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This Month’s Message: Why Bother with Faith?

Oyasama once told a follower:

“Virtue is more deeply planted in the second generation than in the first one, and deeper still in the third than in the second. By becoming ever deeper, it will become virtue which lasts forever.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 123

To you, who have just turned fifteen, from your father:

Happy birthday! Let me take this opportunity to tell you why I have faith.

You might perhaps think that having faith is outdated and irrelevant to your life. I must confess that, when I was your age, I had a negative attitude toward my parents’ faith. I assumed that faith was for the weak, for those who could not face reality. I used to think, “I believe in my own abilities, and I can build a life for myself without relying on God.”

But then I encountered a number of difficulties. Despite my occasional big talk, I make many mistakes, and I fall prey to temptation. Once, I was so fed up that I tried to kill myself. My mother (that is to say, your grandmother) stepped in just in time to save me and earnestly told me about Oyasama. Her story spoke to my heart. Although I had known about Oyasama, She had only been like a character in a fairy tale. On that occasion, however, She was real. I felt Her loving gaze on me and was in tears with gratitude. I felt from the bottom of my heart, “Oyasama is here with me.”

When you think about it, it seems arrogant to think that we live by our own power. It is certainly not by our own power that we came into this world. Faith is not for the weak. On the contrary, no matter how tough things become, those of us who have faith do not run away from reality or try to find someone to blame. Instead, we face the situation head-on, perceiving God’s deep intention behind it. We keep moving forward in a positive way toward whatever may lie ahead. Faith is a brave way of living.

Had it not been for Oyasama, my life would have ended on the occasion I mentioned. I would not have met your mother, nor would you have been born. Please do not forget that it is thanks to Oyasama that we can live as we do. The reason I try to convey the path to you is that it is the key to happiness.

This is what I wanted to tell you for so long. I was waiting for this day.

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