Good afternoon, welcome & thank you very much for attending our 2015 Spring Memorial Service of the Konko Church of Chicago.
March & September are the months for honoring the Mitama Spirits in the Konko Faith. Ancestors & departed souls are the foundation of our lives' inheritance. If we separate ourselves from these roots through neglect, the branches of our personal tree-of-life suffer & wither. Therefore it is very important to respect & honor our ancestors & departed souls with these Memorial Services as an investment to our personal, future well-beings.
Since March 1, I have offered my special prayers to the Mitama spirits after each evening's regular service & read teachings of my spiritual mentor, the late Rev. Soichiro Otsubo. This time I read the Wagakokoro Story of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo. It is the book Rev. Otsubo himself talked about his life of faith from his birth to the last days of his life. Through it we can learn how he grasped the essence of our founder's faith, developed his peaceful & joyful heart through his daily life & acquired the divine virtue to influence deeply many people around him.
During this special prayer time I have always asked to the Mitama spirits what they want to tell us; in this world, from their perspective in next. I was surprised when I strongly felt that they wanted us to understand the real meaning of Thousand-Day Faith Training Prayer & put it into practice.
KC Airaku; our parent church in Japan, started spiritual training for one thousand days beginning January 20th of this year. Offering the special prayer, they dedicated themselves to deepening their hearts in celebrating the church's 50th Anniversary that will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2018. Airaku members all took an oath of dedication. With their devoted enthusiasm this should become an epoch-making event. So... I believe that we, as a satellite church should join them in this faith training here in KC Chicago as well.
The Mitama Spirits wishes each one of us to clearly see Kami's will. That is the real & great purpose of our life. I believe Kami's will is for us, each human beings to polish the gem of our heart while we are alive in this world.
Nowadays in all aspects of human activities even in the field of science, there appear many doctors & scientists who try to prove the world of spirit or the world after death.
Dr. Naoki Yahagi, professor of the Tokyo University & chief of the emergency department of the Tokyo University Hospital, has treated numerous patients who have been confronted by death. He now says that human beings never die & their spirits are here around us after death. He also said, "Death is personal. If there are one hundred people die in the same instant, there are one hundred ways of dying, the only one which feels them all together, is the great Divine Heart of the Universe... only Kami knows. We who are left behind must extend our appreciation for the fact that we are allowed to live."
Prof. Lisa Randall, famous theoretical physicist says, "If my theory is right, the world of another dimension is just beside us. Just only we cannot see it."
Dr. Eben Alexander, world authority on neurosurgery now says, "The world of afterlife surely exists. I can understand more clearly the meaning of this life by knowing the life after death."
Our founder taught us, "Remember, this Universe always has been & will be your home." We humans are born in this universe & return to the universe. Therefore while we are living in this world the most important is to develop our heart that totally agrees with that of the universe, or Kami's heart. The peaceful & joyful heart is that of being one with Kami. In conclusion we human beings are born in this world to train ourselves to have unbreakable peace & joy in our heart.
I believe all the Mitama spirits & even those of the disaster who must have felt a deep regret over their sudden death, feel now the necessity to develop peace & joy in the human heart's here on earth more & more from the next world. That thought stirs my passion to deepen my peaceful & joyful heart as much as possible.
Let us here on Earth, reverently honor these precious Mitama spirits. They are our heritage. As they are now, we someday shall be. May we so live that we too become spirits, worthy of 'being one' with Kami.
Let us begin by caring for all those who live with us between heaven & earth. Then let us add together with them the spirits, past, present & future, in a pledge that beginning now, we shall work to create a new era.
An era in which the Divine Will of the Tenchi Kane No Kami will be fulfilled! May we create an era in which peace & joy will shine forth from the hearts of all people in this world, together with the power & virtue of all the Mitama spirits who have gone from this world into the next!
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