think about my father and my mother, especially what incredible human beings they are, I cannot help but be so grateful in my heart that I have a living example of a man and a woman whom I can hope to live up to. Sometimes they say it’s the people closest to a great man and a great woman who do not realize their value. It’s the place right underneath the lamp that many times is the darkest. I feel that as the world is slowly waking up to this beauty of what True Parents are all about, we have to be careful as a movement, as people who have been close to our True Parents, standing right next to them, underneath their lamp. We must not be the ones who live in the shadow, not realizing what an incredible gift they are.
Speaking for myself, when I was growing up I went through a period of adolescence. Having a wonderful set of parents like True Parents and having gone through many workshops and learning about the Divine Principle, I knew in my mind that they were great people, conceptually, because I was taught they were a great man and woman. But it took me a long time to really, truly feel it in my heart. I started really feeling it in my heart when I became a parent myself and started realizing that when I gaze upon my child and feel this incredible love coming over me, that’s the kind of love that God has for me. That’s the kind of love that God has for us. I realize that’s the kind of love my parents have for me.
So even though they were gone many times, never there for their children, I came to know that truly they were living lives of sacrifice, giving of themselves to the world before they could truly have a chance to love us. And all the while they were hoping that we would grow up and come to realize why they had to do what they had to do.
I think all 13 of us in the family have gone down our own road of self-discovery and of coming to realize how great and incredible our True Parents are. I feel that as a member of the Second Generation, it’s my job to remind the young people in the audience of how incredible the First Generation, our parents, and their sacrifice have been.
As crazy as we thought they were at times, it is their sacrifice and their tenacity that allowed us to have this incredible life, that allowed us to really enjoy being part of the true lineage of God. Therefore, what we need to do as members of the Second and Third Generation, and now we’re on to the Fourth, is to maintain a heart of gratitude, a heart of knowing how incredibly lucky we are, if we look at ourselves from a providential point of view.
Jesus Christ came 2,000 years ago, and of course we know the tragic circumstances of his crucifixion, especially that he was not able to fulfill his mission in finding his bride and creating an ideal family. Had Jesus been able to do so, he would have started blessing people 2,000 years ago. But we know that that did not take place, and we had to wait 2,000 years until our True Father could stand in a victorious position as the perfected Adam, preparing the way to invite and embrace a perfected Eve, which is our True Mother, and together stand for the first time as True Parents of humankind.
It is through their accomplishment in truly becoming a victorious man and woman, overcoming every kind of individual suffering and obstacle, to really understand that their life on earth is something more than for themselves and that God is asking them to be champions of true love. My father knew when he was called by Jesus Christ while praying on his knees on Easter Sunday morning when he was 16 years old that his mission was not going to be an easy one. But from the moment he said yes, he never wavered. He is at the ripe old age of 90 and still going strong.
Ever since that moment when my mother said, “I do,” to my father when she was 17 years old, she has never wavered. Whenever I spend time with my mother, there is never a moment when we have a conversation that we are without a Kleenex box. She likes to share a lot of things with me, things that cannot be spoken, things that she’s had to endure as a woman and as somebody who is here to really, truly manifest what the Holy Spirit is all about.
Because Jesus was not able to take a bride, Christianity never had an example of a true mother, a true sister, or a true woman. If you look at the history of Christianity, you can see it as patriarchal. It has not been kind to women because we never had the female physical form; we had only the Holy Spirit. We had our Heavenly Parent, God, we had Jesus Christ, and we had the Holy Spirit. But in True Parents we have God, we have our True Father, we have our True Mother, and we have the True Children. For the first time we have a true family.
So as great as Christianity is, one of its inherent weaknesses is the fact that it can’t address the issues of what is the proper role of women, how do we educate great children, or how does a family become the textbook for true love. In the person of Jesus Christ, many people experienced the true love of Jesus Christ and the true love of our Heavenly Parent; they experienced new life through the new waters flowing in their veins, through the words of Jesus Christ cleansing their spirit. But they could not have true lineage because there was no family to work with.
Before our True Parents, we never had a model in history giving answers about the questions surrounding what is the proper role of women in the context of a subject and object relationship, in the context of the family, the extended family, society, or even the world at large. And how do we go about raising decent children?
