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December 23, 2004

Meishu-sama`a Birthday Service


Chairman Rev. Watanabe`s Speech
(Text) (Revised edition)
Dear members, congratulations on Meishu-sama`s Birthday Service!
Are you fine? This Birthday Service is one of the most delightful worships for
us, who have been saved by Meishu-sama.
On this joyous occasion marking the 50th anniversary of Meishusama`s
divinity was declared in the year 1954, we have received Johrei and touching
guidance from Spiritual Leader. We received light and power for a greater
development next year in which the 70th anniversary of the founding of the
Church and the 50th anniversary of Meishu-sama`s ascension will be marked.
I am grateful for it, and i am, like you, filled with joy.
To begin with, let me introduce to you the members coming from abroad:
Here they are; from Greece, 5; Fiji, Hawaii and Brazil one each,
(22)
representing their respective countries for this service. Let us welcome them
in a grand applause. Thank you.
Also with us here today is Mr. Hirohisa Fujii, representing the
(22)
Democratic Party. Let us welcome him in a grand applause.
23) This afternoon there will be a commemorative concert. Together with
Spiritual Leader, Sandai-sama, who is praying always for our happiness, are
expected to join us. Let us welcome them with heart-felt gratitude.
We just listened to the teaching, entitled, "The Secret of Happiness." We
have learned many things indispensable to attaining happiness through the
Spiritual Leader`s words, as well I am sure that there are many among you,
who have studied the Spiritual Leader`s words we have received so far, by
reading and memorizing them time and again.
I too do the same thing, going through and through the Spiritual Leader`s
manuscripts, reflecting and reexamining myself to the words, upon receiving.
Spiritual Leader has been teaching us the importance of coming to be aware
in thanks of the presence of the imparted souls, the great God, the giver of
all things, and Meishu-sama, who is nurturing us to become perfect ones.
But, I once noticed that I could not believe in great God and Meishu-sama in
the same manner of Spiritual Leader`s wish, being puzzled.
The reason behind was that I often had my own way of believing and
understanding at the time I wanted to believe and understand, suiting things
to my own conditions.
I am grateful for being given many chances to meet Spiritual Leader, and
once I said to Spiritual Leader: "I think I have come so far without clarifying
the fact that my belief in God was a real one or not, and that whether or not I
was making light of God. When I reflect your words to my inner state of
mind, it becomes clear that my stance has been in the negative. I feel
shameful for it," honestly. Spiritual Leader taught me in reply: "You must not
be surprised even if you cannot really believe or understand God. What
counts is one`s awarenessof disbelief, admitting to imperfection. Led by
such an awareness one is to ask oneself about the way of attaining a real
belief and understanding, thereby keeping to search"I felt being saved by the
Spiritual Leader`s words, learning many things.Self-awakening to one`s

ignorance and shortcomings, and graceful admission to it, is a practical


starting point. What counts will be the following notions, such as:
Meishu-sama still uses me, despite of my shortcomings; to wish to be
Meishu-sama`s instrument in thanks; to address a self-question about one`s
ignorance, keeping to search for the answer; and to find a joy, one of the
most delightful joys, at a moment of coming to know and see what have not
been clear before. Through such stepts, even though little by little, one`s
spirituality can be raised, I assume.
This is the stance to take for the men of faith. And, at the same time, it will
be the basic stance for being used for the ministry of daytime rhythm.
There must be some who share the experience of assuming a posture of
really believing God, or knowing everything when one is in a position to
spread faith, though inadvertently; the posture, I am the one who teache,
and you are the one who learn, for instance.
When we transmit things to others as if we know all about them, without
fully knowing them, it is likely that we the men of faith fall into pitfall. After
all, all we can transmit things to others are the limited ones we ourselved
know and understand.
So, an important stance must, "Let us learn together, for we all are the
ignorant."
This goes the same when we extend halping hands to the troubled ones. We
must humbly admit to the fact that we do not know what the troubles are,
before finding others` troubles and their needs.
Such a stance in turn means to pay respect to others` "imparted souls,"
proving to be the key to open others` feelings and minds. And this goes the
same with families and others. We must be humble toward others, as we are
toward God.
In the book "Le Petit Prince," popular edition for ladies, there is a famous
phrase,"really important things are invisible." Spiritual Leader always guides
us, saying:
"Things about God are beyond the pen and words." Indeed, things
important, that is, God`s wish or Meishu-sama`s mind must be felt through
each one`s spirituality, according to the degree of its progress.
Behind Spiritual Leader`s words, there lies Meishu-sama`s mind and God`s
wish. Also, within us there are numerous ancestors, together with Meishusama and great God. Ttey are the very dear ones, though invisible. We must
be thankful for being allowed to engage in services under their protection.
At present, the Heian-Kyo construction is making progress, thanks to your
sincere services. In line with that progress, the Three Pillars of Salvation,
that is, Johrei, Art and Nature Farming are actively being unfolded mightily to
make Meishu-sama`s salvation widely spread in the world, I am convinced.
At the same time, we want to nurture profound love and lofty faith, by
upholding
Spiritual Leader`s mind toward Meishu-sama, and by
expanding our practice of altruism in a bright spirit. With this pledge to
Meishu-sama at today`s Birthday Service, I now close my words of greetings.
May the coming New Year be a year of bliss to you all. Thank you.