This is the time of Christmas; so are you thinking of your hometowns and missing them? If you say no, you are not being honest. Why does everyone naturally think about their homes at Christmas time? It is human nature to return in our memories to our past whenever something special happens, whether happy or sad. We think back to our homes because that is where our parents were, our brothers and sisters, and all our relatives. We grew up in that place. Our physical bodies, as well as our spirit and soul, were brought up in our hometowns, so we always return there in our memories.
Whenever you look at old pictures of your family, you can clearly see the family resemblances among the parents, brothers and sisters. All the memories of your youth are contained within your hometown-from childhood, through adolescence and on to young adulthood.
As a baby you were taken care of by your parents, who changed your diapers, bathed you, and so on. Later they went through all your growing pains with you. I know many of you remember being spanked sometimes by your parents. You gave them problems at times and were bad boys and girls. All these experiences form your memories. Perhaps you fought with your brothers and sisters, hitting them and so on. All such bad things actually become part of the pleasant memories of the past in your mind.
In your hometown you could feel comfortable asking a friend for some extra-special favor and everyone would think it was perfectly normal. Sometimes you might have insisted strongly on something from your relatives or neighbors and it was considered normal. When you started a fight with your brother and hit him first, perhaps you were the one to cry first so you got the most sympathy!
The hometown can be characterized by warmth and love; once you leave it and go out into the larger society, you discover that warmth is lacking. Society is very impersonal and cold. If you make some mistake or do something wrong, you receive punishment without fail; there is no forgiveness. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back-with interest. You cannot expect sympathy or an easy time from people in the larger society. Your hometown is the place where you feel embraced by the people and everything there.
Once you are grown up, you reach the time to get married. If you had to choose between getting married and going back to your hometown, which would you choose? Certainly anyone would prefer to have an ideal mate, rather than just going back home. Why is that? Nowadays in this secular society, men and women can be happily married one day and the next day have a quarrel and start thinking about divorce. Since you abandon your hometown in order to get married, you expect the marriage to be better. In what way should the marriage be better?
In the Orient whenever men and women get divorced they always go back to their parents' home. That is true here sometimes, too. It is a natural thing for people that when they leave their homes, they go to live with their ideal mates. The realm of give and take between marriage partners, then, is supposed to be better than that in your hometown.
A child can behave badly and get a spanking from his parents; then, within a short time, he has completely forgotten the incident. That is a precious quality of a child. The younger the child, the greater the ability to forget. This is one of the qualities which Jesus was referring to when he said in the Bible, "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven." There is no cynicism or sarcasm in a little child; he responds genuinely and simply. When you are kind to a child, he is happy and kind in response. When you are angry with him, he will run away from you. He is absolutely honest in his response.
The husband and wife relationship is supposed to be better than any in childhood. That means although husband and wife fight sometimes, you should be able to put it behind you. No matter how much you love someone, if you have an attitude of holding grudges you can never have total success in that relationship.
What is the definition of a good husband and good wife? It is important to have a clear definition of those terms. How can the good student in school be determined? By his performance on tests. It doesn't matter how handsome his face is, how tall he is or how much he weighs. The good student is determined by the tests. In the same sense, the good husband and good wife are determined by tests and how well they do. The husband gives the tests to the wife and she has to pass them; and vice-versa.
Would you like to be tested every day or just once in a while? Does anyone actually enjoy taking tests? No one likes taking tests, but they are a necessity which we must go through. Which is the better test-the difficult test or the easy one? What is the standard of good and bad membership in the Unification Church? How do we define those things? Again, it is by passing different tests. In our church there are many different kinds of tests; fundraising is one, witnessing another, fasting is another, and receiving the three indemnity blows is another. When you see that a new, more difficult kind of test is coming to you, is that a good or a bad sign?
God is looking at His children and telling them, "I want you to be the very best child." What is the standard by which God determines who are the better children? How can He decide? What kind of test would God devise? God created all things in the world-diamonds, gold, etc. He doesn't lack anything, such as wealth, wisdom or power. What would be the criterion by which God would determine which of His children has the highest possible standard? When a teacher makes a test, he wants to check to see whether the students have learned the most vital, basic information. Thus God will make His tests to find out if His most important subject has been understood by His children. What is that subject? It is true love.
What is true love? What is the difference between true love and any other kind? The most simple criterion of true love is that it is a giving love more than a receiving love. Parents want to give to their children, out of their heart of love. Should the children just continue to receive from their parents? Women always want to just receive love from everyone, isn't that true? Women always wait to receive more and more love, but at a certain point you start to give that love back. What time is that? It is when you become mothers. It is the mother who expresses the most love in the beginning toward the children, rather than the father. The mother gives her love more intensely to her children because it is the woman who has been receiving so much love throughout her life.
