The Words of the Beutl Family
My dear brothers and sisters,
I suppose you all know the feeling of surprise and regret when we realize that we made a mistake unknowingly or unconsciously. We may have judged another person according to our own concepts and understanding and one day we find out the real circumstances this person has to deal with. In such a situation we usually feel sorry and maybe ashamed: “If I had known that… I would not have…”
Such a realization is painful and we may want to go to apologize to the person we wrongfully judged or treated with little respect. Another way of reacting is to become depressed, to close oneself and to withdraw… Whatever the situation may be like, it is not a pleasant feeling to recognize one’s own mistakes. Many people have a hard time facing their own mistakes with countless sad examples even to the extent of people committing suicide because they cannot digest their reality.
One week ago and this weekend Hyung Jin Nim asked the congregation at the Family Service to pray for the former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun who jumped to his death after leaving his family a note, saying: "I'm indebted to too many people. Too many people are suffering because of me." We are all aware that killing oneself does not solve problems but to the contrary in the spirit world we are all the more confronted with the mistakes we made in our lives and did not resolve here on this earth.
Christianity speaks of hell where people find themselves after living a self-centered life, at the cost of others. It is so easy to take things for granted, to forget to be grateful, to become critical of others, even to the extent of closing our hearts to the ones who have hurt us instead of walking the path of forgiveness and reconciliation, the Way of True Love which our True Parents exemplified all throughout their lives.
Now we are still on earth and we are advised to reconcile with our enemies lest we have to face their accusation in spirit world when we cannot escape the confrontation any more in the way it is possible now by avoiding the ones whom we do not like. Our True Parents spoke on countless occasions about the right attitude we should harbor in our hearts in order to avoid ending up in a pitiful state after we move on to the next world. We heard or read their words of parental admonishment and encouragement many times but how deeply did their words sink into our hearts with us becoming one with them?
We are in the blessed situation to have not only thousands of pages with God’s word, recorded for example in the Heavenly Bible (Cheon Seong Gyeong), as a resource for our daily Hoon Dok Hae study time but also the weekly living-live-lively word of God through Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim which we can receive via internet into our own homes in video-audio or written form. For this I am surely most grateful because I know that our Heavenly Father is guiding our international President to convey His heart just as well as He is trying to express Himself through each one of us.
The core question is therefore to which extent are we giving Him the chance to do so. Our individual situation may be difficult and we may be struggling along doing our best but still it is very likely that for each one of us the day will come that we will wake up to the realization that we could have done so much better. At that point we will feel regret and we may try to excuse ourselves: „I did not know that...“ But excuses may work in front of other people but surely not before ourselves because our conscience knows all too well and there is no reason good enough to convince our innermost heart and mind that we did all right when we failed to recognize and to practice God’s way of life.
Yeon Ah Nim encouraged us at the beginning of this weekend’s Family Service to see the ones whom we find most difficult to love as the ones who have been sent by Heaven to us for our training in our ability to love. It is up to each one whether or not we receive challenges as opportunities with a grateful heart or reject them and close ourselves off from the people whom we find difficult to relate to. We decide in this way the extent to which our hearts grow -- if we live in our own little narrow world or if we develop a broad mind which is able to embrace and love all kinds of people.
This weekend Christianity celebrates Pentecost. We know that this holiday has its roots in God being able to pour out his feminine heart and spirit to the 120 disciples of Jesus who had been united in prayer in the Upper Room. Based on this experience and foundation these first Christians were ready to give their lives for their belief because they had been moved profoundly in their hearts. They had the strength to go beyond incredible difficulties and persecution as their hearts were deeply motivated to invest everything for the sake of bringing the Good News to the world.
Let us use this time remembering the beginning of Christianity to reflect also on our own spiritual roots, on the time when we first learned the Divine Principle -- when we have been touched by the love and truth of God to the extent as to move us to join the Unification Movement. That point was a new beginning in our life from which new doors have been opened up for us individually but looking back it is a serious question how many open doors did we actually go through until now in order to reach new levels in our heartistic development. How many given opportunities did we use to advance our inner growth?