But with the victory of our True Mother, overcoming all the difficulties and restoring all the unspoken suffering that she’s had to endure as my father’s wife and his partner, my father was finally able to proclaim my mother as a victorious Eve. Thus, she became a leader of our movement for the first time. Instead of my father giving speeches, my mother began to speak. She founded the Women’s Federation for World Peace in the early 1990s; just this weekend we celebrated the seventeenth International Leadership Conference of the Women’s Federation for World Peace here in Las Vegas.
With the dawn of the Pacific Rim era, my father is encouraging all women to take leadership roles in their families, societies, and the world, to help usher in a new era of peace. My father is asking women to exercise the magic of the feminine touch and of compassion, embracing what we know is true love but many times we fail to feel.
My father is encouraging us to get up and get to work in spreading the breaking news of this incredible time when women no longer need to be silent, faceless, and formless. We don’t have to just exist in spirit but are made flesh for the first time. We are given a voice for the first time, and a reason to live. This reason to live is to exercise love -- within our families and within our societies -- and to do something about it.
When Women’s Federation asked me to come as a keynote speaker, I felt that it was part of my job as the representative of the American movement here in the United States to raise the awareness of atrocities that are happening even as we speak. The issue in particular that I highlighted at the Women’s Federation for World Peace is deprogramming. I would like to share that with you again this morning because it is very important.
As Americans who enjoy the freedoms and liberties that our Constitution guarantees, we need to stay vigilant. We know that this country was founded in the spirit of religious freedom. Our Founding Fathers came over on the Mayflower because they wanted to exercise the freedom to worship in the manner they saw fit.
They found out about this new country and wanted to build a shining city on a hill. They braved the seas, and when they landed here in mid-November, they braved the winter in the hope that they would build a city of dedicated Christians, a place where God could dwell, a place where God could feel comforted, a place where people could celebrate God in their daily lives.
Brothers and sisters, there is a situation going on in Japan, one of the superpowers of the world. From 1966 until the present day, there have been over 4,000 deprogrammings. Our members have petitioned the Japanese government, seeking injunctions, seeking a safe haven from the attacks that our movement has been going through. These brothers and sisters have been very quiet for many years. They’ve been silent; they’ve been afraid to speak. A majority of these deprogramming cases involve our sisters.
When I learned about these cases and read them out loud to myself, as a woman, as a sister, and as a mother I could not help but be incensed and feel as if my blood was going to boil over. These are the kind of stories I read about concerning the Inquisition. These are stories that maybe we think happened 400 or 500 years ago in Japan, but actually these stories are taking place in Japan as we speak. These are stories of the voiceless sisters and brothers who have suffered quietly, who have been victimized quietly, who have cried quietly.
When I read these cases of the human rights violations that are taking place in Japan, I feel as a proud American, experiencing my right to make my own choice as to what faith I would like to belong to and how I would like to honor my Lord up in heaven, I feel that I cannot stand still and let something like this happen in Japan.
A couple of months ago, we invited a brother named Mr. Goto to the Lovin’ Life Ministries. I asked him to give a testimony to different districts in the New York area. He spoke about the trials and tribulations he had to endure for 12 years and five months. His is a heartbreaking story about a very promising architecture student who wanted to serve the world by following what his understanding was of Heavenly Father, wanting to experience and build an ideal family.
He was very much looking forward to the blessing, very much looking forward to becoming a member of our community. He was an upstanding citizen. But his family was approached by a number of deprogramming organizations that told his family, “Your son is a brainwashed zombie. He is being abused by the Unification Church. You need to get him out, and we’re going to help you. So just fork over $50,000, we will break his faith for you, and you will have your son back.”
These poor family members! I see them as victims, too, victims of a huge international organization of deprogrammers who are taking advantage of these helpless parents who are not really understanding what to do with their child, maybe not realizing that their child is over 21 and has the right to choose whatever faith he or she wishes to follow.
Because the deprogrammers have labeled us as Moonies, as brainwashed zombies, we somehow become less than human. We become people who cannot think for ourselves, who cannot make decisions for ourselves. So we have to be abducted and held captive against our will and made to feel like we must abandon our faith to be normal human beings again.
This was the situation for Mr. Goto, as it was for thousands of brothers and sisters in Japan, except his case is an extreme version in that the prolonged captivity took more than 12 years. But his spirit was one of never, ever giving up hope that as a Japanese citizen, living under the constitution implemented by Gen. Douglas MacArthur after World War II that upholds the freedom of religion, one day he would have the right to worship in the manner that he saw fit.
