Unification News for

February 1998


Have A Heart Of Gratitude

Rev. J. H. Pak

Above all else in this year of 1998 we should have the attitude of deeply appreciating the True God; to love Him, to be proud of Him and to accomplish our mission of blessing 360 million couples is our privilege and honor and for this we can have a heart of gratitude.

For this reason, we should appreciate the Trinity of the True God and the True Parents, because they have provided for us this great opportunity to play a part in history. They have allowed us to participate in this great period of time; they have afforded us the chance to offer dedicated hearts and sacrificial service and they have truly given us the chance to taste victory. We have to feel deep gratitude to them for this.

At the close of 1997, 70 million couples had been blessed worldwide! That means 140 million people took a stand for marriage and family, against a selfish lifestyle. This turning point is a great miracle and a great victory.

What is the meaning of "gratitude"? It means "appreciation"--to be so sincerely appreciative toward someone for what they have given to you, done for you or been for you that you just long to give something in return and cannot rest until you do. That is gratitude.

If we receive love, protection and benefits, whether it be from God and True Parents, our family, our community, nation or world, we naturally reciprocate with our appreciation; the attitude of appreciation is very important. This is our responsibility. And we must have a joyful attitude. True Christians, True Unificationists, true believers of all faiths should always have a joyful attitude. We receive so much True Love so we must learn and practice how to express a heart of gratitude.

Two thousand years ago Christians underwent such fearful persecution from the Roman Empire but they always maintained their joyful attitude. Today, since we are given so much benefits of the age, it should be our natural response to serve and attend with joy; to have an appreciative attitude that we are so privileged to be living in this day when Heaven and Earth are coming together and that we can play a part in the history of it.

Jesus Christ always expressed appreciation to God. He always demonstrated his deep gratitude to God. Whenever God answered his prayers, Jesus was so appreciative. At the Last Supper, before he gave wine and bread to his disciples, he gave appreciation to God. So we can say that Jesus Christ was a man of true love and a man of appreciation.

True Father has always taught us to appreciate God, and he himself has consistently, without fail, demonstrated this appreciation to the Heavenly Father. Any victory which has ever been achieved, True Father has given the credit to God, always honoring the Father.

And True Father has always appreciated us. He has always rewarded victory and success, and he has always given compassion and encouragement when we have failed.

God always takes care of us. We need to grow up. Children, for example, stop crying and fretting when parents satisfy their desires; this is how they show appreciation to their parents. Very simple. But as adults, we should not need to receive in order to express appreciation. Rather, we should make offerings of sacrifice for our parents, comforting their hearts and bringing them hope. This is a mature way of showing appreciation. And this is how we practice True Love toward God and toward all others.

In the Exposition of the Divine Principle, it says that "God and the good angels and good spirits will bring us a sense of peace and the sense of righteousness " (p. 71). When we feel these things, we naturally feel a joyful response to God. On the other hand, if evil spirits are influencing us, we will not feel any appreciation and joy toward God; rather we are more likely to feel anxiety, fear and selfishness.

This year, we can expect our restored ancestors to come down to Earth and work with us. As this happens, it is best for us to have have right attitudes and right hearts--hearts of appreciation, hearts of peace, harmony and happiness. St. Paul said in the New Testament "the fruit of the spirit is love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..." (Gal. 5:22); all of which create a good attitude. These are attributes which are evidenced in our lifestyle, our character and personality.

I try to show appreciation to my wife. Sometimes I bow to my wife in order to express all my gratitude to her. Between husband and wife, they must each think: "without him, without her, I am only half a microcosm; with him, with her, I am a complete microcosm. My perfection comes from my spouse." That must be our thinking. Through our eternal mate, we experience True Love. "Without my spouse, I am completely handicapped." God, indeed, gives us the chance to practice True Love through our partner. We can grow up through our spouse to reach perfection.

True Father uses the words Love and True Love in a different way. From Greek, we get the word eros. From God we get true eros, not satanic eros. To experience True Love we serve, sacrifice and dedicate ourselves without selfish motives. If we simply experience love without true love, it might be immoral and selfish. But as we learn by giving without thinking or giving and forgetting--agape love--between all human beings, we move to the God-centered level of physical love--eros -- to be enjoyed between husbands and wives.

