The Words of the Blanchard Family
The French Family prepared for several months to receive our True Parents: physical restoration of the new Center, spiritual preparation by accomplishing different conditions: teaching of the twelve chapters in twelve days, prayer in the Master's room for seven days between midnight and 1:00 a.m., blessing of the Center by Peter.
All four of us (Reiner, Henri, Remi, and Therese) arrived at Essen on Sunday, March 23. The Austrian Family was already there and we had the impression of always having lived together. The German Family had taken care of all of the details of the physical preparation, and we were able to concentrate all our attention on this great moment in history. This will not be another report on the Essen visit, but simply a few impressions.
The strength and love of our Master were evident from the first meeting. After songs and an introduction of each person, we listened to the teaching of the Divine Principle in the very voice of the one who had discovered it,. Truly, more than ever they were becoming a living reality millions of kilometers away from an intellectual teaching. We felt with joy the luck we had to be able from now on to grow towards the ideal of creation, to be accepted and blessed. From day to day the intensity increased toward the highest point of the visit, the blessing on the evening of Friday the 28th, where there were united majesty and simplicity, heaven and earth, God and man, the Family and the Parents. Our Father led us all into His Heaven while during this evening a new victory over Satan had been won, a victory with immense and eternal consequences that humanity would be able to see in a few years.
What joy for us to return to Paris with Reiner [Vincenz] and Barbara blessed. We felt how much our Parents have a great love and hope for the restoration of Europe.
On our return to Paris, in the morning of Sunday the 30th, we were a new family with a mother and the strength and light given at Essen. On Tuesday the 1st of April at 12:30, there began for the French Family at Bourget Airport (Paris) a visit which was so extraordinary and unique for its simplicity, its familial warmth, and its profound joy: our Master, our Mother, Mrs. Choi, Mr. Eu, Mr. Kuboki, Miss Kim, Neil Winterbottom, Reiner, Barbara, Henri, Remi, Therese, and Tchi, a young Korean from Duisberg, had just arrived in Paris.
After the first meal together, prepared by Barbara and Therese, we left for Holy Ground. Mrs. Choi had saved a marvelous surprise for us -- speaking with us in French. Barbara and Therese practically always stayed in the house in order to fix the meals. The Master was happy to revisit Holy Ground with some children of France and, like a Father, invited us to make a circle around him to pray.
Then we headed for the Eiffel Tower a few steps away from the Holy Ground. Before reaching the fourth level, the wait was very long, but among the crowd of young people and tourists, we had the Master of the World with us: Invalides (Napoleon's tomb), Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, the House of Radio, etc. We looked at our battlefield ( Looking over Paris from the Eiffel Tower) At 5:30 pm we began a tour across Paris: Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Concorde, Opera, Louvre. We were in the middle of the Paris rush-hour traffic. At 7:00 we were back at the Center. After the meal there remained very little time for us together. We used it to discuss French politics.
Wednesday, April 2, we said good-by to Miss Kim and Neil, who were taking a plane to Geneva and then we left for Versailles. At 10:00 we had a guided tour of Versailles. A long period of French history was before our eyes through the works 6f famous painters such as David (The Crowning of Napoleon I) and the famous Hall-of Mirrors. At 11:45 we were in the Louvre. As on his first visit, in 1965, the Master wanted to stay three hours in this immense museum. Classical painting and the beautiful Mona Lisa were admired for a long time. We also saw the Impressionist room of the Jeu de Paume at the end of the Tuileries Garden. At 3:00 we were at the Center with a big appetite, before continuing on our trip on a passenger steamer on the Seine. Kefan was with us in Paris for a half day. We passed around St. Louis Island and Notre Dame de Paris appeared in all its dimensions amidst budding trees. But the Master's look was always far away.
At 6:30 we were in a little theater near the Sorbonne for a French film, "Goto, the Island of Love": Some inhabitants of an island live today as in the last century, in a very dilapidated setting.
After a cup of tea in a Boulevard Saint Michel cafe with our Parents and Mrs. Choi, we all were again in our two faithful cars (DS 21 and 404 Peugeot) crossing Paris: Rivoli, Concorde, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, and at last Montmartre, where we had under the most beautiful moonlight a panorama of the capital -- an immeasurable moment for all of us and especially for Reiner, who had come here so often to pray. We followed the Master, who entered the Basilica, where a service was beginning. The Master asked the significance of the veils on the statues. We were indeed in the time when Christians celebrated the Passion of Jesus. Our heart was sad before this situation, which showed us once more that the blindness of Christians was similar to that of the Jews 2000 years ago. However, we knew that a great many French spiritual beings were there and saw the great light.
At 11:00 pm we ended this long day with a late meal and some questions put to the Master especially concerning our work. "Now fight against Satan with the same strength that Napoleon used for Satan." The Master left us a huge program to accomplish in this country. Now we are more than ever united to him body and soul, day and night.
Thursday, April 3: In the morning towards 10:30, after having passed before the Elysee Palace, we stopped at a large store, Galeries Lafayette. We were all struck by the simplicity of our Parents in all the very different situations we met. Our little four room apartment favored this marvelous family atmosphere. Only Mr. Eu and Mr. Kuboki had to sleep in a nearby hotel.
The last meal together and the farewells at Orly were steeped in the most intense heavenly feeling. We waited in the large airport lobby, seated for 30 minutes praying to our Father in heaven to now lead many people into His Family. Monsay! Monsay! Monsay!
Translation from French by George Edwards, Washington, DC