Monthly Service of Gratitude of July
Reverend Claudio Cristiano Leal Pinheiro’s speech
4th of July 2021
Are you well?
Happy monthly service of gratitude of the month of July.
Thank you very much for being here today. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you for all the effort you have done to expand the Divine Work throughout our beloved African continent. I would like to thank you for the many activities carried out during the month of June.
We were here together in the monthly service of gratitude last month, in the Paradise on Earth service, done here with much joy, and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that we have restarted our activities in the future Sacred Grounds of Cacuaco. Starting next Saturday, except in the first Saturday of the month, we will have activities in the sacred grounds of Cacuaco every Saturday. All of you are invited to participate; there is a schedule in place for the Johrei Centers. Let us aim to give service there with our own hands, putting our feelings and love in the future Sacred Grounds of Africa so we can gain strength to build this first prototype of Paradise in our African continent.
I would like to ask for a round of applause for the two testimonies of faith we heard today. Congratulations to our brother and sister for the incredible testimonies of faith that confirm what we spoke about last month. We are seeing so many negative events around the world; a work of destruction. At the same time, the power of construction is even stronger that this force of destruction. We see the intensity of this power of construction through the miracles of Johrei, the miracles resulting from practicing what Meishu Sama teaches us through His teachings. We, more than ever, need to connect ourselves with this force of construction. This connection with the power of construction, the force of the Supreme God, starts in our heart.
That is why we will study today’s teaching throughout the month. It starts with a poem from Meishu Sama:
“With the light from the Supreme God,
man can live without difficulties
even in a world of endless darkness.”.
Since the goal of our Church is the construction of Paradise on Earth, each one of us needs to create a Paradise in our homes. To achieve this, each one of us needs to develop a heavenly spirit. To have a heavenly spirit means to not have any suffering. Hence, if rushing things is a form of suffering, suffering because things do not go as planned is also a hellish situation. Therefore, we must at least eliminate suffering. The best way to do this is to decrease it through the feeling of gratitude. In other words, not create a hell in our heart.” Meishu Sama speaks clearly: this guidance to build paradise in our homes must start in our hearts, guiding our spirit to a heavenly state. I think it is important for us to study this teaching deeply and reflect about it. This is because, as the element of fire increases, purifications also increase.
We cannot know what will happen in our lives, in our environment, tomorrow. We must train our heart to receive difficulties with gratitude and transform any situation which, at first, looks bad into a positive one through Johrei, service and faith in God and the Messiah Meishu Sama. The path to create a heavenly spirit is Johrei. Some might say “I’m at the Church, I can’t do this, things are hard, I suffer a lot and it is difficult for me to remove suffering from my heart and feel gratitude.” I would like to read a passage from another teaching of Meishu Sama with the title “Sermon”. Meishu-Sama talks again about goals. In this month’s teaching Meishu Sama says that the goal of the Messianic Church is to build Paradise on Earth. Here, Meishu Sama talks about the goal of religion in general. “The goal of religion is to induce human beings to repent of their mistakes, change and start practicing good deeds.” “The goal of religion is to induce human beings to repent of their mistakes, change and start practicing good deeds. For this to happen, the spiritual clouds in the soul must be eliminated. When the soul is pure a person stops practicing bad deeds, becomes honest and starts contributing to the wellbeing of others and the world. Preaching is a way of purifying the soul through hearing as one listens to the teachings. The Bible, Buddhist Sutras and the teachings from the Oomoto religion and other religions are means of purification through the eyes and the spirit of words.
Our religion also uses these means but considers them to be secondary and places emphasis on Johrei as a purifying mean. This is because the methods of purification using the five senses are indirect and, naturally, have a limited effect since their goal is to act on something invisible, such as the soul, through material means. The Johrei from our Church projects the spiritual light directly on the soul, purifying it, so its effects cannot be compared to material methods. This is also seen with diseases. Even diseases that are not cured after many treatments are easily and quickly cured with our method.”
