A Grateful Heart Is Essential to Living Faith

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Cheon Seong Gyeong 2331

Go through my collection of sermons: the things I said from forty years ago until now are all coming true. Well, you have all read those books, haven’t you? I am someone who knows a lot about Jesus. The name “True Parents” has existed from the year 1960. The fact that it entered the picture in this historic age is truly remarkable. There is no need to even speak about this, though. (168-259, 1987.9.27)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 962

    True Parents are giving the Blessing in the physical world, going beyond racial and religious boundaries. By connecting to this, the domain of liberation for the individual, family, tribe, people and nation can be established on the earth. That liberated domain is not created in the spirit world. Since the basis to connect to the world of heaven’s love and cosmic love exists on earth, the spiritual and physical worlds can become unified around True Parents. This will eliminate all indebtedness and perfect the Blessing of the individual, family, tribe, people, nation, world and even the Blessing of the cosmos.
    By creating a united and harmonized sphere of Blessed families in the spiritual and physical worlds, the foundation for the ideal of heaven based on the unfallen Adam can be established. This causes all families in history to have the same value. Through the manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in spirit world, God can come down and dwell on this foundation. God is the vertical Parent. True Parents are the horizontal Parents that can equalize the earth. Therefore, on Chil Pal Jeol, the Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath of the Parents of Heaven and Earth was proclaimed, and a new age began. Furthermore, from the day of 9.9. Jeol, we enter a new era. (303-257, 1999.9.9)

Gratitude and Indebtedness

A GRATEFUL HEART is essential to living faith. Sincere believers keep ever in mind that God’s power and grace sustains them, and for that they are grateful. Children first learn gratitude when the family says grace at meals, in the simple act of thanking God for the food on the table. As we recognize God’s grace everywhere, guiding our path and helping us in our weakness, we find more to be grateful for. When we encounter difficult situations, we can take the challenges as opportunities for growth and as God’s gifts intended to push us to higher peaks of love and service. Gratitude is the way to live with God, living in time with His rhythm. There is no room for complaint. Complaining is poison to the spirit, automatically separating us from God and blinding us to His good will.
Our gratitude increases when we recall our indebtedness to all those who have loved and invested themselves on our behalf—parents and teachers, siblings, spouse—and to all those we depend on for sustenance and protection—the soil and its produce, the workers who prepare and deliver food to our table, make the appliances we use and the cars we drive, the police and firemen who protect us, the doctors and hospitals who treat us when we are sick—the list is endless. Ultimately we are indebted to God, the Source of our life and the Author of our salvation. How can we possibly repay all these debts? At least we can be grateful; then we also can give to others.

Gratitude and Thanksgiving for God’s Gifts

O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to God, if it is Him that you worship.
    Qur’an 2.172

God created foods to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
    1 Timothy 4.3-5

Abraham caused God’s name to be mentioned by all the travelers whom he entertained. For after they had eaten and drunk, and when they arose to bless Abraham, he said to them, “Is it of mine that you have eaten? Surely it is of what belongs to God that you have eaten. So praise and bless Him by whose word the world was created.”
    Talmud, Sota 10b (Judaism)

It is God who has made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the day, as that which helps you to see. Verily God is full of grace and bounty to men, yet most men give no thanks.
    It is God who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape—and made your shapes beautiful—and has provided for you sustenance of things pure and good; such is God, your Lord. So glory to God, the Lord of the Worlds!
    Qur’an 40.61, 64 7

Ah, children—
Be not arrogant, but
Assist the deities of
Marvelous spirit power
In their work.
Even the grains, and the
Teeming grass and trees—
Even these are favored with
Blessings from Amaterasu,
Great Goddess of the Sun.
Morning and evening,
At each meal you take,
Consider the blessings of
You people of the world.
The blessings of the
Gods of heaven and earth—
Without these,
How could we exist,
Even for a day, even for a night?
Forget not the grace
Of generations of ancestors;
From age to age, the ancestors
Are our own ujigami,
Gods of our families.10
    Norinaga Motoori, One Hundred Poems on the Jeweled Spear (Shinto)

The unworthy man is ungrateful, forgetful of benefits [done to him]. This ingratitude, this forgetfulness is congenial to mean people… But the worthy person is grateful and mindful of benefits done to him. This gratitude, this mindfulness, is congenial to the best people.
    Anguttara Nikaya 1.61 (Buddhism)

One upon whom We bestow kindness
But will not express gratitude,
Is worse than a robber
Who carries away our belongings.
    Yoruba Proverb (African Traditional Religions)

Be not like those who honor their gods in prosperity and curse them in adversity. In pleasure or pain, give thanks!
    Mekilta to Exodus 20.20 (Judaism)

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