St. Augustine's Confessions from the Spiritual World
by Young Soon Kim
St. Augustine's Confessions from the Spiritual World [Part 1]
Channeled by Young Soon Kim (The Reporter)
June 10, 2000
St. Augustine, from Heaven
I am St. Augustine. I would like to write this Preface today in order to communicate my confession to many people on earth and especially to people of faith. Thanks to the prayers of my mother, Monica, I was able to live with God while on earth, and here in the spiritual world, I have received the amazing divine grace of encountering the new truth and living with God in a place of joy. Now, in order to repay this grace, I am writing this piece. Perhaps this writing will provoke many doubts and much curiosity in you. As you know, I am no more living on earth, and with the help of one woman, I would like to convey to you the reality of the spiritual world. I, Augustine, have changed myself completely in the spiritual world after awakening to the Unification Principle. My conversion required many struggles and prayers, but you have the benefit of the age, by which you can resolve this issue of faith while on earth. The Unification Principle is an eternal gospel for the sake of the peace of humanity, brought to light through many sufferings and difficult trials. We have a great elder with us who throughout his life has willingly walked a torturous thorny path for the sake of the everlasting peace of humanity. Please pray to discover who that person is. Here in the spiritual world, I have seen him clearly, working in the human form while surrounded by brilliant light.
People of faith! The Messiah who is to come is none other than Rev. Moon, the True Parents of heaven and earth. Find out how he has lived eighty years of his life and what providential task he is moving forward at present, and you will witness a life that has been struggling the whole time for the sake of the liberation of God and humanity. If you live your earthly life with exclusive concern for your earthly well-being, you will lose your home in the world of eternity. You should not waste the precious opportunity you now have. All of you will eventually find yourselves here in the spiritual world without exception. But not just anyone can come to the eternal home here, only those who have made preparation during their life on earth.
Please read my Confessions from the Spiritual World carefully and to the end, and study the Unification Principle. Tear down the walls of the heart and the walls of religion and prepare for your life in eternity. I, Augustine, think that this is the wisest life you can live. I transmit this message with a sincere heart. I hope that all of you can come here and meet God with joy.
Young Soon Kim
June 20, 2000
My mother was a Presbyterian, She started going to church with her mother, and lived her whole life in prayer. From my childhood to my maturity, and even when I was working as a school teacher, my mother guided my faith, sometimes singing a hymn that goes, "My soul is withered like a dry grass in the wilderness," and I followed her guidance in meek obedience. I think that this sewed as a basis upon which God could come to me. Upon my mother's religious conversion, however, my faith underwent a great change. While going to the Presbyterian Church, she desperately prayed to see God, and during such a prayer she experienced Jesus, who came with a pillar of fire, and through this experience she joined the Unification Church, which was being persecuted as heretic, and received the Blessing of marriage. She also led me to join this church and receive Blessing. Supporting my husband, who chose the path of ministry, I strove to keep to the straight way of faith. One day, God's voice came to me during a prayer: God wanted to put me into a burning furnace to melt away my old self and remold me in the form of His daughter. Many people who pursue religious faith hear "God's voice," and yet my case is quite different from other people's experiences in that the voice I hear is concrete and directly from God. During the three-year witnessing period after my Blessing in 1968, I was preparing a special workshop. I was very tired and so lay on the bed to rest for a while, at which time a big hand suddenly appeared in vision. Turning music sheets one by one, that hand and told me to write down the message. I took down some of the message, but afterwards, without understanding its significance, I did not pay much attention to it. After a while, however, when our couple were asleep, a voice came like a thunder and said, "You faithless child," which greatly surprised us to wake up on our knees. The voice from heaven then shouted, "Write down the new songs." For forty days from then, I took down about a hundred songs, working day and night in tears and in exhaustion. Thereafter, God told me many new things. Since many of these divine messages were abstruse and susceptible to misunderstanding by people, I agonized intensely over whether I should publicly reveal them. The hundred children's songs I had received from God were published only in 1992 under the title Yaho God, and the heaven's messages in December 1996 under the title God, Who Came to Me.
