By Paulo Coelho
A novice once went to Abbot Macario to ask his advice on how best to please the Lord.
‘Go to the cemetery and insult the dead,’ said Macario.
The brother did as he was told. The following day, he went back to Macario.
‘Did they respond?’ asked the Abbot.
‘No,’ said the novice.
‘Then go and praise them instead.’
The novice obeyed. That same afternoon, he went back to the Abbot, who again asked if the dead had responded.
‘No, they didn’t,’ said the novice.
‘In order to please the Lord, do exactly as they did,’ Macario told him. ‘Take no notice of men’s scorn or of their praise; in that way, you will be able to build your own path.’
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