Restoration is not a smooth path but one full of challenges and trials as we have to restore fallen history on various levels. It is a personal course which we are destined to walk here on earth -- and later in spirit world -- until we reach the state in which we should originally be in oneness with God as our Eternal Parent. For the sake of our being able to go our individual course of restoration successfully parental love, especially the nurturing love of a mother is most central. If this aspect is missing “everything seems sad and lonely”.
Recently Yeon Ah Nim could not be present at the Family Service and then the next time she mentioned how lonely her husband appeared without her as she was told by members. The feminine aspect is indeed most essential for the sake of creating a warm atmosphere and therefore it is important that this characteristic is well represented in our movement with women and mothers standing on the forefront of bringing new life into this sad world of strive and conflict.
When I was doing fundraising in Belgium I came across quite a few times a situation when there was only the husband at home and when I approached him to buy our Church Magazine he would say: “Nobody is at home.” Even though I told the man that at least he is here in the house this person would insist that nobody is home because the wife was not there. Of course it is not right that a husband depends on his wife to make such a simple decision like buying a copy of a Church Magazine from a missionary, but it would be good if women stand more at the center in a heavenly way of deciding what should be done and emphasized and what not.
Throughout history the destiny of countless people was decided by men, whereas we live now in the era of women when the feminine Holy Spirit of God should be visibly at the forefront of restoration work. How beneficial such a situation can be is seen and experienced now especially by our American brothers and sisters with In Jin Nim having poured out her motherly heart to all members during the past months and continuing to do so especially through the Loving Life Ministries, offering life giving messages of hope rooted in her heart of true love.
Even though the masculine characteristics are dominant in man’s personality it is clear that also men have feminine aspects which must be expressed to contribute to the healing of this world. When this ever so needed quality prevails in our own movement we can be certain that we will have a strong impact on society because however soft feminine love may seem to be it is the strongest moving power if it is well connected with the masculine heart and love of God.
I chose the theme “I did not know that...“ for this reflection because there are indeed many aspects which we do not know now but realize only later and I am concerned that many of us will feel regret at that time of recognizing that we did not use the potential we have received well but lived a rather mediocre life from the viewpoint of True Love.
The feeling of regret and remorse is a bitter one which cannot be erased easily but stays with us for a long, long time after we have made mistakes -- knowingly or unknowingly. We can go back to Adam and Eve and say that they would surely not have committed the fall if they would have been aware of the terrible consequences of their actions. For us this means that we are called to consider deeply how our behavior affects other people because in so many cases we are not enough aware of this reality.
To break out of habits and concepts which have been practiced and kept for a long time is of course not easy. Therefore our True Parents asked us to walk a steep path, to go through extreme internal challenges in their desire to help us to go out of an old life of self-centeredness to be born into a new life overflowing with true love for others.
On May 15, 2009 Father explained: "Jan. 13, 2013 has been defined as D-DAY and to accomplish God's will, we need to be determined. A strong awakening and determination for its accomplishment is imperative. It depends on you whether or not you will be substitutes and successors in accomplishing God's will… What should you leave on earth? Your results."
May we succeed in this essential task to leave narrow-mindedness and closed hearts behind in favour of being dedicated to a life of complete investment for the sake of others, to enrich other people through our sharing with them from our own hearts filled with love for them.
This is my hope and desire at this time of concluding the month of May and entering the 6th month of this year with the number 6 reminding us of God creating man on the 6th day of creation, giving His Word as protection and guidance to his son and daughter out of His love for His children. We are destined to receive His living word in this final period of God’s providence and to become one with it so that the day when we feel “If I had known that… I would not have…” will never come for us personally but rather the day when we can look back in gratitude that we understood God’s will deeply and put it into practice.
We will surely encounter many temptations to falter along the way. Therefore it is so important that we are fully centered on God’s Word, aligned with the heart of God, who is definitely standing on the forefront of His providence and guiding it.
Let us recognize our individual potential and task clearly so that we may live well in accordance with the heavenly timetable for our personal lives as the ones who have been called to represent the True Parents of Mankind not only in our own families and tribes but really in front of mankind as we invest ourselves to reach out to the people who have been entrusted to us -- in whatever part of this globe we may be now or in the future.