My religious education


 
My family was very strict and my father sent me to the Jesuit school so that I could have real discipline.

The chains of rigor were so heavy throughout my youth that very quickly I started to doubt this religion that showed no mercy, only constraint and suffering.

I remember being obliged to attend mess and the constant threats of hell in the mouth of the priests. Everything was sin, everything was forbidden, joy was ruled out.

I think that my rebellion was what saved me: I doubted about Catholicism, and felt that I must try something new.
Later on, in my teenager years, I became a hippie.
During this time, I traveled a lot, met people of different backgrounds, and had learnt different paths to come closer to spirituality.
I started to see other paths and started to see that my own religion wasn’t restricted to the Jesuit perception.

After I did a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I returned to the Catholic faith – just because it is in my blood, not because it is the best religion.

I don’t think you can put God in a church. God is everywhere. All religions have advantages and disadvantages.

Furthermore I don’t think love is at odds with Christianity. Jesus message was above all a message of love to humanity.

God is–as William Blake said–in a grain of sand and in a flower. This energy is everywhere.

 

Comments

  1. Marj says:

    Religion cannot save us, but only our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

    The scripture says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    And Jesus Christ said in John 14:6, “6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Know Him and make Him known in this world :D God bless

  2. Nice post Mr. Paulo. You have written this from bottom of your heart. And this really helped me in believing my religion more confidently. Thanks.

  3. Yim says:

    same thing with schools nowadays, the only reason why I even study is because am afraid to get a bad job in the future, get into a bad collage, or to get poor grades, but what these people are missing is that once a student is interested in the material their potential multiplies in double, triple or even quadruple

  4. Uma pequena parte de sua história… uma pequena da minha.
    Vovô era um grande medium espírita, porém respeitadíssimo do Bispo e dos padres da região. Vovô não tinha títulos, mas sabia amar…
    Tivera um filho com síndrome de Down, na década de 50, amou-o, e nós também o amamos da mais linda forma.
    Nas procissões do Divino Espírito Santo, sempre tinha de carregar um mastro. Ele tinha muito orgulho de ser respeitado e de que as pessoas respeitassem meu tio.
    A religião deve levar as pessoas a refletir a suma em que Jesus veio nos ensinar “Amar ao próximo como a ti mesmo”
    Imagine Paulo, se fosse cumprido apenas esta frase, o mundo seria fantasticamente uma paz para se viver… porém, sabemos que sem dificuldade, não há evolução… e o livre arbítrio, o orgulho, e todos os sentimentos ruins, conseguem desviar os homens de seus caminhos.
    Acredito que o amor e a nossa essência, é a maior de todas as religiões. Como você citou, não é necessário o título, mas as ações.
    Bençãos à você.
    Alexandra Dias

  5. Parvin says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Your text reminded me of a real Muslim person (died 40 years ago) who believed that not only god is everywhere, but if you love god, then you would love everything that god created that is the whole world everything included :)
    Also, his main message was to do everything for God. If you’re breathing, do it for god. if you’re kissing your husband/wife do it for god, and that’s the purpose why we are here. To remember, whatever we do is from god and for god. Since without soul we are unable to do anything and if we do everything for god, it can grow better and makes us look more like god. So, after a while we become very similar to God. However, most of the time we do things for ourselves, and that’s why we become more selfish and self-centered and not caring.

    Thanks for your messages.

  6. lpt says:

    then, why bother in attending church???
    can one not be grateful for all we have n worship God in our own way??
    I think religion is blah blah blah… but that is just me…

  7. Rajan Seshadri says:

    Hi, there is a mythological story in our Hindu religion “many, many” thousands of years old in the form of ‘Narasimha Avatar’. This story is being told from one parent to his son and then to his son and so on. In that story, simply put, a religious son invokes God to prove to his athiest-demon father that God is everywhere. The clash of ideas culminates ultimately in the death of the demon father. The moral of that story is that if any human being is absolutely devotional then God will prove to the world that he is there in every element.

  8. Deanne says:

    It is good to have a foundation which is what our parents try to do is give us that foundation by sending us off to church or bible school. I did the same for my daughter as well and now she has to find her way to her heart with the tools she was given.
    Your returning to the church reminds me of the Parable of the *Prodigal Son*. We have to find our way home in our own time and in our own way. Many blessings to you!