There is a basic law of nature illustrated in the way we breathe. When you inhale to your fullest capacity, can you continue to drink in more and more air? Certainly not. You must exhale after you have inhaled. Breathing out is just as important as breathing in. Likewise, when you receive, you must also give. When you eat food, you must also eliminate waste products.
God loves and enjoys true love, the kind of love which gives to others. Who initiated that love-man or God? It was God, because He was the parent and as the parent, He is the cause of love. The causal being initiates the resultant being. The cause must take that initiative so the result can become a reality. Who gave you your hair and your eyeballs? It was the first cause. We are all results of that cause. Thus you can never say, "I am all by myself, alone and unique in the whole universe." The resultant being can never take the causal position; the resultant being is in the passive position. Thus, the resultant being must search after his cause and seek interaction with that cause.
How should we return to our origin, our cause? Since that cause initiated giving love, we can return to that cause by returning or reciprocating that love. Commonly in our world today, people think of themselves from an independent and selfish point of view. Yet no one is just "myself,' but is the result of a cause. You are always connected with that cause. Therefore, people must find unity with that cause. Since we received the most precious gift from that cause, in order to return we must take an equally precious gift to the cause.
You received life from your cause: therefore, when you return you should return with the most brilliant life. You received love; therefore, when you go back you should bring your most brilliant love. You must realize that your life is precious because that first cause of your life is most precious. It is your duty, therefore, to cherish your life. You want to be worthy of receiving love from that first cause; that love is precious and noble, so you naturally want to be equally precious and noble in order to return love of equal importance to Him.
The primary problem of the world is lack of awareness that man is a resultant being; he is an objective being rather than a subjective one. Have you ever thought that you were a resultant, objective being accountable to someone else, or do you normally think, "I am free and independent; don't bother me!"? The latter is the most general way of thinking in the world.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be independent, since you have your own direction and goal to return to that first cause. As long as that is the motivation of your desire for independence, it is justifiable. It is all right to seek to be left alone in order to go back to your cause.
What do women need? Women need men. Do you women agree? How much do you need men? That relationship is on the horizontal level, with man in the plus position and woman in the minus position. American women don't think that way, but it is true. Why can't the woman claim the plus position? You are born to fulfill the minus position. Men are created as pluses. In the Oriental philosophy, men represent the heavens and women represent the earth.
All people are resultant beings with a vertical journey to pursue-our unity with our origin. Then we have another journey-the horizontal one toward our horizontal cause. Evil originated in the lower place, which is earth. You women have the tendency to receive love all the time, but when you are called upon to give love, you protest, saying, "No, that is not my duty. Let somebody else do it." Even the East Garden children have that tendency. Whenever I look into the drawers of the girls, everything is well organized and well stocked; everything that could be needed is there and accounted for. When I open up the boys' drawers, they are messy and disorganized. They don't even particularly care what they have; if somebody wants to borrow something from them, they just tell them to go ahead and help themselves.
The girls accumulate many things and keep them organized. When the time comes for marriage, they pack everything up and take it away! If they present their possessions to their husbands without any reservation, that is totally okay. This is because the earth was supposed to present all things in offering to Heaven, to God. Thus women are supposed to make that kind of offering through their husbands.
The beauty of universal law is that when you make an offering to God, you are not losing anything. The more you present to God, the more you increase yourself. It is a mutual prospering for both you and God. God's mind is one of ideal love; He is an infinite reservoir of that love. The more God consumes, the greater amount He returns. Whoever gives to God will always be replenished by God. What can be lost? The more someone gives to God, the greater will be his return. This leads us to the clear understanding of why we, as resultant beings, need a relationship with the original, causal being. That is the only way we can grow to maturity and prosperity.
Leaves on the very top of a tree cannot grow unless they have an interaction with the lowest part of the root, which is their origin and cause. Likewise when men have give and take of true love with God, their cause, they grow and prosper without end.
You love God, don't you? How much do you love God? Do you love Him more than you love yourself? He is more than you, greater than you and the owner of yourself; therefore, it is good to love Him more than yourself. He is the owner of true love, so we naturally like and love Him.
If you assert yourself in an aggressive, stubborn way for the sake of returning to that first cause, your deeds can be justified. According to the same principle, you women should pack up everything you own and give it, along with your own heart and body, to your husband. There is no way in which you will diminish when you do such a thing, according to the principle of true love. You will prosper together and grow together.