As I remember, it was in April 1997 that I started reporting correspondences from the spiritual world on a full scale. That is when Dr. Lee, who was a director of the Unification Thought Institute and had a close personal relationship with me, suddenly passed on to the spiritual world. I was participating in his funeral ceremony, when he appeared to me in spirit and said, "I will visit you at home tonight." From that time on, he appeared to me at regular times and conveyed what he had personally seen and felt in the spiritual world. As he had had burning curiosity about the spiritual world while on earth, in the spiritual world he met many historic and providential figures and had many different conversations. He met about thirty figures including such saints religious giants as Jesus, Confucius, Sakyamuni Buddha, Mohammed, Socrates, Swedenborg, and Sunda Sing; such providential figures in the Bible as Adam,
Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Judas Iscariot, and John the Baptist; and Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Dojo, Kishi, Eisenhower, Rhee Shing Man, Park Jung Hee, Kim Hwal Lan, and Maria Park. The contents of Dr. Lee's conversation with them have been published in the book The Reality of the Spiritual World and Our Life on Earth.
The present book, St. Augustine's Confessions from the Spiritual World, contains an account of St. Augustine, who is one of the most prominent Christian theologians and has met with Dr. Lee. What is revealed in this volume will surely be shocking to the Protestants and Catholics, and I deeply anguished over whether to expose to the public such a controversial content. I believe, however, that this message will find its way to conscientious people of faith in accordance with God's Will. The Holy Spirit of God, which irresistibly and infinitely overwhelms us, and the power of the new truth, which presses on towards us from the spiritual world, transcend human reason and judgment. The most essential of what God has said to me when he came to me are: First, help people know about the living God; second, help people know about the spiritual world; and third, help people understand the law of indemnity, by which when we sin, we are punished and judged.
The God whom I know loves the world, and after the creation of human beings, He is present in history and carrying out the tearful providence, sometimes in glow and sometimes in tribulation, in order to restore the fallen people to the original state. I sincerely wish that just as St. Augustine became the most ardent lover and most faithful instrument of God through his mother Monica's tearful prayer and love, so will all the readers of this book realize God's boundless love towards us and live a great life on earth.
Here, I would like to introduce Dr. Sang Hun Lee, who sewed as a bridge to channel the messages for the present volume, and President Eu, who systematized and wrote the Divine Principle. Dr. Lee was born in September 5, 1914 in Hwadong-lee Shinsang-myeon Jeongpyeon-gun, Hamgyeongnam-do as the third son of a Confucian scholar Soo Young Lee, and joined the Unification Church in 1956 and received the thirty-six couple's Blessing from Rev. Moon. He systematized and wrote the Unification Thought and VOC (Victory over Communism) Theory out of the teaching of Rev. Moon. He passed away at the age of eightyfour, while he was preparing for the ninth International Symposium on the Unification Thought as a professor of the Sun Moon University. Dr. Lee's father, an ardent patriot who had once been in prison for joining the 3.1 Independence Movement, gave Dr. Lee a nationalist spirit and education from his childhood. When Dr. Lee was a high school student, out of his burning opposition against Japan, he participated in a nationalist movement led by communists, which led him to prison and severe tortures by the Japanese police. After graduating from Do Seong High School, he entered the Severance Medical School. Meantime, he started having doubts about communist materialism and thinking seriously about what true love for the nation and humanity is. Such philosophical wondering led him to inquire about religion and eventually join the Unification Church. After graduating from the Severance Medical School and before joining the church, he single minded walked the course of the medical doctor, for instance, working at the Severance Medical School Hospital, Won San Salvation Army Hospital, Young Dong Salvation Army Hospital, Young Dong State Hospital of Chungbuk, and Korea Police Hospital, and opening the Gae Jeong Central Hospital and Yee Seong Clinic of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Lee marveled whenever he found a great insight from Rev. Moon's speech, and he was able to ask Rev. Moon philosophical questions and receive much personal teaching from him; finally, his such efforts culminated in the systematization of the Unification Thought and VOC Theory. For many professors and leaders of various fields, home and abroad, he led seminars on the Unification Thought up to the forty-third session, seminars on the VOC Theory up to the seventh session, and about five hundred scholarly lectures, thereby leading a movement for new spirit and value. On the other hand, as an honorary chair of the Unification Thought section of the ICUS (International Conference on the Unity of Science), he exerted his utmost in establishing the present academic knowledge on the foundation of the Unification Thought.
