Saturday, March 26, 2011
Sincerity Is the Power to Invoke God
Two weeks ago I gave the following lecture on our Sunday Service. I would like to share it with you.
Thank you very much for coming to this Sunday Service. As you know, on March 11 a devastating earthquake struck Tohoku District of Japan and over a thousand casualties is counted. (Now, the number is over 20 thousand people) There are many members in Seicho-No-Ie Japan working hard to contact fellow members in that area.
The International Headquarters' website informs current situation of each Missionary Center. There are three centers whose ceilings had fallen partially. Other than these, each Missionary Center is fine. They are currently busy to inquiring after their members in each Missionary Area. All we can do is to pray for the victims of this earthquake and send peaceful vibrations to them. After this Sunday Service we would like to read the Holy Sutra together in the mail hall at 11 a.m. If you have time to read after this service, please recite the Holy Sutra together with us and pray for them. I would like to have a short prayer for them right now with you. Please close your eyes and put your hands in prayer. (We prayed for the victims.)
Thank you very much for your prayer. Today, I would like to talk about life. If we want to live our life fully, we put everything in one moment and one thing. In the third article of Seicho-No-Ie Articles of Faith, it is stated: "I am sincere in my every word and action!--Troubles do not come from the outside. When sincerity is not manifesting--that condition is in effect trouble. It is not that one has no sincerity within himself. It is just that he does not manifest it. By sincerity is meant one's entire mind, total power, all one's might. Sincerity gives life to now. Wherever sincerity is demonstrated the place becomes a heavenly paradise at once."
In other words, when we demonstrate our sincerity, it is the same thing as living our life fully. Then, God's salvation comes to us. In the Truth of Life Volume 7, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi wrote about this as follows:
"When a person puts his entire body and soul into what he is doing, a certain sincerity of intent is displayed. Sincerity in Japanese is makoto, which literally means the 'total mind,' or 'wholeheartedness.' It is an attitude that would concentrate one's entire power on one thing. That is the power to which Lord Michizane Sugawara alluded in his poem:
If only with the way of sincerity the mind accords,
Even without praying, God protects.
When one's entire strength is concentrated on one thing, completely, the infinite power of God goes into action." (Ibid., p. 82)
This is essential for us to live this way of life. Then, without praying God protects us. Last Tuesday, I went to a restaurant in front of the beach in Malibu for a wedding. It was a small wedding only for the couple, their parents and family members. There were 10 people including the photographer and me. I was asked to officiate at this wedding ceremony by Mrs. Shigeko Sasamori who is a Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb survivor. According to Mrs. Sasamori, almost all people who were around within 1.5 km of the bomb explosion were killed. However, she was an exception.
Mrs. Sasamori and her friend saw something falling from the sky when she was 13 years old. Then, suddenly a big explosion occurred. Her friend died instantly. Her entire upper body was exposed to radiation and her upper body skin was all dark black and came off and was partially hanging. Mrs. Sasamori wandered around and in front of the elementary school, she fell down. She murmured her name and address. Someone heard this and four days later her parents were able to find her. Her upper body was keloidal like a fire scar.
Fortunately, Mrs. Sasamori found a church whose music gave healing of her mind. Then, she was selected as an aid program started by Norman Cousins and was able to go to the United States after World War II to have surgery. She had surgery over 20 times. When I saw her at the wedding, she was a very healthy person comparing with other people on her age. However, when she had surgery right after the World War II, her situation was different. Because of these surgeries, her attached fingers were separated and implanted skin from her legs to face and upper body. She was saved by kind American doctors and nurses.
Through this experience she decided to become a nurse. Norman Cousins helped her. She went to a nurses' college in Connecticut and started working in New York. Later she married and had a baby boy. She named him Norman. She later moved to California. Through her life experience she was able to forgive America and decided to live in the United States.
In June, 1980, Mrs. Sasamori was asked to speak of her experience of the bombing first time. Then, she has helped whatever she could to contribute to world peace. She believes that is her mission. Last year she traveled about 6 months because she volunteered and shared her experience. She went to Europe, Japan and South America.
Mrs. Sasamori works hard to help others and contribute to world peace regardless of her age by sharing her experience. Two years ago she was invited to the graduation ceremony at Winona State University in Minnesota. At first she declined because she didn't think she was a person to speak at a university graduation. However, they insisted and persuaded that "Students will graduate by listening to your experience." So, she gave a speech and, at the same time, received an honorable doctor's degree of humanity from the university. I believe she deserved it. She lives her life fully with honest and heartfelt gratitude toward people who helped her. At the reception of the wedding she told me that she totally agree how important it is to be grateful to our parents and everyone and everything in the universe described in the Divine Message. "...first to be reconciled with your brothers before making offerings at the altar of God. The greatest among your brothers and sisters are your parents. Those who are grateful to God but cannot be grateful to their parents are against the Divine Will...Be grateful to the blessings from your country. Be grateful to your parents. Be grateful to your husband or wife. Be grateful to your children. Be grateful to those who serve you. Be grateful to all people. Be grateful to everything in the universe. Within those thoughts of gratitude you will find me and receive my salvation..." When you can be grateful to everyone and everything in the universe, God's salvation will appear. Mrs. Sasamori is grateful to everyone and everything in the universe and life her life fully. In other words, she demonstrates her sincerity. Our founder wrote:
"When we say that sincerity is lacking we mean that a person is not doing his best. He can put forth much greater effort, that is do much better, but he is only trying to get by. He who tries only to get by does not live the Seicho-No-Ie way of life. He does not tread the path of spiritual growth. He does not walk the road to victory." (Truth of Life Volume 7, p. 83)
Let us walk the road to victory by living sincerely. Please show your sincerity and help those who are victims of the earthquake in japan as much as you can. Thank you very much.