Husband and wife have dominion over each other out of love, not in any other way. Therefore, the most important criterion is this: more than you love your husbands, you women should love God. The same is true for men; God must come first. When you are united horizontally as husband and wife, you can go upward to the vertical level.
The first cause divided himself up-God is divided into masculine and feminine-so in order to return to God, the two divided parts should come together as one unit. There is no other way. Men and women move toward each other and this is entirely natural. Unless you unite with your ideal mate here on earth you shall have no way to move vertically toward God.
Why is marriage necessary? Is it because you need to receive love from someone? No, you marry because you want to form that unit which is responsible to God. Now you have the answer as to why men and women marry. Why is it good to have children? The ultimate destiny of mankind is to return to God, so having children is a necessary aspect of that. Each of you is looking forward to having a spouse, but that spouse is actually the intermediate instrument for returning to God.
When the vertical and horizontal interact, their motion creates circular movement. In such motion, the heaviest elements settle in the center and the lightest elements go to the outside. The cause of causes is the heaviest element, God, who forms the center. What is the center of God? It is true love. Thus, the center of centers is true love.
In the center of the universe is the universal plus, surrounded by smaller minuses. Among those minuses, there are also small pluses which unite with them to create larger and larger entities. These united plus and minus entities resemble the original cause. All together these entities are a "super-minus," surrounding the "super-plus" in the center.
In yourself there is mind and body. Which is more important? It is the true mind, which is in the center of your being. Anybody who has nothing to do with true love will eventually be rejected by the universe. God didn't want anyone to be rejected by the universe; therefore, in order to sustain life here on earth, men and women must come together. That's why marriage is God's institution.
The plainest truth is that when the plus and minus of man and woman unite together, they create a bigger minus in front of their cause, God, who is the biggest plus. In that way plus and minus interact. That is the only way mankind can be sustained. Why do we need children? Children are necessary because through them, people can experience truly unconditional, sacrificial love toward them. That experience is actually training for people which allows them to understand God better and allows them to return love to Him. We receive parental love from God, so by understanding the intensity of that love we can be motivated to return it to Him.
The criterion for loving is within your family. You must love God, the ultimate subject, more than your husband or wife, more than your children; when you do that you are doing what is right. God is the first cause and must be loved above all. When the love of God comes to you, it includes all the different aspects of love-men and women, parents and children; everything is included within that love. Your love is intense for your husband or wife. You must come to realize that you love God even more than that. Then God will tell you that you passed the test.
Only through your spouse and the love of your children can you return to your origin, God. Universal truth is based on this. The heaviest center is God; the center of God is true love. When you reach that core center of God and become united with Him, you become a part of Him. You become like Him and become an original magnet. pulling everything toward you. From that position you can push and pull and every action you do is one of harmony and goodness. When you have been away from your lover for a long time and you suddenly meet up with him or her again, what do you do? You come together and feel like squeezing each other to death. You should think of God like your lover, so you feel like squeezing Him, too. God loves that and He will tell you that you have passed His test.
God loves you-every part and function of you, including your eyes, nose, ears, everything. Husband and wife should focus more and more love toward each other, not seeking for themselves. The more intense your love, the closer you are getting to the center and by that you can interact faster and faster. The closer two objects are to the center of a circle, the closer they come together and the faster they can have give and take. Now we know why men and women must get together in marriage and have children; our central goal and purpose is to return and unite totally with our central, original cause, God.
If Adam and Eve had completed their love and traveled this route, they would never have fallen. The same is true of you. Some of you think, "Why did Father have to match me to such a person? Everybody else got good husbands, but not me! Mine is ugly and not so good." But that is your universal test, the hardest test God could give you. Since that is the ultimate test, if you pass it, you will jump into the center of God immediately.
Your five senses represent the most holy, sacred love. When you touch your lover with your hand, it is like God touching him or her. That is wonderful and holy. Why shouldn't we refer to each other as, "My holy spouse"? Anything godly is holy, so our husbands and wives should be regarded as holy, too. The saintly couple is such a couple. What is a saint? The saint is the one who concentrates on returning true love to God, his origin. A saintly man and woman make a saintly couple. When such a husband and wife get together, isn't that better than returning to your home town?
The Christmas season has come and I have been thinking about what I could give to you. This morning I am opening my "true love" package for you, my gift to you.