Next, I would like to turn to the late President Eu. He was one of the three couples who were eldest of all members and Blessed first by Rev. Moon. His character was compassionate, and his life exemplary. He was born on September 25, 1914 as the second son of Jeong Han Eu, the father, and Shin Shil Lee, the mother. In April 1933, he graduated from the Osan High School in Jeongju-gun, Pyeonganbuk-do, and in April 1939, while he was a student in the medical school of the Kyeong Seong Imperial University, he was attacked by a sudden disease and had to quit school. In 1948, he served the society as an educator by establishing the Yeon Bok Middle School in the Yeong Pyeong Island and becoming the first president of the school. When the HAS-UWC (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of the World Christianity), commonly called the Unification Church, was founded on May 1, 1954, President Eu was one of the founding members. He was appointed as the first president of the church on October 14, 1960 and served in the position until July 24, 1970, then he passed away at the age of fifty-seven.
In early November of 1935, President Eu first encountered Rev. Moon's Divine Principle manuscript. It is said that after the day of the encounter, he read and hand copied the content numerous times, unceasingly exclaiming with inspiration and joy. Thereafter, he took an overall charge of the education of the Unification Church members and gave lectures for fifteen hours every day despite his crippled leg. When he started on a Divine Principle discussion, he would be totally involved in it without remembering meal or sleeping times and would never end the discussion and explanation until he made sure that the conversing parties understood the points at issue. He always maintained a heavy and tense schedule, giving consultation to church members, taking care of administrative affairs, and systematizing and compiling the Explanation of the Divine Principle. In this intense situation, the first edition of the Explanation was published. A few years after this, the Divine Principle came out, which can be regarded as the most remarkable of his life's work under the guidance of Rev. Moon. We cannot neglect the merits of the two elders in systematizing and writing the Unification Principle and Unification Thought. I have introduced the life, thought, and faith of the two elders because I thought that it may help you understand the messages of St. Augustine. I pray for your victory under God's protection.
June 10, 2000
Sang Hun Lee, from heaven
I am Sang Hun Lee. While on earth, I used to serve as a doctor for some time. Now, in the spiritual world, I have been appointed as an ambassador of the spiritual world and am staying in the spiritual world. I would like to introduce St. Augustine, with whom I have associated for over three months. St. Augustine was an ambitious person, who refused to be second to anyone in his pride and zeal for God and in all other matters concerning God. Such an ambitious person, however, had to receive the Unification Principle from a Principle lecturer. He listened to the Principle passionately like someone who had lost his mind because he found it so systematic and mysterious. When he came to the last part, on the age-by-age explanation of the Second Advent of the Messiah, however; he was terribly startled and became at a loss, after which he did not appear for several days. During this time, he says that he struggled and prayed like a completely mad man, unlike normal religious devotees who merely fast and pray.
He was aroused in madness, saying, "What shall I do? Why did I not receive the benefit of the Messiah in my age? I believed that if I kept celibate and zealously served God, I would receive the Messiah in my age; however, I have turned out to have nothing to do with the age of His return. So what is going on?" No advice or consolation worked for him.
He yelled over, kicked and screamed, and beat his chest, expressing his bitterness and sense of unfairness. Eventually, however, he did not let go of his attitude of faith and stood up again victoriously, humble, solemn, and haggard. He asked for an opportunity to work for the Messiah. It was a moment of passionate encounter, a moment of intense emotion, and a moment of heartfelt tears.
You, people on earth! Behold the courage of St. Augustine, who has converted himself by tearing off his face and hair. Demolish the stubborn walls of faith that lay behind the age. There is only one Messiah and only one God, and so I hope to see you in one place in one heart.
