Good Morning Everyone! Thank you very much for attending today's monthly service for August. Today we also have this service to pray for all the students to improve themselves in all aspects of their academic studies. I hope you are all in good health & excellent spirits.
Our founder prayed for young people to have good health & education as follows: "For young people, have them become smart & able to remember things well."
All young people are treasures of the world. It is vitally important for a coming generation to improve themselves physically & spiritually in order to be of great service in the world.
I now really feel young American people want to know the Konko Faith once they are introduced to it. There are many religions in the world. Among them they sense some important message in our faith. We should be open-minded to them whenever they want to contact us through e-mail or something else. I would like to do my best to show them all that I know about our faith.
I want to sincerely welcome anyone who wants to know our faith & never pursue those who leave our faith like water flowing in & flowing out like the tides in the sea. While they are within our Konko community, I will devote myself to telling them the important & unique aspects of our faith that I've learned over the years.
The Konko Faith teaches the 'certain' way to human fulfillment with Kami. Our faith believes that by living ordinary human lives, we can come to feel Kami all around us. Thus we can share mutual fulfillment with Kami. For that we need to connect with Kami's Divine heart. That is the nature of the universe & there are three different aspects of that nature. They are: heavenly, earthly & orderly natures of the universe.
This is how I've come to understand the heavenly nature of the universe. The heavenly nature of the universe is characterized by an inexhaustible capacity of generosity. It is a natural limitless of giving like the sun shines equally all over the world.
The earthly nature of the universe accepts everything calmly; without judgment. It keeps silent like the natural surface of the earth. No matter how we humans see as filthy things, the earth doesn't say, "I hate foul smelling things like rotting" or "Such dirty things should be out or thrown away!" But it doesn't just accept these intense smell of decomposition silently, it takes such things like rot & oxidization in for self-nourishment. Thus; the earthly nature of the universe blesses us with beautiful, fragile flowers in the spring & life giving fruits & vegetables in the autumn.
Finally in the orderly nature of the universe ― there is nothing we can think of that is more faithful & exact than the universe itself. Three hundred & sixty-five days a year without any rest, it works without losing a minute or a second. Wouldn't we be in terrible trouble if one day the sun said something like; "This is awfully hard work! I'm tired, so I think I'll take a break?"
This faithful exactness can be seen in no better place than in our solar system. Therefore it should be a perfect reminder to us that nothing is more precise to compare with the orderly nature of the universe.
Our founder had several wonderful things to say about the importance of acquiring & emulating these natures of the universe. So we should, of course, make earnest efforts to do that. We should accept each & every happening with respect as 'This here is by the heavenly nature. That is by the earthly nature. Here is by the orderly nature.' Then our heart comes closer to closer to that of Kami and becomes a part of Kami. Thus we can develop mutual fulfillment with Kami.
The Konko Faith also teaches how to reach true world peace. Our founder taught one of his disciples that, "If people lose their belief in the teaching, 'On this very day pray with a single heart. Divine blessings are within your own peaceful & joyful heart,' the world will be submerged in turmoil. The glory of Kami & the glory of parents would be gone." In other words, if people faithfully follow & deepen this insight, Kami's glory will appear & true world peace will be attained.
Kami's glory is the foundation to achieve true world peace. For that we should practice faith to deepen peace & joy in our heart by respecting each & every happening as Kami's doing.
In my prayer I wish all young people in the world to get to know our faith, study it & pursue the truth of life through our faith.
We all should have our own church affiliation in order to run KCNA smoothly. For example Mr. Alex Yasutake is now a member of KC Chicago. Mrs. Katsuko Omura & Ms. Lanna Moriwaki are the members of KC Gardena.
However we are all the believers of Konko Daijin. This is basic. So we can become a member of any church that each one of us wishes to be. I always hope each member of KC Chicago becomes the member of any church where they can practice faith to deepen their faith most actively & joyfully. It is, of course, great for them to be able to do it at this church. Practicing faith is to put the teachings of our founder into practice.
My parent minister, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo taught us, "As for the word 'way,' you need not go astray. The way is nothing other than following the teachings." Whichever church you choose, the most important is to put our founder's teachings into practice in our daily life.
I now recite "Ikigami Konko Daijin Sama, Arigatougozamasu" to myself 1300 times a day. I try to do so each & every time it occurs to me. It has created my posture not to break up my peaceful & joyful heart. Through this I now feel Kami near me & hear the Divine voice as if by touching I could feel Kami's warmth & by poking I would draw spurting blood. Kami now vividly appears in front of me. As long as I can successfully continue this practice of my faith, I am looking forward to the future with continuous enthusiasm.
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