After 12 years and five months, his captors, and his mother in particular, realized that there was just no way this man’s faith was going to be broken. In fact, he was like a saint, symbolizing unbreakable faith and the beauty of the human spirit, no matter how much physical abuse they put him through. He used to weigh 160 pounds, but by the time they finally threw him out onto the street with only the clothes on his back and a pair of shoes, he had lost half his body weight.
When I saw pictures of Mr. Goto, he looked like a Holocaust victim. For me he was an image of my father walking out of Hungnam concentration camp in North Korea. The wounds that he bore on his hands were like stigmata. To me, he was like Jesus Christ, like my father, somebody who was carrying unspeakable suffering but who had tapped into the beauty of his own relationship with our Heavenly Parent. He was somebody who was incredibly beautiful to me, somebody who represents the beauty of the human spirit.
When he came, I asked different ministers at ACLC to please share his story with their congregations, with anyone who would listen. I approached the new international president of CARP and asked him, “Please, tell his story on college campuses. Please let Americans know that this modern-day tragedy is taking place in Japan as we speak.”
Many times we’ve been labeled as something horrific, but actually we’ve been victims who have suffered in silence and many times didn’t know what to do. We were not well enough versed in the law to put up a good fight, to exercise our due process, and to make arguments against our captors, against our detractors, and against our persecutors, to stand firm and proud in who we are as the Unification Church. Many times we did not know how to do this.
For a long time in Japan they did not know how to fight this. But together with my younger brothers who are now in charge of Korea and Japan, we said, “This cannot be brushed aside any longer. It needs to be brought up to the front. The sisters who were raped in order to break their faith need to have a voice, need to find justice in their lives, need to realize that their suffering will not be untold.”
A lot of these deprogrammers knew that in our movement sexual purity is a very important thing. So raping these women was a very simple way for them to make these sisters feel guilty and dirty. They knew that a lot of these Japanese sisters, coming from an Eastern culture, would not readily come forward and tell their story of guilt and embarrassment. So not only were our sisters raped, but some of them could not handle the magnitude of their own suffering and decided to take their own lives. There is one instance that a father hired deprogrammers for over $100,000, and they broke his daughter’s faith by raping her. The father never knew that she was raped, but later he came to realize the reason why she killed herself was because she was raped. Later the father himself could not live with what he had done, what he had helped the deprogrammers do, so he also took his own life.
There is another case of a sister who was badly beaten and abused. She tried many times unsuccessfully to escape and didn’t know what to do. So she went into the kitchen, doused herself with oil, and set herself on fire. Her family had to watch in horror as she burned herself to death. These are the stories that have been hidden in silence for many years.
But we’ve come to realize the magnitude of our Japanese community’s suffering, the horrific abuse, the horrific violation of human rights. And we’re talking about a bare minimum here. We’re talking about being given sustenance, being treated somewhat with dignity; all of these have been taken away because these people are seen as subhuman.
This is something that cannot go unnoticed. The story must be told. Instead of our worldwide movement basically always buckling under and huddling in the face of so much persecution, the tide is changing. The world is beginning to realize that there is something unique, wonderful, and beautiful about our movement. The world needs to know how much we’ve had to suffer. Mr. Goto is one example. These numerous sisters whom I cannot name are others. Even as we speak, in Tokyo there are a couple of hundred who are still unaccounted for and are believed to be held captive against their will and being deprogrammed.
I am encouraging everyone to take up this banner and speak as proud Americans who have the greatest gift of living in a country where we can exercise our freedom to worship. Instead of just enjoying it for ourselves, how wonderful would it be if we as Americans could start exerting pressure on the White House, on Capitol Hill, at the UN so that the Japanese ambassador will be held accountable for the things that are taking place in Japan.
We no longer have to sit in silence. We no longer have to just sit and take the abuse. We can make a difference, and we are making a difference. It is high time that the women, as mothers and sisters, take up this issue and make it an American issue so that we can truly champion the rights of these brothers and sisters who are suffering in Japan.
I’ve been talking to different districts, ministers, and student organizations, saying, “This is not a Japan problem that needs to be addressed only by Japan. This is a worldwide problem. If Japan has a problem and we are supposed to be one family under God, then it becomes our problem. If our brothers and sisters are suffering, it becomes our suffering. If they are being violated, then we are being violated.”
Here we are calling ourselves “one family under God,” but if we don’t treat each other as brothers and sisters, well, then, what good are we? Not only do we have to just know that we are one family, but we have to start practicing it; we have to start living it. That means taking care of each other. That means standing up for each other. That means being the voice when there is no voice being heard.