Table of Contents
The Life, Faith, and Thought of St. Augustine
Part I. St. Augustine's Confessions from the Spiritual World
1. St. Augustine's Life on Earth
(3) Middle Age
2. St. Augustine's Life in the Spiritual World
(1) Entering the Spiritual World
(2) St. Augustine's Place in the Spiritual World
3. God as Discovered by St. Augustine
(1) An Experience of God
(2) Where God Stays
(3) God's Love
4. People St. Augustine Has Met in the Spiritual World
(1) Protestant Ministers
(2) Catholic Priests and Nuns
(3) Sakyamuni Buddha
(5) People without Religious Faith
5. St. Augustine's Conversion in the Spiritual World
(1) The Unification Principle
(2) Unification Thought
(3) Blessing Ceremony in the Spiritual World
(4) Rev.Moon as Discovered by St. Augustine
(5) The Unification Realm of the Spiritual World
6. The Direction and Purpose of Our Lives
(1) The Original Form of the Human Being
(2) The Form of the Human Being to Be Restored
7. The Final Destination of Human Beings
(1) Life on Earth
(2) Everlasting Life in the Spiritual World
Part II Correspondence between St. Augustine and Lady Hyun Shil Rang after Their Blessing
1. St. Augustine's Greetings
(1) To the True Parents
(2) To Lady Hyun Shil Kang
2. Lady Kang's Inquiries and St. Augustine's Replies through Correspondence
(1) To what degree do you love and believe in God and True Parents ...?
(2) What is the authority and stature of Father in the spiritual world ...?
(3) How deeply do you understand the value of the True Parents' Blessing...?
(4) Many Christians on earth adore and respect you ...?
(5) The good and truthful guidance you gave ...?
(6) Our True Parents desire that you return to earth ...?
(7) If our True Parents are the Parents of Heaven and Earth ...?
(8) You should help turn Christianity on earth ...?
(9) Now, a very urgent time has come ...?
(10) On earth, you walked a road of tribulation ...?
(11) I have many defects in many aspects ...?
(12) I hope that you receive Dr. Lee's guidance ...?
(13) Especially, I beseech you to ...?
(14) You left many writings on earth ...?
The Life, Faith, and Thought of St. Augustine
Editor's note: This account of St. Augustine is based on his book Confessions (translated by Paul M. Bethel, published by Moody Press), as well as on Gidokkyo Sajeon (Dictionary of Christianity, published by Gidokkyo Munhurasa) and Segye Cheolhak Daejeon (Great Dictionary of World Philosophy, published by Seonggyun Seogurm)
St. Augustine was born in 354 in Tagaste, Numedia, a region in North Africa that was then under the Roman rule. His father Patricius, was a pagan, but his mother, Monica, was a devout Christian. From his childhood, his mother educated him to glorify the name of the Christ. His mother is one women in the history of Christianity who receives considerable admiration and respect. Especially, her love and sincerity towards her son stands out.
Despite such a background, Augustine spent most of his youth in indulgence and rebellion against God. At the age of sixteen, he failed to contain his lust and sinned. The name of the woman involved is not known, but Augustine is supposed to have loved her a great deal at least for some time. At the age of eighteen he had a son, named Adeodatus, and in later days people called him "a son of God."
While living in Carthage, he was deeply immersed in Manichaeism, which combined Christianity and Eastern religions. And he sought after the road of salvation with keen interest in chastity and continence. While adhering to Manichaeism, he continued to raise questions about the root of evil and essence of existence. He fervently waited for Faustus, a hero of Manichaeism, to appear soon and resolve the issue, but when he did not so, Augustine abandoned Manichaeism and sought to resolve essential problems of life by means of human reason.
In Carthage, Augustine mastered Creek and Roman philosophies as well as rhetoric, literature, music, and mathematics. With such mastery of knowledge, he strove to resolve his problems of life, only to find that he was just piling up questions without attaining answers. While retaining wrong concepts about the root , essence, and origin of evil, he declared a complete separation from Manichaeism. In 384, he moved to Milan and met St. Ambrose, a great bishop and teacher of rhetoric, and through his persuasive sermon he finally resolved to embrace Christianity. His understanding of various philosophies including that of Plato sewed to stimulate his grasp of the gospel. The news of his conversion brought great joy to his mother, Monica. After witnessing the changed life of St. Augustine, Monica sent Augustine's mistress back to North Africa and guided his life to be devoted only to the Christ. Finally, God's work started anew for Augustine, but St. Ambrose still had no confidence about his dedicating his whole life to the Christ. From that time on, Augustine started to write Confessions, where he says the following:
My tears could not stop because of the remorse and pains whirling deep in my soul. My sin was so immensely heavy that I could never remove it with my own strength.
