The Words The Kwak Family

Growing Our Faith

Chung Hwan Kwak
August 1986

In our movement today we are witnessing amazing phenomena and achieving many external results. Because of this success, we often fail to recognize the truly important, internal matter of growing our faith. We are also, for the most part, receiving less and less persecution, so sometimes we are not serious enough.

For each of us, real faith cannot begin unless we realize deeply, "I myself am fallen. I have original sin." All humankind must come to recognize the reality of original sin; it is a fundamental matter that everyone must consider.

We cannot grow our faith merely by being a church member for a certain number of years. Perseverance is necessary, but time alone does not cause our faith to grow. Faith grows by the development of our vertical relationship with God. The more we grasp the heart of God's grace and true love and inherit it as our own, the more our faith increases.

How can we can accomplish this? By listening to Father's words we can increase our understanding of God. By deeply searching in prayer we can reach God's mind. Through persecution and our own life experience we can connect with God's lonely and sacrificial heart. Through all these ways our faith can develop and flourish.

However, even understanding God and developing a vertical relationship with Him is not our ultimate goal. The purpose of our faith is to be totally and substantially reborn. The principle of rebirth through True Parents is profound and meaningful. To be reborn, we must leave behind the heartistic content of all our past relationships, and develop a new relationship with True Parents, centered on God. We can receive the new life-giving element only through them. Because the word our Father has brought to us is so clear, we can, for the first time, fully understand the role of the Messiah and our relationship to True Parents.

To understand rebirth we can use the example of engrafting. Jesus said, "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." (John 15:4). Jesus, by offering himself completely with unconditional love, gave humankind the precious opportunity to engraft spiritually onto him. What is the engrafting process? In engrafting a branch to another tree, the branch must connect with and receive the organic life element from the system of the mother tree. Without that life element, the branch will not survive. Thus engrafting does not mean simply sticking a branch into another tree; there is no meaning in that. The organic life elements must link and flow from one to the other.

Today, we have the opportunity to engraft into the True Parents' lineage. What is the life element or basic essence that we must receive, adopt, and inherit from them? It is their heart, their original true love, and their traditional, sacrificial lifestyle. That is the True Parents' real life source and the essence of their unique value. If we do not develop a relationship with them based on this basic, inner element, then the engrafting process remains external and meaningless.

In the beginning Adam and Eve lost true life because of self-centered motivation. Satan's selfish love reached their hearts, captivating and dominating them. Only through progress along the path of sacrifice can we separate ourselves from this tragic perversion and relink ourselves with true love and true life. Unless we inherit the fundamental essence of true love, Satan will never leave us.

Because we are so busy we sometimes tend to focus too much on external phenomena, but we must examine our internal situation and reconnect with our actual, inner life source. Let us continually check ourselves and maintain our focus on True Parents' heart and tradition. Our faith will become stronger and our lives more prosperous -- more rich, more exciting, and more fulfilling! Then we can really enjoy a Moonie's life -- as true sons and daughters. I would like to see all Unification members truly enjoying their lives. 

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