Mother of Peace: Episode 26
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 4: God’s Light Shines Upon a Path of Thorns, pg 117-121
Besides bringing the word of God, during my tours I conducted ceremonies to liberate the spirits of those whose lives had been sacrificed. The True Parents’ victory upon the earth has opened the gates of resurrection in the spirit world. The members in Austria, in the spring of 2018, carried out such a ceremony. If you follow the Danube River west from Vienna for about two hours, you come to the village of Mauthausen. Amid its beautiful scenery is a visitors’ center in front of a depressing and sinister-looking building. That building with its towering walls of thick, gray brick brings on tears of bitter grief, for during the Second World War it was a concentration camp. There, the Nazis incarcerated Jews and many others. Many of the almost 200,000 people that passed through Mauthausen met miserable deaths.
What remains are not relics from 70 years ago. The true pain one feels there is that of the spirit persons who are stuck in that prison, trapped in their resentment. They can resurrect only after the True Parents of healing and hope can console them and alleviate their bitter resentment and sadness.
It happened like this: I had traveled to Vienna to hold the 2018 “Peace Starts With Me” Rally in the Wiener Stadthalle. The event was a great success. Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Austria’s former defense minister and a great senior statesman, welcomed me to the podium, and more than 10,000 people heard my message of hope for the future and for a Europe that would live for the sake of others. I was especially encouraged by the bright spirits of the young people who pledged themselves for peace. But the next morning at breakfast, some of our European leaders came to me with serious faces to present a special request that I permit a ceremony of liberation at Mauthausen. They had heard about my liberation prayers offered for the victims of slavery on Gorée Island in Senegal, and urgently asked me to extend the same heavenly grace to the victims of Nazi persecution.
I sent special representatives to hold a liberation ceremony in Mauthausen. They presented lilies, which represent eternal love, and offered special prayers, opening the gate to alleviate the suffering of those tormented souls. They prayed that those people, now in the spirit world, could release their sadness and resentment and become absolute good spirits who would find their way to the realm of blessing and joy that God has prepared for us all.
It is important to build memorials and educate people about historical wrongs. Still, the higher priority is to release the bitter anguish and anger harbored by those who came before us and who suffered and died unjustly.
* * *
Wherever I go, people who don’t know me grasp both my hands tightly, not wanting to let go. Their sorrow upon my departure is deeply engraved in my heart. Many people want to see me, and after we spend time together, they feel an emptiness when I’m gone. This is because we are bound by Heaven. Our original parents broke away from God’s embrace 6,000 years ago. The only begotten Son and only begotten Daughter are reconnecting heaven, earth, and humankind and guiding people to live a true life. That is why some people are brought to tears when they meet God’s only begotten Daughter.
I have traveled hundreds and thousands of kilometers over the decades to convey God’s love. Although my journey has often been very difficult, I have always been happy. My words and footprints will never disappear. Each and every day they will multiply, bearing fruit that will nourish this world and beyond.
“What does ‘belvedere’ mean?” I asked our first missionary to the United States. “In Italian,” she answered, “it means ‘beautiful scenery, a magnificent view.’” Dr. Young Oon Kim was a former professor, a Korean woman educated in Methodist theology in Canada who had joined our movement by the guidance of Jesus. Having mobilized American members to raise the necessary funds by selling candles, this devoted missionary prepared this training center for our international movement. Called Belvedere, it is a lovely estate on the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. I liked the name as it befits a place where people can deeply experience God’s love in a serene environment.
Beginning in 1972, amid Belvedere’s beautiful trees and expansive lawns, our American members and guests were taught the Principle through workshops ranging from a two-day weekend to 100 days. My husband gave sermons at 6:00 a.m. every Sunday as well. The training center would often be crowded with young people from all over the world who came to meet my husband and me.
In the early years I planted yellow daffodils at Belvedere and our nearby East Garden residence and conference center. Why daffodils? Daffodils are the harbingers of spring. As the first flowers to pierce through the frozen ground after withstanding the cold of winter, they herald the coming of warmth and new life. I am always amazed at this providence displayed by Mother Nature and by the strength of the sprouts that appear where snow still remains. Roses and lilies that bloom in spring or midsummer are beautiful, but I most appreciate the little daffodil, whose humble, unassuming bloom breaks the spell of the cold winter. Called to be the only begotten Daughter and True Mother, my path is to break through the icy grip of human sin and help bring God’s blessing to the world. I often identify with this lovely flower.
* * *
It was a joy to return to Belvedere for a special event in the summer of 2016. It was June 1 and the American members were commemorating the 40th anniversary of the God Bless America rally at Yankee Stadium. That 1976 rally was a monumental event for us. There, my husband proclaimed America’s responsibility as the land God prepared to bring the unity of all races, nations and religions through its Christian spirit and foundation.
That God needed to call a Korean movement, the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, to remind America of its destiny is somewhat ironic. Following God, we sought with all our might to awaken America, which had fallen into chaos and corruption. At that time, Father Moon and I were known only as the founders of an emerging religious movement from the East. I feel today, a half a century later, as I did then—desperate with the hope of giving birth to God’s global peace kingdom.
With this heart, I felt so grateful to the families that gathered on that day at Belvedere to celebrate this 40th anniversary. It was a sea of daffodils. They were in their twenties in 1976, and now here they were, with their children and grandchildren. At one point, we sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” It is a simple song but one that I will never forget, for to me, and to all gathered on that day, it has deep significance. I was overcome with emotion, silently meditating, reliving the memories that flooded through me.
* * *
The Puritan spirit of seeking God and religious liberty at all costs gave birth to the United States of America. Nonetheless, over time, America permitted a selfish and decadent culture to emerge and displace its original concern for God’s will. Traditional Christianity lacked spiritual resources to prevent the rise of sexual immorality and materialism. Arriving here in December 1971, my husband and I, with our members, invested all our strength to resurrect the founding spirit of America and awaken Americans to their God-given responsibilities. God’s dream is for all people in the world to live with gratitude in the peaceful, happy realm of God’s love. To achieve this, we knew we had to stir up a revolutionary culture of heart. This was the impetus for our Yankee Stadium rally on June 1, 1976.
The year 1976 was the bicentennial of the founding of the United States. As Koreans, citizens of a republic that owed its existence in large part to the United States, we love America. Since 1972, my husband had been speaking emphatically throughout America, saying, “God sent me in the role of a doctor and as a firefighter to save America.” We believed that America is a chosen nation, and we declared as our theme for the 1976 rally, “God Bless America.” We raised our voices to shout that God needs America to overcome communism and restore family-centered morality.