According to his own account, one day, when Augustine was sitting with a friend named Alipius he seemed to hear a voice, like that of a child, repeating, "Take up and read." He interpreted this as a divine exhortation to open the Scriptures and read the first passage he happened to see. Accordingly, he opened to Romans 13:13-14, where he read: "...not in revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." At that time he was thirty-two years old. As his daily life became holier and his spirit grew, along with his son and friend Alipius, he received baptism by Bishop Ambrose on Easter Eve. Monica was greatly moved by this, witnessing her prayers being finally answered.
Monica advised Augustine to return to his home town and spread the gospel. When Augustine made all the preparations to return to North Africa together with his mother, son, and a few friends, according to Monica's advice, and was waiting for the ship to depart from the Roman port of Ostia, Monica suddenly fell ill and died. In his Confessions, Augustine gives an elaborate account about the happenings before his mother's death. Afterwards, when his son, who was his only hope, died as well in Tagaste, Augustine was filled with ineffable sorrow and pain. He disposed of what small inheritance he had, formed a religious gathering, and devoted himself entirely to prayer, Bible studies, and writing. From then on, Augustine's name began to rise throughout the entire area of Africa. In early 391, while he was serving as an assistant bishop to Bishop Valerius in the port city of Hippo, he was asked by Valerius to succeed his position. At first, he strongly declined the offer, but finally he accepted it. From then on, his church work began on a full scale. His Confessions reveals in detail how sincerely he practiced faith through his ecclesiastic position. While serving as a bishop, he solely focused on interpreting and teaching the Bible, and his spiritual knowledge centered on the Bible has had enormous impact through the generations. His life moved from darkness to light through the Christ. Believing that salvation is a free gift to human beings from God's grace, he had no hesitation in spreading this truth. He established a solid doctrine on God's existence, creation, the reality of evil, and so forth, and this has had a pivotal influence on the entire world of Christianity.
While Augustine was concentrating on writing and spreading of the gospel, North Africa was invaded by the pagan tribe of Vandals, who swept across the entire area, snatching out of the Roman rule cities including Hippo and Carthage. Augustine urged all the bishops not to forsake the sheep and strongly resisted the invaders. Nevertheless, Hippo was completely taken over by the pagan tribe. Augustine passed away on August 28, 430, at the age of seventy-six.
By engaging with doctrines and philosophies threatening the Christian belief at that time, Augustine established and strengthened an orthodox understanding of the Christian truth. For instance, against the Manichaean interpretation of the problem of evil, Augustine defended the goodness of God and the created beings; through polemic with the Donatists, he organized the ecclesiastic doctrine, code of the holy ceremony, and doctrine of the providence; and through polemic with the Pelagians, he developed doctrines on human fall, original sin, and predestination. St. Augustine's philosophy became established as the orthodox Catholic theology as Thomas Acquinas reinterpreted Aristotle in the thirteenth century, and influenced the entire world of Christianity in the middle ages and kindled crucial inspirations in religious reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin.
Part I. St. Augustine's Confessions from the Spiritual World
1. St. Augustine's Life on Earth
Overall in my childhood, I (St. Augustine) had no special characteristics by which to stand out. If I differed from ordinary children, however, it was in that I was strongly influenced by my mother, Monica, who lived in constant prayer and spiritual sacrifices for her child, and had the view that everything, from heaven to the smallest creatures, originates in God.
In my childhood days, my mother prayed very long prayers, and I had to wait long hours for her prayers to end, and frequently fell asleep by her side out of unendurable boredom. During her prayers, I often sneaked out and walked around town, looking for friends and amusing places, and she had to wander all over town searching for me.
After a while, she began to give me a strict education about God. She taught me that God is present even in small stones and grains of sand on the road. When I indulged myself excessively in comfortable thoughts or fun, she would admonish me in many different ways, for instance, saying that I had a great deal of things to do for God. She taught me a number of times that since we human beings are created by God, it would be a betrayal to forget about His grace. At meals, she consecrated each food on the table and gave thanks to God, saying to me, "Never forget gratitude to God, because all these foods are prepared by God." Also in many other ways, she instilled in me a faith in God. Her life was solely devoted to serving God, which she took as the entire meaning of her life. Her attitude of faith was wholly different from that of others. Since I grew up in such an atmosphere, my urge to run around freely with my friends was repressed by her faith. When this desire became irresistible, I would often run away. It was more fun and interesting to go out and play with friends because we did not have to talk about God. As time went by, I found myself enjoying a life opposite to the direction of my mother's teaching.