When we recite the Family Pledge, all seven verses are centered on "our family" and "true love." Through this True Love, we reach our perfection. In our homes, we express physical love in many ways; but this in itself is not enough to reach perfection. It must be combined with unselfish True Love within the community and beyond.

In Pledge #2 "Our family pledges to represent and become central to Heaven and Earth by attending True God and True Parents; we will perfect the dutiful way of filial piety in our family, patriotism in our nation, saints in the world, and divine sons and daughters in Heaven and Earth, by centering on True Love." How can we become filial sons and daughters in the family, patriots in the nation, saints in the world and divine sons and daughters of God? By practicing True Love.

At Chungpyung Training Center now, participants are able to see their own internal spiritual personality. Each person can see his or herself and how poor and miserable they might really be in spirit. It is an awakening call to quickly liberate ourselves and to become more united and obedient to God's word. Heaven is trying so hard to make us divine sons and daughters.

In our tribal messiahship, we represent Adam and Eve's position, true parents' position, king and queens' position, ancestors' position. God and True Parents have given us this honor and position. We become a central family. Through a central family balance comes, from all directions, north, south, east, west. The central family practices sacrificial and dedicated love toward others. This is vertical love.

As true tribal messiahs, we love the family; we love our nation and continent, and love this world, beyond race, religion, and culture; and we serve people and live for the sake of the people by giving the blessing to the people. We do not refer to ourselves as saints, but future generations will. They will say "Saint so and so did so and so."

We strive for the highest crown: to become divine sons and daughters of God. To be a divine child is to be one in Spirit with God; to feel His joy and His pain as the True Parent; to be in harmony with Heaven and Earth, His creation; and to taste the sweetness and wonder of familyship with Him, even becoming His friend as we grow older. We become engrafted into God's Lineage. We become True Children of God. God becomes our True God and comes to live among us on the Earth. We become God's partners of True Love.

In all seven points of our Family Pledge, we say "centering on True Love" not "centering on love." In the past two years, True Father absolutely has given us the opportunity to go out and put True Love into practice. For this we are grateful.

Vertically, we appreciate God and True Parents; horizontally, we appreciate and can be grateful for brothers and sisters. Without each other we cannot accomplish our responsibilities. In everything we do, we depend on each other. We need each other. We can help each other, encourage and appreciate each other.

We also need to appreciate our Second and Third Generations. We are always sacrificing them in order to serve others. For the most part, they are uncomplaining. They live a pure lifestyle. They gave blessings with us. They know we are providing for them a safe and pure atmosphere, free from Satan. They are saviors for us. We have to appreciate our children. They hold the keys to our kingdom. For our physical love (eros) our spouse holds the key. We most certainly must appreciate our spouse for this reason.

For those couples who accepted the blessing from us, we are grateful. How would we have had the opportunity to practice True Love? And how else could we have fulfilled the 3.6 and 36 million couple Blessing without them? We should always look for the things for which we can be grateful.

With tears we show love for God and True Parents and express how truly we grateful we are for them. They are steering us in the right path to build the Kingdom on Earth and in Heaven.

When we see the movie Titanic we see all the people on this gigantic, beautiful ship eating, drinking, dancing, loving, with no idea that just moments away their destiny would change completely. Some on board were happy, some had problems; some were high society on the higher decks, others were lower society on the lower decks; but when the ship hit the iceberg, they all met the same destiny!

We might compare the Titanic to America. What is going on right now on this gigantic, beautiful ship America? Who is really concerned with this ship America? The captain of the Titanic was spaced out; his pride and ego got in the way of his good sense and wisdom. Is the leadership in America spaced out? God and True Parents are not spaced out. And those who value God and True Parents are not spaced out either. Some are trying to save the ship.

American people are amazingly creative. The same people who can produce such a powerful, technically brilliant, expensive movie as Titanic can surely also find creative, interesting and exciting ways to bring God's blessing to millions of people. We have much work to do. Let our hearts be joyful and let our hearts be eternally grateful for what we have and what we can do.

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