Many Want to Avoid the Thorny Path that Lies Along the Way

Cheon Seong Gyeong 2156

Today I would like to gratefully take this opportunity and talk about a fundamental solution to the problem of the unification of the Korean peninsula – the unification that is our nation’s most cherished desire as well as the last matter of the Cold War that awaits settlement. I would like to entitle this talk “The Course of Life for the Princes and Princesses of God.”

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1383

    What will happen once we have conducted this ceremony? Families in the world today are breaking down, and resolving this issue remains a problem. With the world struggling to solve this problem of family breakdown, the Unification Church will bring together 360,000 young couples to form new families to live in an ideal manner, and this will lead all disordered families in the world to automatically take great interest in them. This will become a global issue.
    Once I bless these 360,000 couples and rumors spread worldwide that it was the best thing that happened to the world, and as a result 36,000 couples from each nation were brought to participate in the Blessing, how many couples would that add up to? There are some countries that want to send 50,000 couples. Think about it. (269-300, 1995.5.1).5.1)

Beyond Ritual

WHEN RITUAL IS OVERLY RELIED UPON, it may imbue an aura of sanctity not matched by deeds or wisdom. Ritual is no substitute for authentic piety, love of one’s neighbor and personal realization of God. Nearly every religion has its own internal critique of ritualism. Even when the founder of one religion is apparently criticizing the ritualism of another religion, the passage was originally a prophetic word to his own people.
Father Moon concurs in these critiques, and adds two more: First, ritual can create a barrier between different denominations and faiths, which runs contrary to the will of God for religious unity. In this time of coming together, the barriers of ritual should be transcended. Second, acts of pious devotion to God and Jesus do not often grant the inner knowledge to know their heart and will. For example, many Christians revere the cross as the sign of salvation, when for Jesus it was the accursed instrument of his death and the source of millennia of grief and frustration that he could not have lived to complete his mission to build God’s Kingdom on earth.
Chief among the religious rituals in ancient times was animal sacrifice, yet, with a few exceptions, animal sacrifice is rare in religion today. Religions have come to regard acts of devotion, study, and charity the essence of the ancient ritual sacrifices that are required by scripture but no longer practiced. Thus, the Talmud regards charity to one’s neighbor as the equivalent of sacrificing a lamb as a sin offering. In a similar vein, the Buddha criticizes animal sacrifice as creating evil karma by killing life, and instead teaches a spiritual meaning of sacrifice as fulfilled in honoring parents, caring for family, and giving charity to monks.

  1. Better than Ritual Is a Loving Heart and Righteous Deeds

With what shall I come before the Lord?
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of
rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
    Micah 6.6-8

Even three times a day to offer
Three hundred cooking pots of food
Does not match a portion of the merit
Acquired in one instant of love.
    Nagarjuna, Precious Garland 283 (Buddhism)

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