Meanwhile, the question of how to ascertain the existence of God, who is invisible, came to find a home in my mind. As my opinion began to tilt towards denying His existence, I had a strong desire to go the other way. I favored associating and having casual talks with my friends much more than thinking about my mother's admonishments. After this whole period, I frequently differed from my mother's view of God.
Nevertheless, my mother's devotion and zeal for me never changed or cooled down even a bit, though I continued to complain strongly against her education, more and more explicitly as days went by. Finally, I started on a path of indulgence and dissipation.
April 19, 2000
In general, people are born from their parents, grow up with their parents' teaching, obey their parents, share love with their parents, and become married with their parents' blessing. But my life was quite different from this normal pattern in many ways. How peculiar it was, that I even wrote the Confessions! From my childhood, ignoring my mother's tearful pleas for me to serve God, I walked the opposite way; because God cannot be seen. I always lived with a disobedient attitude to God, and this must have intensely agonized my parents.
At this time, my parents' admonitions only stirred up rebellion in my heart, and I only thought about how to escape from the constraints of faith, and live freely. As days went by, this tendency of mine became more and more entrenched, and I listened to no one. This way, with bad friends, I slipped into fornication, which my mother hated most, as well as into dissipation, indulgence, and even theft. I had neither a resolve to quit these evil practices nor a desire for, nor an expectation of a new way beyond this life. As for my studies, I took a passive view towards them, thinking of them as a means of satisfying my parents' desires and pleas, rather than any wish of my own that had anything to do with my future, and thus I did not devote myself to studying. I could not but be content with this abnormal life, and that was the most miserable aspect of my past life. Always associating with wayward friends, I prompted them to do more vicious things, while showing them even more wicked aspects of myself.
I thought that the child I had was a fruit of my devilish life. Our relationship was far from embodying even ordinary love between parents and children. I lived at will, without accepting anyone's interference or subjecting myself to any norm; this was my attitude and lifestyle at that time. At that time, the people I made most light of were firstly God, secondly my parents, and thirdly the woman I had; about them, I did not have even a small bit of worry or interest. In short, I can say that my youth was a long period of miserable indulgence. How, then, could such an unforgivable wretch be turned around to become St. Augustine, who is admired by so many Christians today? What worked to create my present self? Above all, I think it was my mother's devoted prayer and endurance, and God's endless love.
(3) Middle Age
Most people who have died, in the process of their birth, growth, and return to God, must have ended their life ignorant of the fact that the human being is a microcosm and part of God's body. This is also what happened to me. As I encountered the essence of religion in my youth, my view of life started to change. From that time, wholly unlike my teenage years, I developed a great interest in all things concerning God.
The human being lives as a part of God's body, and in the universe, from extremely small atoms to the enormously large heaven, there is nothing that does not belong to God. The human body and spirit all belong to God, and from small human cells to fine human hairs, there is none that belongs to human beings themselves. Thus nothing in our possession is untouched by God's hand. How were human beings created? We know little about such matters, and yet we have treated and used our body carelessly in any way we pleased, as if we owned it. If it is true that God created us, He must know details about each of us. There must be a being who knows where we came from, through what process we were created, and what the purpose of our creation is; if this being is God, would He not know all these things?
If God is the one who planned and created us, what is the relationship between God and us? We have our physical parents and also our Creator, God. What is the relationship between parents and children. and between God and human beings? In my middle age I attempted to concretely investigate and clearly elucidate this profound matter, and God's providence. My main concerns at this time included questions such as, "For what purpose was I born in this world?" "what are God's ultimate hope and purpose for us?" and "where do we eventually go? I strove to take responsibility for the doctrines I established, for I did not want my views to cause confusion to my disciples, successors, or people of later generations. I tried to write clearly where my past life had been directed, what I had lived for, and where we come from and go to. I wanted to do a valuable work as a part of God's body and complete my mission on earth.
I made great efforts to study about God's hope for us human beings, and about God Himself. I wanted to write in detail about what our duties toward God are, and why we should live under God's law. Only in middle age did I come to understand little by little the meaning of my mother's tearful prayers. My middle age was devoted solely to living with God and writing clearly and in detail about His existence, His providence, and our duties before God. Hence, my consistent desire and the motivation of my life in middle age was to convert a world ignorant of God into a world where only God is served and worshipped.