When husband and wife conceive a child, they are brightened up by ecstatic joy and happiness. God created women deliberately to be greedy for love, always seeking to receive from others so that when the time comes, He can demand that you give that love forth to your children. When you become pregnant, you women often become very sick and weak, losing your appetites and energy. It is almost like a sickness, and pregnancy lasts for nine months. However the pregnant woman is happy anyway, even though she can hardly walk with her huge stomach. Once she comes near to her term, she is so full she can hardly sleep; her breathing becomes difficult and so on. Even though she knows it is because of the child that she is so uncomfortable, no mother will curse and blame the child. She just thinks of that child with total love and devotion! She can hardly wait to see him. That is the love of the mother.
The child is really a "bloodsucker," in a way. The mother's blood nourishes the baby when he is in the womb and then when he nurses, she continues to nourish him. Childbirth is normally a very painful experience for the mother, but she immediately forgets the pain when she sees her baby and wants to nurse him at her breast. The woman who was so greedy for love becomes totally giving and unselfish toward her child. God is fair. He knew that He was demanding a lot from women, so He allowed women to be a little greedy when they are young. For that reason, also, He created women last-you are the "latest model," very delicate and sophisticated instruments. You are the latest minus for the ultimate plus, God.
The essentiality of God is based upon true love. This is why He can require of the world that we love Him. Loving Him is like loving yourself because it is the only way you can prosper and continue for eternity. God requires us to love Him so that we can receive love, too. Once we understand this fact, we can have bubbling enthusiasm.
The ultimate reason for love is to return to God and become one with Him; there is no other reason. This earth and universe surround us like a second "womb," and we are preparing here for another, ultimate birth. When you were in your mother's womb you received all the ingredients you needed through the umbilical cord. By the same token you are growing through the channels of the universe-water, food, air-which are supplied to you. In order to meet your requirements, the universe is continually serving you with tremendous sacrifice to itself.
The natural principle of survival of the fittest serves the purpose of returning to God. The lower forms of creation are actually honored and privileged to serve the higher forms so that they can return to God. Food, water and so forth are all created by God to serve the higher beings and aid them in their search for the love of God. By serving the higher being they are serving a higher cause. When you eat an animal as food, that animal is serving a higher purpose by becoming a sacrifice to you. That animal becomes a part of the cells in the higher being, you. It actually becomes part of a higher cause in that way. By doing so the goal of that animal has been fulfilled.
That principle should work the same in the human world. For the sake of a higher cause you say to God, "Yes, Father, I can give my very life as a sacrifice for your purpose." That is a natural tendency. All creations of God have the same goal and purpose: to journey toward their ultimate center, which is the true love of God. Once they reach that goal, they are reaching a relationship with the entire universe.
When you eat you become indebted to that food because that vegetable or animal has sacrificed itself for you. You must fulfill their purpose by elevating them to a relationship with the highest being. You are like an ambassador for the entire universe; all of creation needs you to gain a relationship with God. You should look at the birds, the running water, the animals and so on with such a viewpoint.
You should look at the universe as a gigantic museum and. all the things of creation as exhibits in it. At the Louvre museum in France, many people can observe the painting Mona Lisa; it is considered to be of priceless value. However compared with God's museum, the Mona Lisa is nothing; the things in God's museum are not only beautiful, they can also multiply themselves forever. No matter how wise a person you may be, you could never duplicate even one small thing which God has created.
If you asked a blade of grass, "How old are you?" he would answer, "I am older than you. I was there in the Garden of Eden, long before you men were." Ask that grass, "Who created you?" and he would answer, "The King of Art, Science, and Wisdom-God Almighty- created me." Even the tiniest ant was created by God. What about the rattlesnake-would he bite God if he could? Even the snake has the ability to love. The male and female snakes certainly have give and take of love; they don't bite each other!
Knowing all these truths, the universe appears to you in an entirely different perspective. You can say, "All this is God's creation and I am, too. Since I am a representative of God, I should appreciate all these things." When you see everything as God's creation, then there is nothing which is not lovable. You can love the mountains, the grasses, flowers, pebbles, animals. Everything is a lovable artistic work of God.
Since you are a representative of the true love of God, everything in the universe will seek to be close to you. The flower will say, "Please take me and hold me. Put me in your house where I can be appreciated by you and your family."
Always remember that God is the cause and we are the result. As resultant beings, our journey in life is to go back to that cause. Your first home was in your family, which is the wellspring of true love for your life. For Unification Church members, Christmas time is a time when you like to gather at Belvedere and hear a sermon. Even better, you would like to go to East Garden and be with Father and Mother and the true family. Since school is recessed now, the children went with Mother yesterday for a short trip; I was supposed to join them but I decided that I would rather stay here with you children at Belvedere this Sunday.
