I want to be an angel

By Paulo Coelho

Abbot Joí£o Pequeno thought: ‘I’m tired of being a mere man, I should be like the angels who do nothing but contemplate the glory of God.’ That night, he left the monastery of Sceta and set off into the desert.

A week later, he came back to the monastery. Brother Gatekeeper heard him knocking and asked who it was.

‘It’s Abbot Joí£o,’ he replied. ‘I’m hungry.’

‘That’s not possible,’ said Brother Gatekeeper. ‘Abbot Joí£o is in the desert, transforming himself into an angel. He no longer feels hunger and has no need to work for his food.’

‘Forgive my arrogance,’ replied Abbot Joí£o. ‘The angels help humanity, that is their job; that is why they do not need to eat, but merely to contemplate. But I am a man, and the only way in which I can contemplate that same glory is by doing what the angels do and help my fellow human beings. Fasting won’t get me anywhere.’

Hearing this humble explanation, Brother Gatekeeper opened the gate of the monastery.

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  1. jo says:

    I don’t see it as arrogance on the part of the Abbot.

    I believe it was by actively following his heart that he came to the awareness of his true role/path.

  2. Matthew says:

    Hello everyone,

    Happy Monday! I have just finished reading ‘The Fifth Mountain’ and I was much happier when I finished it. I will read ‘The Valkyries’ next, so I finish it before I go to Egypt. I want my girl friend to read some of Paulo’s books and share my heart. I long for it. Anyway, I have still not spoken with any or you. How are you this morning and how is the sun looking?



  3. tom says:

    hmmm, its as if you are saying that humble-ness will open you up, I like this story, and its message.

  4. agnieszka says:

    Dear Annie

    You’ve touched mine.

    lots of love

  5. Feb says:

    That was amazing that Abbot could survived for a week:) Although, I would think that a fasting that was done in a particular way could help to cleanse the body and soul.

  6. agnieszka says:

    Another wise story,
    thank You.

    We’re human beings, not angels, and what’s in our nature, won’t change, no matter what,
    but…. we can always try.
    We can try to be better, nicer, love more, help more, understand more.
    Maybe we won’t never be angels but we can make a difference.
    Even for a day or two.
    Instead of being sarcastic, arrogant, selfish, rude, we can show the world our better side, we can show the world all the love we have, all the kindness.

    If there’s no perfect world,
    no perfect man on earth,
    why judge someone who love,
    or someone who’s sad
    and afraid?
    There’s one thing I know,
    when you are.. good,
    you really can touch heaven,
    love rules.


  7. rainer says:

    I am no expert of the roman catholic church, but I dare to say, that this gatekeeper will be punished by the not so saintly abbot. ;-)
    I got the message

  8. tania chilby says:

    I just thought of something out of the bible- Behold -I stand at the door and knock he who so ever opens the door, I shall enter in and sup with him. Blessings Tania

  9. tania chilby says:

    Fasting wont get you anywhere, no matter what you set of to do or change ,be ..helping or doing service work is doing the glory of angels and Gods work ,but we must eat ,drink and be merry ,we are human beings ..and thankgod for that I love my food ,coffee to much ..blessings Tania -ps I love your song on your my space page ..