When I heard the story of Mr. Goto, I had a conversation with my children and said, “Look, did you realize how insignificant your daily problems become when you learn how much somebody like Mr. Goto suffered for twelve years and five months? Our little bickerings in the family, our little unpleasantries maybe at church, or our little disagreements become so trivial when we realize that there is a much greater issue here that needs to be addressed.”
As an American, as somebody who lives in this providential country, I have often thought that America is so abundantly blessed by God. I have come to realize that America has been blessed because it wields a great ability to influence the world. Let’s influence the world to raise a generation of young people that can own its own generation of peace, a generation that acknowledges God as the Heavenly Parent, P; that recognizes we are all eternal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Parent, E; and that we need to live a life of altruism, A -- living a life for the sake of others, not because we are seeking some reward hereafter, or eschewing punishment hereafter, but just because we simply want to be good people. By living for the sake of others we are naturally practicing how to be compassionate -- C -- how to be kind.
The Dalai Lama visited the Manhattan Center recently and he summed up his religion in one sentence: “My religion is kindness.” Kindness is compassion. It’s the ability to feel empathy for somebody else. It’s the ability to feel what others are feeling because you truly love them and truly understand them, and truly want to embrace them. This is the kind of love that is necessary in order to have a world of peace. It’s got to be the kind of love that is not just known intellectually but the kind of love that people must feel. It’s the kind of love that makes you feel embraced, makes you feel empowered, and makes you feel supported. This is not the kind of love that maybe we think of as eternal, unchanging, and absolute. I’ve always felt the word absolute sounded a bit cold. I’ve always turned to my mother and her embrace and her loving, encouraging words to help me feel what kindness is all about, what compassion is all about. That’s what we need in this new millennium.
If we truly live our lives in the knowledge of who we are and of our God, our Heavenly Parent, then we are in the process of becoming not just internally excellent people -- E -- but also externally excellent people in that we know that each and every one of us were born here with a divinity within. We’re all like light-bulbs. God made each of us into a beautiful light-bulb, and all he is waiting for us to do is plug ourselves into this heavenly circuitry. Each and every one of us has to do that. When we do that, then we realize that we were all born with incredible passion, talent, and ability to influence the world.
It might be through academics, through the medical profession, through the visual arts, through the performing arts, but all of us were born to manifest this divinity, so that as we grow internally as great men and women of God, the external worth of who we are and who we were meant to showcase brilliantly to the world becomes substantiated. As great doctors, as great lawyers, as great thinkers, as great ministers, as great performers, not only are we wrapped up in what we want to do but we are truly inspired by the concept that we belong to one God and to one family, and that we understand that we need to work together, to love together, to celebrate together so that we can finally see this world of peace that our True Parents are waiting for.
As a mother who has five children of her own, one of the things I think about all the time is, What can I leave behind? I have only a set amount of time in my lifetime, and I don’t know when I will go. But when I go, I want to be ready, and I want my children to be ready. I’ve often asked myself, What do I want to leave behind? The thing that comes to me time and time again is that I would like for my children to realize that they are truly the vessels of the eternal, that they have it within them to change the world, just like every one of you sitting here has that magic wand within your hands.
As insignificant as our lives may seem at times, we have to realize that God is forever with us. He is always there with us, always hoping that we can realize that we are not here just to live a life of suffering. We are not here just to live a life of sacrifice. We are here to make an imprint on the world and on humanity.
From time to time I read the book of Hosea, and in Chapter 6, verse 6, God says through the prophet Hosea, “What I desire the most is steadfast love,” steadfast meaning firm, fixed, and constant. What he desires most is steadfast love and not sacrifice. A lot of the Israelites back then thought that the road of sacrifice and suffering was the end goal. Hosea was reminding the Israelites that our sacrifice and suffering are not an end goal. Our end goal is to really experience the constant, firm, never-changing, fixed love called true love.
It is really a gift from God for us to go beyond having some knowledge of what he is all about. Through the Divine Principle, we understand God as our Heavenly Parent, and to really have a relationship with God is our goal. The book of Hosea is quite profound in that it contains the clearest statement of the transcendence of God, that God is not a god among many. He is above all things, and yet he desires and longs to relate to each and every one of us.