We see this power of Johrei in the testimonies of faith that we heard today. As our brother said, his wife suffered with Asthma for forty years. He has been a full member for only seven months but, by giving her Johrei, the Asthma that made her suffer for forty years was overcome! Our sister’s grandson was in a critical condition, needing a blood donation. She was able to thank for the purification and guided her daughter to make a donation of gratitude. Our sister started giving Johrei to other patients and then gained the permission to give Johrei to her grandson. After five hours giving Johrei to him the doctors, amazed, said that he would not need a blood donation anymore and discharged him. Is this something that happens all the time? This situation shows us that the power of Johrei increases every day.
Meishu Sama continues:
“As I have always said, we are not a religion but an ultra-religion. Religion in Japanese means “teachings from the founder” and has as guiding principle saving people through the teachings. However, as I said before, in our religion the teachings are second or third resources since we transform people into individuals who practice good deeds through Johrei. With Johrei we obtain a one hundred percent success rate, saving time and labour.”
Why is a person in the Church for a long time but is unable to change their feelings, their lives? Why is it that me and my family changed when we came to the Church but then stopped progressing materially and spiritually? We must make an objective reflection. Independently of how long I’ve been in the Church for, if I am a Center head, a minister, a Reverend do I really give Johrei during my day? In many cases, we see ministers who go to Church every day, full time members, Center heads, members who go every day to the Church. They do everything and anything but can never sit in the Church to give and receive Johrei. Does this happen or not? So, people can stay for years in the Church, receive titles such as minister or reverend, then after a while leave. “So and so left the Church suddenly!”, people say. He did not leave the Church; he had not been here for a long time: only his physical body was there. Just like throwing a ball on the floor and watch it bounce. They had left a long time ago because the main thing in the Messianic Church is not a part of the person’s life. They give Johrei when are told to do so or when someone asks for it from time to time. The situation at home is even worse: Johrei is never practiced there. It’s difficult for us to develop anything if we do not practice what is basic, what is guided to us.
In the same way that when a doctor gives a prescription to take a given medicine the person will undergo the medical treatment, if I want to grow spiritually, Meishu Sama is saying that Johrei changes individuals into good people, a method that works one hundred percent of the time. Either Meishu Sama is lying and he is not the Messiah or I am doing something wrong: there is no third option! Hence, we must reflect: what sort of faith moves me, what am I practicing every day?
I know that if I do not work to put food on the table, my wife and children will starve so I must work to sustain my family physically. In the same way that I believe that my family needs food, do I believe that they need to give and receive Johrei every day? Is this the belief that guides my family and home? In many cases people say: “My son has this, there is conflict in the couple” and so on. Do you give and receive Johrei everyday starting from the couple, then giving Johrei to the children? Do you teach them to give Johrei even when mom or dad are not sick? “Sit here and give Johrei to daddy.” Some children say, “But dad is not sick!”. “Johrei is not to be channeled only when someone is sick!”. This is what it means to put Johrei in the center of our days, of our lives. What transforms people is contact with the light from the Supreme God! This light of Johrei is getting stronger every day, but it is up to us to practice or not to practice it.
Many things in our lives can be avoided by eliminating spiritual clouds though Johrei. Once someone asked Meishu Sama: “A fire broke out in the house of a full member. He asked for permission and started giving Johrei in the direction of the fire. As he gave Johrei, the wind changed direction, decreased the fire and the house was saved. Did this miracle stop the purification from following its due course?” Meishu Sama replied: “No, it did not. As he gave Johrei, it dispelled the spiritual clouds of the house and something that should have been a great tragedy was reduced. This is the power of Johrei: cleaning spiritual clouds.” We all have many clouds, all of humanity.
We should not think about them the clouds one has or does not have. It is enough to give and receive Johrei, aiming to share it with as many people as possible. When Meishu Sama founded our religion, on the first of January of 1935 he gave a speech titled “the construction of world of great light” he said “… the world is made up of countries, the countries by cities, the cities by families and the families by individuals. The individual is the smallest part of society. The individual is saved and improves, so that his home is saved and it improves. This expands to the whole society. That is how we will build paradise on earth.”