April 20, 2000
2. St. Augustine's Life in the Spiritual World
(1) Entering the Spiritual World
I am glad that from today on I can write what I truly wanted to write. I do not think there are many who in their earthly life think, long for, wait for, and prepare for the world beyond death. Anxiety about the invisible world and fear of death must be common feelings for people with physical bodies.
In the second half of my life, I lived in awe of God's mystery and with absolute faith in and hope for God. Because I had such faith and hope, I met my death comfortably, although I did not clearly see the world to which we are headed after death.
From now on, I would like to convey as much in detail as possible the reality of the spiritual world I have experienced, and hope that this can benefit the life of those believers who remember and long for me.
One day I sensed the approaching end of my life in the physical body and the beginning of my life as a spirit. At that time, I did not recognize my physical death, but felt a mysterious spiritual phenomenon arising in my body. With heartfelt joy, I was led by two or three women guides to join a line of many people and stand there quietly. My guides were wearing light blue clothes, whose brilliance dazzled my eyes. After telling me to quietly wait in the line, they went away. The line was not connected in one direction, however, and while following it, I could not see at all where the people in front were going.
There were also many people standing behind me, and most of them were quiet and warm. Their clothes were very natural and not colorful. Although I could not see where the people in front were going, they dwindled in number and my turn was approaching. Mysteriously, even without guides, those in front were quickly entering some place. Finally, it was my turn. While I was hesitating where to go, I suddenly felt myself being pulled up in one sweep of wind.
Then I came to settle down in one place; I arrived there without the help of any guide. I could see many people there: people in a large conference, people engaged in a worship service, people studying in a place like a school, children and adults getting together and walking around here and there, and so forth. I wanted to know where on earth this place was, but was unable to discover clearly where I was. Nor did I know where to proceed. Walking around and looking here and there, I asked a woman where that place was, and she looked at me and said that I did not have to know yet, after which she went away. Not knowing where to stay, I could not but keep wondering around the area. I did not know how many days I spent there this way.
One day, however, something strange happened; some unknown light emerged, wrapped me and held me up, and flew up in the air towards some place. At some point I fell from the air as if parachuting down, at which time a mysterious joy and peace sprang up in my heart and I started to look for God, shouting "God." Then, finally, I could hear God's voice saying, "Stay here from today on."
From that time on, mysterious things started happening to me. When I had a question, the answer promptly emerged in my mind, and when I thought of something in my mind, it immediately appeared in front of my eyes. Moreover, when I thought about going to some place, my body was already moving according to that thought. This finally made me realize that this was not life on earth.
At that time, the situations of the invisible world I saw were still almost the same as my experiences on earth had been, and thus I could not distinguish between my life with a body and my life as a spirit. So I had to ask others about it. I came to see that those around me were without a body.
After a while - I don't know how much time passed - I prepared a fixed place just like the one I had had on earth where I could pray to God.
In this place, I prayed to God, asking, 'What am I to do here, and how am I to live?" Then, all of a sudden, bright light appeared from all directions, and it was as if electric lights of tens of thousands of volts had been suddenly turned on. In such an atmosphere, I shortly heard a voice saying, "You are you. So pray so that you become Me."
After this, the voice was silent. But I could not understand the meaning of the voice, however hard I thought. So I prayed to God: "God, what do you mean when you say, 'You are you. So pray so that you become Me'?" I prayed about this over and over again. Then, one day, the voice reappeared in bright light, saying, "You are you, Augustine. Pray to become God. You are just you yourself. Now, become someone with whom God stays," after which darkness engulfed the place. My eyes filled with tears before I became aware of it. Tears of repentance started to flow from the bottom of my heart. I came to realize on my own that my service to God in the past had originated in my arrogance, and I deeply repented of this. This repentance was insuppressible. I could not hold back the surging regrets that I had failed to become one with God because of my arrogance and selfishness. I started screaming, saying, "God, Please forgive my errors. Please forgive me.
I did not know how many days of such repentance passed. I only remember that it took a long time to purify my heart. God did not appear to me in this period. I resolved to continue to pray and repent until God came to be with me. I continued to pray and repent from my very bones, saying to myself, "You are you. You are only you." Although I had served God all my life, God could not be with me.
April 24, 2000
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