The mysterious secret of total success is to become men and women able to communicate true love with all things. By give and take between the vertical cause and the horizontal effect, you shall achieve everything in total success.
Don't ever forget this teaching today. Use your five senses with this point of view. Every action of your body, every day, should be done with the purpose of returning to the first cause. You can only return to that first cause with true love. Once you undertake this journey of true love, the universe will cooperate and help you. Nothing will hamper you, even national boundaries, cultural and racial differences.
We are engaged in a marathon race toward the goal of our cause of true love. We must make a relationship with everything in the universe and steer ourselves continually toward that goal. For this reason, the Unification Church is interested in every field and every aspect of life; we go everywhere geographically-east, west, Africa, South America, Asia; we do fishing, laboring, agriculture, mining, aviation. There is no area in which we are not interested. That is because this universe is our home, our "mother's womb" which we want to use to prepare for our future life.
When men and women are truly in love, they occupy each other. The man is completely occupied by the woman and vice-versa. By the same token, we could say the same thing about God. When you have a true love relationship with God, He will be occupied by you. You will find your resting place right in the center of God.
Where can you find the love of God? You have that longing feeling for the love of your husband or wife which you cannot forget at any time; such a feeling of longing describes God's love. For this reason, you are precious and unique in this universe; you have total dignity and authority to represent God.
Men and women must go through the center of their lives, which is God. Every person starts from different angles and different beginning points, but you are all aiming to get to that central point, your ultimate destination. Everybody wants to be Number One; that is, we want to get to that central position.
Mother and I have 13 children now, so do you think God will say, "That's enough. I am happy with that."? The numbers of cells in one human body equals about 400 trillion. Therefore, 4 billion members of mankind must be too small a number for God.
Children always want to receive the love of their parents. Therefore, all the people in the world are reaching for that central point of the universe, God. When a person directs his love toward his parents, he exhibits filial piety. When he directs love toward his country, he is a loyal patriot. When he directs his love toward God. he becomes a saint. The love is the same. For each of you to become a pious son, a patriot and saint is within your realm; in fact, it is your goal. You should become even more; you should gain the title of son and daughter of God. What more could you want?
When I speak to you, do you divide my words into two parts-that which you want to hear and that which you don't want to hear? Or do you listen to everything equally? Sometimes I test you. God certainly has tested me. Many times God has called to me, "Reverend Moon, are you truly my son?" I answer, "Yes, Sir." He replies, "Then l want to test you to see if you really are." Do you think I said to Him, "No, Father, don't test me!" NO, I told God to go ahead and give me the toughest possible tests.
I could foresee the types of tests I would have to meet, so I solved problems before they arose. Then I could tell God, "I already finished that test a long time ago." Finally God said, "I have no more tests for you." Then I said to Him, "Father, let me test You this time!"
The Moonies are persecuted now and scorned by the world, but we are truly a great people, with great dynamism and honor. Who understands these basic truths now? The distinguished Harvard University professors don't know it, the president of the U.S. doesn't understand it. Only you small handful of humble people have been able to understand it. How grateful we must be!
The mother's womb is not a glamorous or beautiful place, but that is where life is conceived and grows. It is like a factory; factories are not clean and lovely places. That most holy place, the womb, has a lowly appearance. By the same token, Belvedere appears very humble, but this is the holy place where new life is being vegetated and nurtured. This former garage is the place where God is teaching His wonderful message.
Husband and wife should look at this world like they were looking at the Garden of Eden, in which there is only one man and one woman. What if Adam had happened to be crippled? Would Eve have complained to God, "Oh, no, I want another man!"? Eve didn't have that kind of choice. If Adam had been running around and had fallen down on a bush, he might have become blinded in one eye. Would Eve have said, "God, I don't want a one-eyed husband!"? Consider yourselves as Adam and Eve for whom there is only one possible mate; it is your destiny.
You men should look at your wives and think, "She is the only woman in the entire universe; she is the only Eve." You may have been thinking about how ugly your husband or wife was, but when you start to look at your spouse from the proper angle you will see universal beauty in him or her. You should look at each other with universal eyeglasses and then your husband will look like a Heavenly Rock Hudson. With universal eyeglasses, nothing looks ugly in God's creation.
In the eyes of the secular world, life in the Unification Church may look miserable but looking with eyeglasses of universal true love, our life appears beautiful, sacred, holy and prosperous. Now that 1983 is coming, prepare for the new year with the determination to wear those universal true love eyeglasses. Look at the entire world with those eyeglasses; proudly proclaim yourself as a child of the True Parents and march forward to win the ultimate victory.
God bless you.