In many occasions, we fall on the trap where we gave Johrei, the person recovered and became a full member. “I healed the person and he/she became better, this is good.” Then, I forget the guidance given by Meishu Sama when he founded our Church: the individual is saved and must aim to improve himself. The individual must improve as a father, a mother, son, citizen, professional, religious person, as a human being. Like we saw in the teaching, the goal of religion is to induce an individual to repent of his mistakes, change and start practicing good deeds. If we don’t do this, it will be like this: I come to church, pray, ask something to God and Meishu Sama, make a donation but then go home and harm my wife, go to work and steal from my employer, and so and so. Or, I think I’ve been saved because I have an Ohikari, Komyo or Daikomyo. This is not right. All of us must aim to always become better people. Meishu Sama says that the way to decrease the effects of the Final Judgement that are happening today is to know the principle of Johrei and participate on the efforts to build projects of the daylight age.
We are participating in the creation of projects of the culture of day such as giving Johrei, guiding people, participating in the construction of churches, the sacred grounds. But I think that the first project related to the construction of the daylight culture that I must take part in is improving myself as a person! It is building myself as an inhabitant of the daylight culture, aiming to improve myself. The smoothest, less time and labour consuming way is focusing on Johrei. Giving and channeling Johrei. Not from time to time or only when something is wrong but at home with family, at Church, giving religious assistance and introducing it to people who do not know about it. As we heard today in both testimonies, as time passes it will be increasingly important that each one of us gives Johrei to many people. Things will increasingly worsen in a global scale, as it is happening now.
Some days ago, I saw that in Canada, a place that is very cold, a region there recorded temperatures of forty-nine degrees Celsius. Forty-nine degrees! Many people started dying, hundreds of them. This sort of situation will become more and more common. We should not be scared but instead should aim to prepare ourselves and qualify to overcome these situations, cleaning our spirits and physical bodies through Johrei, a healthy diet based on natural products and through contact with beauty. All of this makes a difference in our health, spirits and all other aspects. It is not by chance that Meishu Sama left us with the three pillars of salvation.
Speaking about nature farming, next month we will have the service dedicated to this pillar of salvation and I was talking to the ministers, missionaries and Center heads. On top of the pandemic, besides Covid itself, there are many economic and financial consequences. Many families are suffering from hunger, unemployment, hopelessness. I would like to ask all Messianic, from all Johrei Centers of all sizes to have at least one natural vegetable garden in the community that is able to produce food to the ones who need it most and show them that it is possible to produce healthy food through our method. This will end hunger and increase good health in society. Some present difficulties saying, “there is no water in my neighbourhood.” Whenever you have a difficulty of this nature, come to the altar with the Center head, the team at the headquarters or at the Johrei Center and pray. Communicate your difficulty to Meishu-Sama and say to Him: “Meishu-Sama, this is Your work, not mine. I want to be able to do this but there are obstacles ahead. Please let me do it!”. Ask Him, the Head of this work is not me or you. We cannot use the difficulties as excuses to not carry out our mission! Here we must ask: “Meishu-Sama please, allow us to have this vegetable garden in the community, for our Church and create this model for the benefit of society!”.
Is it possible for us to do this? Yes, or no? (Yes). Let us prepare throughout the month for this service dedicated to nature farming.
Some days ago, I received a story that touched me a lot. A writer, analyzing the year that had passed, took a piece of paper and wrote: “Last year I underwent surgery to remove my gallbladder. I had to stay in bed for a long time. That same year I turned sixty years old and had to resign my favorite job. I was working for thirty years as editor. My father passed away, my son failed his exams to become a doctor and was involved in a car accident which caused him to stay many days in the hospital. The car was completely destroyed. It was a very bad year.” He took the paper and left it on his office table. His wife saw the paper and, since women like to see what their husbands do or write – this is a universal habit – read it. She wrote another paper and placed it next to her husband’s one.
The writer took his wife’s paper and started reading it. ‘Last year I got rid of my gallbladder, which for many years caused me a lot of pain. I completed sixty years with good health and retired from my job. Now I can use my time to write with more peace and tranquility. My dad, at ninety-five years of age, without needing anything and in no critical condition, returned to God’s arms. In the same way, God blessed my son with another chance to live. My car was completely destroyed but my son is alive with no after-effects. This year was a great blessing!”. The same situations seen in different perspectives.
As you saw, we have many reasons to thank God and the Messiah Meishu-Sama. People make a mistake when they think that it is happiness that makes us grateful. It is the opposite: gratitude makes us happy. It’s each one of us who choose how our story is written!
Thank you very much, have a good month of July!