The prophet Hosea used the family metaphor against the background of the Syro-Canaanite Baalism that was prevalent at that time. He was preaching in the 8th century B.C. as a contemporary of the prophet Amos. But he was different in that he stressed the unfailing love of God in a very politically chaotic time. Time and time again he told his brother and sister believers that the most important thing we need to think about is our relationship with God. He taught them that God relates to us in the form of justice, in the form of righteousness, in the form of steadfast love, and in the form of mercy, as it says in Hosea 2:16 - 20.
What he means by that is he wanted to emphasize very clearly to the Israelites that God, or our Heavenly Parent, is not the god of Baalism. Baalism was a religion believing in the god of fertility. The people believed that as long as you followed a series of rites, you were guaranteed productivity and security in your life. But Hosea was telling people not to be confused at the deification of the life process embodied in Baalism, which basically portrayed fertility as a god, and that this was not what God is all about.
In fact, he was saying, you have to understand the distinction between the power and majesty of creation -- or what can be seen as the fertility process, or the deification of the life process -- as something totally different from understanding God as the creator of creation.
Many times throughout his exhortations and statements, Hosea was reminding his listeners not to get caught up in the blessings that God gave them but to always remember that the blessing itself comes from God above. I feel this is a very important message, particularly for the Western culture and America, because when you think about the blessings that America has enjoyed, they are astronomical. The abundance here is unbelievable to a lot of starving people all around the world.
Just as the prophet Hosea was trying to warn the Israelites to not get caught up in the external, materialistic aspects of life, it’s a great lesson to bear in mind because the West is so success driven, so materialistically driven, that it can almost be seen as another form of Baalism Hosea told the Israelites to be careful, not to think that the blessing that they were receiving was just as good as the divine that the blessing comes from.
The message for Americans here is to not to be confused and not to become engrossed and intoxicated in the materialistic nature of our country, success, and greed, but to realize that whatever we’ve been given should not be a god in and of itself. Whatever is given must always be brought back to our Heavenly Parent, our God up in heaven.
When it says in Hosea, “I desire steadfast love,” I’m hearing this as desiring a world of true peace, a world of true love. We are standing at an incredible time in history when for the first time we have our True Parents. Many of us were given the incredible gift of the blessing. I often like to tell the Second Generation, getting a blessing from True Parents is like winning the lottery. Can you imagine how many hundreds and thousands of people have been waiting for the blessing? Or how many thousands of people will have missed the blessing directly from our True Parents?
So if we see the world as our family and we understand that the children of the world are just like our children, shouldn’t we, understanding the parental heart of God, want to share what our children have with the rest of the world? Just as our children have been graced by God to receive the blessing from our True Parents, if Father says that he has only three years and three months to go, don’t you think that we should work a little harder to get the breaking news out, and to be proud of who we are?
Our True Parents are asking the Unification movement to reclaim its name and reclaim its original symbol. Our original symbol is truly beautiful. It was prophesied by the great prophet Nostradamus in the 16th century. In the prophecies he gave hints as to how we’re going to be able to tell who this Second Coming will be. He gave us eight clues. When you look at Father’s life, my father is the only person who fits all of those eight clues.
I have in my library a book by John Hogue called Nostradamus: The New Millennium that I’ve had for 20 years. When I talked about the prophecies of Nostradamus in one of my sermons, a brother sent me a newly edited version of this book, in which the author actually goes on to say, “When you re-look at the prophecies of Nostradamus, no one comes closer than Reverend Moon.” All the others that he picked as potential Eastern mystical figures have passed away, and they just do not fit.
So the only one left standing is Father. Number one, he is from the East. And Nostradamus says he will be looked upon as an outlaw, meaning that he will be in and out of prison many times. My father has been in and out of prison six times. And this man will have something to do with the planet Mars. In the understanding of the planets Mars symbolizes passions, and in the quatrains of Nostradamus, he talks about how this mystical Eastern man, who will usher in 1,000 years of peace, will come on the passions of the people, who will safeguard him from harm. These passions that Father ignited and inspired are our passions. All of you were inspired and ignited by the passion of our True Parents.
He goes on to say that this man will have something to do with the rod of Hermes. John Hogue, seeing it from a religious and philosophical context, understands the rod of Hermes as being the rod of enlightenment. But another understanding of the rod of Hermes, if you know mythology, is that Hermes is the god of finance and commerce. This is something Mr. Hogue did not see, but I see it very clearly. My father is seen as a businessman by many people, not a religious figure. He can be seen as the rod of Hermes.
