Creating a World of Peace - The Thought and Works of Sun Myung Moon by Joon Ho Seuk
Volume 4 - Marriage, the Blessing and World Peace [Part 1 of 5]
Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon.
2. The Restoration Of God's Ideal
A. World Peace as the Restoration of God's Ideal
B. Realms of Heart
C. Love, Life and Lineage
D. Kings and Queens of Love
3. The Decline Of Marriage And Family
A. Divorce Culture
B. The Impact of Divorce
C. Single-Parent Culture
4. The Blessing
B. The History of the Blessing
C. The Blessing
D. The Holy Wine
E. The Blessing Ceremony
F. Responsibilities of the Blessing
G. Completion of the Blessing
H. New Culture
5. Reverend Moon's Activities
"God-centered men and women in perfection are called men and women of goodness. These good men and women may receive God's blessing of marriage and be united into a couple as husband and wife. This will be the beginning of one ideal family on the face of the earth. This model family is what God wanted to have as a building block of the society, nation and world." - Sun Myung Moon
On August 25, 1992, 20,000 couples from 131 countries participated in a remarkable wedding ceremony at Seoul Olympic Stadium.
Ten thousand other couples participated through satellite links at ten venues in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Japan. This was but one of many such ceremonies that Reverend and Mrs. Moon have conducted throughout the world during the past 40 years.
For all of the couples, the international and public nature of these ceremonies contributes to their value and significance. The participants come from all over the world, drawn by a conviction that their marriages, transcending the boundaries of nationality, race and culture, will contribute to the creation of a world of peace.
Under the auspices of Reverend and Mrs. Moon, many millions of couples worldwide have declared or renewed their marriage vows, asking God's blessing on their families.
Reverend Moon's vision of world peace is founded upon his understanding of God's ideal for humankind, and that ideal is rooted in the family. Within the healthy family, the bonds of relationship are strong, and the key relationship is that between parents, the bond of marriage.
The ministry of Reverend and Mrs. Moon is characterized by an emphasis on marriage and family as the center point for the experience of divine love. They teach that true love can be most fully realized in a family in which God's love abides.
As we saw in Volume Two, the relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, and brothers and sisters should be characterized by a profoundly fulfilling and enduring love. They also teach that the greatest problems in our world have their root in the breakdown of the family ideal through the misuse of love. If the ideal of the family can be reestablished, then eventually world peace can be achieved.
Reverend Moon constantly reminds his audiences that the great majority of people want for themselves and their children a good and lasting marriage, because marriage plays an important role in their quest for meaning, happiness and fulfillment.
Marriage naturally has social, economic and biological functions, with accompanying duties and responsibilities. It is the most basic and universal social institution, charged with the central responsibility for raising children and caring for family members.
Through marriage, people acquire obligations to a community and network of relatives. Marriage marks a person's vertical and horizontal position in the social fabric. This is why Reverend Moon sees a direct connection between successful marriages and a successful, peaceful society.
In October 2001, speaking in New York where the horrific events of September 11 were still foremost in people's minds, Reverend Moon identified four crucial steps or "gateways" to world peace. First, he said, we must live for the sake of others. A self-centered life not only causes discomfort to others, but also violates the laws of Heaven.
Living for the sake of others, on the other hand, is the way we can resemble God. Loving our family, our community, our nation and the world is the way to inherit God's true love. It is the way to live in accord with the fundamental order of the universe.
Only then can we finally become the leaders who can bring about peace on Earth.
The second step identified by Reverend Moon is inter-religious reconciliation and cooperation. We cannot expect world peace unless religious people reconcile and cooperate, he said. Since world peace represents the original ideal of God, religious leaders and believers should be the guides who lead people to peace. If religions only emphasize narrow-minded denominationalism and fail to teach true love for God and the universe, we will never free humankind from the horrors of war.
In the face of this global crisis, religious leaders have to practice true love, humbly following God's Will, walking hand in hand beyond the boundaries of their own religion.
Thirdly, Reverend Moon emphasized the proper role of the United Nations in realizing world peace. He noted that the world's circumstances have changed and the complex situations in which nations find themselves today are unlike those at the time of the United Nations' founding. In response, he called for the creation of a special body, within the UN, that would discuss and evaluate the religious, spiritual and moral dimensions of world problems.
However, the step that Reverend Moon identified as "the fundamental unit for building peaceful nations and ultimately a peaceful world" is the family. He explained that the international Blessing ceremonies that he conducts worldwide are not the wedding ceremony of a particular religion but rather a movement to save all nations and the world. "The Blessing," he said, "is a holy movement to build true families and lift up true parents who live centered on true love."
In this presentation, we will consider marriage as an essential component of peaceful communities. However, the marriage ceremonies conducted by Reverend and Mrs. Moon are far from being typical weddings. The sheer number of couples involved and their interracial and international identity make these "Blessing" ceremonies highly distinctive. Many people throughout the world have seen the astonishing images of thousands upon thousands of brides and grooms gathered together in one ceremony.
The world is less familiar with the serious intent and commitment with which these couples take their vows, dedicating their union and their lives to the pursuit of peace.