Mother of Peace: Episode 47
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 8: The Mother Builds The Family, The Family Builds The World, pg 229-234
CHAPTER 8 The Mother Builds The Family, The Family Builds The World
Loving Your Family Means Giving Your Life
“I love you.” These are the sweetest words. They are the first words, because through love all life begins. But human beings can speak these words either responsibly or irresponsibly. God also gave animals the power to multiply through love. Animals search for a partner with whom to bear and raise offspring. But they differ from us in that for them, love is instinctual and they are not responsible to make moral decisions related to love. For human beings, in contrast to animals, love is accompanied by responsibility. Love practiced with moral responsibility is what we call “true love.”
A husband and wife who believe in the sanctity of love and fulfill their responsibility accordingly are practicing true love. Through their love, God creates a nest of happiness. True love makes us true husbands and wives who, after giving birth to sons and daughters, grow to become true parents. The saying, “When one’s home is harmonious, all goes well,” is a truth of the highest value; it was true in the past, it is true today and it will be true in the future. True love is the most important factor in creating a happy family. My husband and I bless the marriages of couples of all races, nations and religions and provide True Family Values education for the sake of creating families of true love.
With true love, you can gladly give your life for your family. Sacrificing your life for your family is at once heroic and tragic. I am reminded of a very sad event that took place in Belize, Central America in early 2019. A Japanese couple, Takayuki and Junko Yanai, who participated in the 1988 Blessing Ceremony of 6,500 couples, have been doing mission work in Belize since 1996. One night an armed burglar broke into their family home. He shot at Mr. Yanai, but at that instant their third son, 19-year-old Masaki, jumped in front of the bullet, giving his life to save his father.
When I received the report of this event, I closed my eyes, unable to speak for some time. Of course, no family lives a perfectly tranquil life, but it is truly heartbreaking to see a family meet with such a terrible tragedy.
I also know the pain of losing a family member, of saying goodbye to a child while remaining in this world myself. Four of my children have already departed this life. Is not every father and mother committed to give their life to save their child, as Masaki did for his father? Love between parents and children most resembles God’s love. Love within the family is the model of the love that God desires us to practice in all spheres of life.
There are stories like that of the Yanai family, where misfortune suddenly comes from the outside, but there are also stories where families bring misfortune upon themselves. Discord between husbands and wives is one of the main reasons our world cannot be at peace. There are 7.7 billion people on earth today, but the creation of peace really depends upon two people—one man and one woman, that is, a husband and wife. People enter into various types of relationships and encounter different kinds of problems, but the root of all these problems is the same—the flawed relationship between man and woman. Peace will come when two people, a man and a woman, trust and love each other. If men and women can fulfill their mutual responsibility to trust and love each other, the world will become the happy place we all wish it to be.
I’m saying that each person’s happiness depends on his or her ability to achieve peace in their marriage and family. When true parents, true spouses and true children form a peaceful family, happiness follows naturally. Harmony is created when parents, children and grandchildren unite in heart. No matter what difficulties come, the parents’ heart of love for their sons and daughters and the grandparents’ heart of love for their grandchildren should never change. Grandchildren, also, need to respect and love their grandparents. The greatest happiness is generated within the family where three generations live together in love.
Children of true filial piety are those who sacrifice for their parents just as their parents have sacrificed for them. Before striving to be a loyal patriot, each person must first become a filial child before his or her parents and a sibling who sacrifices for his or her brothers and sisters. A man or woman becomes a truly filial son or daughter when he or she is married. Truly filial sons and daughters are those who present children to their parents, thereby becoming true parents themselves.
The family is the world’s most important institution, and Heavenly Parent created it to be the environment of the greatest happiness and goodness. The goodness is because your mother and father are there, and the happiness is because your brothers and sisters are there. All people without exception miss their hometown. When we live in a foreign land, our hearts ache for our hometown. We miss our nation because our hometown is there, and we miss our hometown because our family is there.
A flower called sacrifice
It was 1961, and our church was filled with brides and bridegrooms standing solemnly side by side, each bride holding a bouquet. Outside the gate, however, angry parents gathered. Through the windows came the clamor of raised voices: “I’m absolutely against this wedding! Stop it at once! How on earth can you think this is a real marriage?” They energized each other with their outrage. “That Mr. Moon took my daughter to marry her off like this! I will never give my consent—let her out of there!” One of them even threw coal ashes over the gate, dirtying the wedding gown of a beautiful bride.
When the Unification Church conducted its first large wedding ceremony, many throughout Korea stood in vehement opposition. Parents opposed to the wedding turned the neighborhood around our church, where the newlyweds should have been congratulated, into a place of pandemonium. There are no words to describe how severely we were attacked and maligned at that time. Yet we overcame the hurt and embraced the opposition. We have conducted what we call the Blessing Ceremony for over half a century, blessing in marriage hundreds of thousands of couples of all races, nations and religions throughout the world. This is a testimony to the fact that the Blessing Ceremony is a manifestation of God’s love and truth.
The marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted by the True Parents is a sacrament rooted in single-minded devotion. It is a ceremony of true love, and true love embodies sacrifice. A poet once said, “Love is the pain of giving up myself.” We cannot achieve true love without offering ourselves. Man is born for woman and woman for man. Naturally and joyfully we should sacrifice ourselves for our beloved. This is nowhere more evident than in our cross-cultural marriages.
* * *
“You have graduated from a prominent university, and you have a good job. Think about it—the person who is to be your spouse is of a different race, and her family lives halfway around the world. Are you going to go through with this?” When asked such a question, most people will waver. Our members, on the other hand, immediately answer, “Yes, I will. I am thankful to do this, because it is for a great purpose.”
The Unification movement teaches that intercultural, interracial families are the key to world peace. During my husband’s life, most of our members requested that he and I arrange their marriage, for the purpose of their making a complete offering of their lives to God. In many cases, if not most, they knew that this meant they would be dedicating their life to someone who is quite different from them, who might not speak their language or know their culture. They wanted their marriage to be grounded in nothing but God, True Parents and the principles of peace. Our brides and bridegrooms requested this path with gratitude, but their parents sometimes desperately opposed it. It was the parents of the thousands of Korean-Japanese couples that faced the greatest difficulty.
One Korean father represented many when he wrote to my husband, “When I think about what we suffered under Japanese colonial rule, my blood still boils. To think that my son will marry the daughter of our enemy nation! I will never accept a Japanese daughter-in-law into our family. Never!” Many parents of the Japanese brides felt the same from their side of the divide.
Jesus said, “Love your enemy.” Most people admit that a peaceful world will come only when we love our enemies. Nonetheless, it is not easy for most of us to translate Jesus’ words into action. Some brides and grooms bit their lips as they took part in these joint wedding ceremonies. Their course was by no means smooth as they prepared for their marriage and spent the first years of their lives together. But their commitment to live for a purpose beyond themselves, centered on God, gave them the strength necessary to liquidate the underlying terrible history of their two nations that had been enemies. They were able to dissolve this bitter root through coming to understand each other and healing each other’s pain.