Then he goes on to say that the symbol of this new movement will be like a red rose. The word rose in French means pink. I find it highly intriguing that my father’s favorite color is pink. He openly says it to anyone who will lend an ear to listen. At the same time, the beautiful Unification Church symbol is red, just as Nostradamus predicted.
He goes on to talk about how this man will travel far and wide, coming like a lightning rod. Can you imagine a prophet in the mid-16th century trying to describe the visual image he was seeing? He probably saw something like an airplane but didn’t know how to put it in words. But he said, “This man will travel the skies far and wide, like lightning.” He was prophesying that the Second Coming, the Prince of Peace, will be traveling the world in a plane and inspiring the people about this breaking news, about who our Heavenly Parent is, and about the meaning and significance of our True Parents.
Nostradamus further talks about how there will be something about a rare bird having to do with this man. I always found it significant how the most important thing, the most intelligent thing, my father did was marry my mother. Han Hak Ja, her name, means heavenly crane. She is that rare, exquisite bird that Nostradamus was prophesying. Not only that, in all our church centers, don’t we have two cranes on either side of our church symbol, like parentheses?
Nostradamus, several hundred years ago, was giving us all these clues as to who this person is going to be. The author in the revised version even goes on to say that this man is Reverend Moon. But he said that the only thing that doesn’t make sense is the fact that he’s going mainstream. I’m thinking, Mr. Hogue, you’ve done so well up until now. Why can’t you fulfill your mission as Elijah by declaring True Parents for who they are? Of course, if he is going to be the Prince of Peace he’s got to go mainstream sometime!
Let’s not wait for the world to realize who our True Parents are before we do. We have our True Parents within our embrace already. How much more wonderful would it be if we could stand proud as their sons and daughters, proud as their children, and declare to the whole world: “You’ve got to see the Unification Church (as in “you see”)! We see the truth, we see who the True Parents are, and we’re going to share this breaking news with you.”
Brothers and sisters, this is an incredible time, a time that will not come again. So let us stay vigilant, let us be grateful, let us really honor God as our Heavenly Parent. Let us honor our True Parents as our own, and truly in the spirit of love let’s share our True Parents, not just keep them for ourselves.
I find it highly significant that our True Parents -- Of course in my heart I want to have our Father here forever. I’m hoping that he will be with us for 20 more years. But in this last couple of years, in what he perceives to be the last remaining years of his life, it’s so significant that he wants to come and sit smack in the middle of what is being seen as Sin City, Las Vegas. He wants to sit here, look at everything that’s going on, and invite the world to come take part in changing Sin City to that shining city on a hill that our Founding Fathers so desired when they came to this country. It is with their suffering and it is with conviction that the Constitution was created, and right now we are embracing and experiencing the freedom to worship. How wonderful would it be if we could share that with our Japanese brothers and sisters?
I feel that our lives really need to be like a living prayer. Prayer is not something you do in the morning and over meals and right before bed. Everything that we do in our day should be a prayer. Everything that we do should be in honor of God. Just as the prophet Hosea encouraged the Israelites to seek not just an understanding, not just a conceptual knowledge of God, but a relationship with God, we need to have a relationship with God as if he and she are our parents.
For those of us who are parents, do you want to have a relationship with your children in which your children are saying in the morning, “Praise be Mom and Dad”? “Praise be Mom and Dad,” right before meals? “Praise be Mom and Dad,” before they go to sleep because they have a bed to sleep in? Or do you want your children to have a conversation with you? Don’t you want your children to make you a part of their lives? Don’t you think God wants the same thing? I think so.
So if we can turn our life into a living prayer, it’s a way that invites God to enjoy and to experience our lives together with us. In that way we honor them and we give them everything that we can in terms of our love and gratitude because they have given us so much. They have given us life, and they have given us this chance to graft onto this heavenly olive branch. They have given us an opportunity to inherit the true love of God, inherit meaning taking part in the true lineage that belongs to God, for the first time in history.
Brothers and sisters, we have to realize how incredibly lucky we all are and how significant each and every one of you are. And you are the future Saint Pauls. You are the future Mother Theresas. Your descendants will be telling stories about you, about your interaction with our True Parents. So please remember who you are, and please grace the world with what you can be. But every day, please go in peace and know that we can change the world if we decide to change ourselves today.
So God bless. Have a wonderful Sunday. Thank you very much.