John of God (Pt. 3), by Johanna Courtleigh

March 29, 2012


On my door, a bright yellow laminated sign has been posted—in six languages:

“I have had surgery and am resting/sleeping.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.”

My meals will be brought to me, and I will be with myself for the next twenty-four hours.

Awake, and Aware

I have imagined sleep, deep sleep. Long, beautiful sleep. The kind of sleep I have been longing for all of my life. (Christine, the doctor from San Diego, slept for two days straight, after her “surgery.”) I feel spent and heavy, and can hardly move. But instead of sleep, curiously, I am awake the rest of the morning and afternoon, save for two one-hour naps, the second after I’ve taken an Excedrin PM around four.

At 8:30 I take my nightly supplements, and two Benadryl. I still wake up at 3 a.m. for a bit. I know, healing doesn’t always happen in the timing or the way one might hope for. But I can also tell something profound is occurring.

I am very aware of my heart. Too aware. It is beating strong and heavy. I could even say it is keeping me awake. I am also very aware of my mind, and the cavalcade of memories it is trotting through. Some things I haven’t thought of for decades, more.

And I have a dream. That Ruth Paris, the mother of one of my brother’s childhood friends, who died when her kids were still pretty young, is alive, fifty and pregnant. This is a bit of a scandal. Breaking the rules for a woman her age! My father, also dead, is there.


I think this is a good sign. Something that has been long-dead is now again alive, and preparing to give birth. Not necessarily in normal timing, but birth, nonetheless . . .

In these long hours, I have many conversations with Spirit. Many prayers. I meditate and feel profoundly blessed by my life and all the twists of road that have brought me here.

I have come here to learn and witness more of what the Truth is. I have come here to see and know. I want to feel it for myself. More and more deeply. Many of us talk about spirit or God or guidance, but do we really Know how this works, know the Truth of it? Do we really believe in the spirit world? Beyond Jesus, if we’re Christians? Beyond the mere few we may pray to? Or receive and perceive as metaphor.

The Casa is full of helping spirits. John of God “incorporates” them and they heal through him. As he says, “It is not I who heals. It is God.”

So in my long hours alone, I ask to be Connected. I ask to Know. I ask to be well-used. I ask to forge a deeper relationship with the Divine. To be assisted, so I may more deeply assist. To become One with God. A portal. An instrument . . .

It Is All So Palpable

Today, I return, and again wait in line to see John of God. For a review of what occurred yesterday. I’ve asked a translator to assist me in understanding. This time, I take John of God’s hand, but our time together is still a split second. He waves me away, and I am told by the translator, “Go into the far room. He will work with you.” I follow the others before me and am seated in a row. Again, the energy feels very intense. And in a few minutes it is done, and we are ushered out. I go back into the Assembly room to meditate and integrate for a while. It is all so palpable.

Heart of Compassion

Wednesday night, we are invited to where Emma is staying, to watch a film on the life of Chico Xavier, a Brazilian man who was John of God’s mentor. This film was recently released—a full-length feature—and apparently has been the most popular film, ever, in Brazil. Xavier was a profound medium, who, in part, channeled letters from the dead, and even signed the person’s name in their own handwriting! Without having been given any information about whom the letter was for or from! There was once a lawsuit against him, accusing him of plagiarizing a dead poet whose writing came through him. And he channeled over 400 books! For which he never received payment.

Neither has John of God ever received money for his healing work. He works a job, as Xavier did, the days he is away from the Casa.

This is the tradition and teaching of the Spiritist faith. If God has graced you with a gift, you must give it away.
John of God came from a very poor family and is basically uneducated. At the age of nine, an angel came to him and asked if he would give his life to serve millions of people in healing. He has been doing this work ever since, and the Casa has been in existence for over thirty years.

He has also set up soup kitchens across Brazil. As an offering for the poor. In an interview I saw, he begins to weep, talking about knowing what it’s like to be hungry. A heart of compassion.

I feel so blessed to be here.

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Part 3 of 3. Read the beginning of Johanna’s journey…Part 1, here). And watch for the rest of the story on her blog at

Johanna Courtleigh MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist and HypnoFertility Therapist, and Certified Oneness Awakening Trainer through the Oneness University in India. Her work seeks to help people heal from the mistruths they’ve been taught, and to awaken a core of deeper reverence, self-love, awareness, empowerment, ease and integrity—with themselves, and in their relationships with others. She is passionate about helping create a more peaceful world, and helping her clients become happier, healthier and more “in love” as a state of Being.

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carrie Crider November 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi Johanna,
Thank you for sharing your story about John of God. I just got back one week ago. My experience was very similar to yours. I was there two weeks. I have had some trouble ‘re-entering’. I think I was just vulnerable. The atmosphere in Abadiania was so loving and I find myself longing to find that type of environment here in Portland. I asked for healing with depression and fatigue. I haven’t noticed any improvement with the fatigue. If you don’t mind, what was your return and recovery like? Do you feel like you recieved healing from your trip to see John of God?
Thank you so much!
Many blessings, much love!


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