The stories of the desert priests

By Paulo Coelho

During the early part of the Christian era, the monastery at Scete became a center where many people gathered. After renouncing everything they had, they went to live in the desert surrounding the monastery. Many of the teachings of these men have been collected and published in numerous books.

The middle way

The monk Lucas was walking through a village accompanied by a disciple. An old man asked the man from Scete:

– Holy man, how can I come closer to God?

– Enjoy yourself. Praise the Creator with your joy – was the reply.

The two went on their way. Just then, a young man came over.

– What must I do to come closer to God?

– Enjoy yourself less – said Lucas.

When the young man left, the disciple commented:

– It seems to me that you are not sure whether or not one should enjoy oneself.

– A spiritual journey is a bridge with no railings across an abyss – replied Lucas, – If someone is too near the right hand side, I tell him ‘left a bit!’ If he approaches the left side, I say ‘right a bit!’ The extremes veer us away from the Path.

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Comments

  1. Cordelia says:

    Talking about ways…I once read a poem when I was a kid that might translate something like:
    There once was a prophet that overheard a shepherd talking to God, saying; “I wish you were here so that I could make your bed and massage your feet and be at your service, and so on and so forth”. The prophet, became angry at the simple man and said something like; “what is the matter with you fool? God does not need these kinds of services… stop with your nonsense …” which made the simple man feel sad and unworthy.
    Not long after, the Almighty spoke directly to the prophet asking: “what did you just do? I send you here to bring the human kind closer to me, not to pull them away”.
    Ever since I read this, I believe that everyone’s way is valid as long as it is sincere.

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    I guess Dubai must be just about right then.

  3. brian says:

    What’s ironic is that this post makes me think about “The Karate Kid”, specifically the part of the movie when Mr. Miagi tells Daniel that he must find balance. However, his observation is so much different, when talking about making choices or walking down the middle of the road, he says (paraphrasing),

    “Walk left side road, OK. Walk right side road, OK. Walk middle road *squish* just like bug.”

  4. Cordelia says:

    Talking about ways…I once read a poem when I was a kid that might translate something like:
    There once was a prophet that overheard a shepherd talking to God, saying; “I wish you were here so that I could make your bed and massage your feet and be at your service, and so on and so forth”. The prophet, became angry at the simple man and said something like; “what is the matter with you fool? God does not need these kinds of services… stop with your nonsense …” which made the simple man feel sad and unworthy.
    Not long after, the Almighty spoke directly to the prophet asking: “what did you just do? I send you here to bring the human kind closer to me, not to pull them away”.
    Ever since I read this, I believe that everyone’s way is valid as long as it is sincere.

  5. wanbliska says:

    Yes balance, my ascendant sign. One day yes, one day no, one day too much, the other too less. Lucas would be fed up to cross my path…

  6. brian says:

    I have to agree with Tania; what a great observation about Balance.

  7. Tania says:

    I suppose its about Balance – everything in moderation ..
    Keeps us on track .Blessings Tania