Accumulating Virtue

Tenrikyo Pearl Church 2007 May Monthly Service

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the May Monthly Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!

Accumulating Virtue

Today is Mother’s Day. We all have a mother who gave birth to us.

Now we as parents became mothers and fathers. While raising our kids what do we expect of our children? We all wish our kids to be healthy and live a happy life. I think this is common sense to all parents in this whole world.

However, happiness is not coming from over there, nor is it only for the lucky person. A really happy person is a person who has accumulated a lot of virtue in his soul.

     People tend to say that, those who live in a gorgeous house, surrounded by money and things, wear designer clothes are the one who has a lot of virtue. The real virtue is not something that is tangible. It is the invisible and polished soul.

In the Anecdotes of Oyasama 63:

     Once Oyasama asked Koiso Yamanaka: ‘Do you wish to have merit that is to be seen by the eye or do you wish to have merit that is not to be seen by the eye? Which do you wish to have?’

     Koiso replied, ‘Anything with physical form can be lost or stolen. So I would prefer to have merit that cannot be seen by the eye.’

     A person who has virtue in the soul is lucky with people. For instance those who are blessed with a good spouse, a good partner such as a good boss or a good co-worker. Also in school, we are blessed with a good teacher, or good friends.

     Moreover, a person with virtue has power in his words and deeds.

And also has power to convince a person and the ability open their eyes to understand well.

     On the other hand, how is the person who is lacking in virtue? This person is not surrounded by good people. However rich he is, he is not happy. His words discourage people. He cannot accept things with joy, and is always complaining. When it is sunny, he will complain because it is too hot. Furthermore, when it’s raining, he grumbles because the laundry won’t dry.

     So in order to accumulate virtue, we need dedication. We must dedicate ourselves to planting seeds of sincerity, which is to work hard silently, steadily and persistently, even though you may think that you’re doing it for nothing.

     Oyasama said to Mr. Izo Iburi, an early disciple, ‘Izo-san, you must accumulate the invisible virtue when following this path. No matter how hard you work in front of the eyes of others, God will not accept your work if you scamp your work in secret or speak ill of others behind their back. If you receive a reward from others after doing a good deed, the virtue you earned is paid off.’ She taught how to accumulate the invisible virtue in this way. In other words, the invisible virtue is to plant the seeds of sincerity which is accumulating virtue in the soul.

     When a person who previously complained often, is now able to be joyful no matter what happens, we can say that he has accumulated virtue in his soul.

     A few days ago, our daughter called us and said that she felt lucky that she had to clean the toilet every Saturday which was our weekly chores day. Because her friends in her college days, hardly ever did any toilet cleaning, so they don’t know how to clean their bathroom and they really hate to do it. She said, ‘For me, it’s natural to do this, so I have no problem cleaning the bathroom.’

For me, now, as a parent, I was happy to hear this, since this was our way for our children to accumulate virtue from a young age.

     So on this Mother’s Day, let us take the time to remember and thank our mothers for how they brought us up, how they want us to live a happy life and we should try to fulfill their wish by accumulating virtue. Now as parents, aunties, uncles and mentors we must also to teach this to the next generation.

Let us all accumulate virtue, even if it’s just a small good deed.

1. I would like to thank all of you who came out to attend and help at the Boy’s and Girl’s Association Oyasama Birthday Activity held Dendocho on April 15th. Ten persons attended from Pearl Church and praise go to Sara and Marika for narrating Oyasama’s story. Thank you very much!

2. And thank you to all of you for your help at the All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day last Saturday on May 5 at Honolulu Zoo. Thanks to everyone’s support and sincerity, a total of 24 people participated. This is another record for Pearl Church. I cannot help but feel that this year is a very big year for Pearl Church right after the year of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary and again I thank everyone for your support!

3. Our son Moses and his fianc’ are doing their best continuing in their second month of 3-month Spiritual Development Course.

4. We have just purchased a 15-passenger Dodge van which will help us in our community service activities such as our yard work service and to bring people to the various church activities.

5. This coming Saturday, the Women’s Association and the Young Men’s Association will be conducting a joint convention beginning at 9:30am with the service being performed in 7 shifts. The group will split into their respective associations for speeches followed by lunch and a mini food bazaar. We will be making udon from Pearl Church. Please join us in fun and fellowship.

6. We will be conducting an overnight stay at Pearl Church on May 27 & 28 for young people and would like to invite everyone to come as participants or for hinokishin help in conducting the overnight stay activities.

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