Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sanctity in the World

One of the founders of a famous Korean conglomerate left behind after he died 24 questions about religion that made the news last year. After seeing the questions, the founder of the YUDO Group decided to write a book answering the questions. He spent seven months writing the book, which was recently published. He wanted to answer the questions from his own life experience. The response was his answer in gratitude to Catholicism for all it has done for him in life.

The Peace Weekly interviewed the YUDO president, who is a  fourth-generation Catholic. As a child he always dreamed of being a priest. He spent 14 years preparing to be a priest and had no difficulties with studies, health or women, but was told before the diaconate that he was not suited for the  priesthood. He was bright but too much of a free spirit, and after much thought the faculty thought he would be happier in society than living as a priest.

For a while, he found it difficult to come to terms with the dismissal from the seminary. His hometown acquaintances  rented a bus and went to see the bishop to remonstrate, he says laughing. Fortunately,  with time he accepted the dismissal serenely. Out on the streets and thinking about how he was to make a living, he  even considered  selling  lighters. It was at this time that he heard in his head the words  'sanctity in the world'. This began the journey to the  CEO of the YUDO Group.

The building of the company, he says, was accompanied with a lot of tears and frustration. The name of the company is a combination of his own surname, Yu, and the word Do meaning 'way'. The way is  Jesus from John 14:6. God is in charge with 51 percent of the responsibility, but the reason that Yu precedes the Do is that if the company fails, he takes responsibility, and he will take to the streets.

He has made clear to his family what he wants on his tombstone. "Here lies an artistic salesperson who was in search of sanctity." When later generations happen by his tomb stone, he hopes they will have only nice things to say about his life. He spent 14 years studying for the priesthood and 38 running a company; they were beautiful  years, he says, and he is full of gratitude. He wants to thank God for what he has received, and to live his life so that those who pass his stone will have a reason to give a kind nod of approval for the life he lived.

Mr. Yu has been very good with his material goods in helping others. 15 percent of the profits go back to the workers, and he has also been very generous with his money in helping the poor in society,  students, and retired priests. He is a good example of not letting a reversal in life change the ideal he once had, only the  way the ideal was to be realized.

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