  9. shine says:

    Dear Paulo
    Your words are very beautiful………I love the way you quote from all religion books. We may be tolerant but we will never have guts to pick up other religion’s books and read them.When I started reading your books I was amazed you quoted from nearly all religions and blended them so well. Had I not read your books I wouldn’t have known what was written in other religion about GOD, humans, and yes they all are beautiful…….You are making us break the boundaries. I realize that by appreciating other religions I am needn’t saying I don’t like mine. Yes thats one thing that stop us from reading other religion’s books, an attempt to secure one’s own heritage. But your books make us realize that all religions speak just one truth…. Thank You Paulo
    Love Avantika :)

  10. Marie-Christine says:

    C’est le coeur qui sent Dieu et non la raison. Voila ce que c’est que la foi : Dieu sensible au coeur, non a la raison.
    Blaise Pascal

  11. Mariazinha says:

    Bom dia Guerreiro!

    Tbém andei por outras estradas antes de voltar para a Igreja Católica.
    Voltei por graça de Deus e pela mão da Mãe. `

    Não existe religião melhor ou pior, mas como é boa a sensação de voltar pra casa não é?
    Sinto-me assim na nossa Santa Igreja Católica,em casa, no aconchego.
    Cada pessoa possui uma casa espiritual nessa passagem pela terra, e se é realidade q Deus está em toda parte, tbém creio q qdo encontramos nossa casa espiritual é mais fácil ouvir a voz de Deus.

    Q Maria siga na frente!

    Deus te ilumine Guerreiro!

    Te amooooooo! Deus me fala por suas palavras.

    Bjos!

  12. Olia says:

    “God is–as William Blake said–in a grain of sand and in a flower. This energy is everywhere”
    how true… :)
    God is our dearest, beloved Mother Nature :)and its temple is everything and everywhere.. morning breeze, dim moonlight, dew drop, happy sunrays, fluffy clouds, blessing rain, joyful snow, dew, sand, grass, fish, animals, birds, insects, day, night, spring, winter, south, west, Earth, Jupiter, black holes, galaxies, ourselves…

    1. Jayeeta says:

      Hi Olia, I agree with u,Almighty,the supreme being exists everywhere.
      we pray to god,give him floral oblations ,go to temple,mosque,church,monastery,synagogue in search of god(or in search of ourselves?),we forget that god belongs to the world,he is in you,in me,in baby,in beggar,in rebel; actually on searching god,we try to find ourselves,to touch own soul,try to get a little emancipation from maddening crowd,to rediscover ourselves,to be born again with nova meanings.

  13. Angelica says:

    All God wants is for us to love, honor, and worship Him in the name of Jesus; because he made us and Jesus gave his life for us even though none of us deserved it, even as he was being tortured to death his last words were “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” As long as you follow his commandments and worship ONLY HIM and Jesus, your name will be written in the Book of Life, eternal life. Go to church, because although that may not be the only place He is at, it pleases Him to see you there. For those who said that God is not good because He punishes us, and because life is not perfect; like any good father, he punishes us for our sins. He knows what’s good for us, we don’t. We are punished because it’s the best thing at the time, and we needed it. And although we may not understand why ‘this’ has happened to us, He does because he sees what’s ahead. Although it may look foggy to you, He sees it perfectly. Bad times and problems are rough, but if you PRAY, PRAY, PRAY He will listen, it may take time, but He will listen. If you give Him your heart, he will give you all you need because He’s your Father and there is nothing you ask(pray for continuously) that He will not give you. “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
    Remember, it’s not a religion, but a relationship with our FATHER.
    (I’m Christian.)

    God bless us all, and may He be merciful and forgive us.

  14. Dafré Troskie says:

    I grew up in a fairly conservative Dutch Reformed environment and was drawn into charismania in my 20’s, then had my children 4 of them at first, then my second eldest died of encephalitis in 2000, her last words “Mom it is INSIDE”, her reference was to demonstrate the severe pain, but in my search for Truth and answers He came to reveal the Light that was in her and that I found in me, and now see in all! We are all made to seek our Other half, cause we come from Him, His breath is in us! For many years my mind kept on seperating but now all my heart does is uniting and including. I love Paulo’s writings it resonates deep in my spirit. Truth is not an answer to a question it is just Life. Life is our best Teacher, and the Spirit in man leads the Way. When(not if) the world wake up to the true Life Source in them, they will have nothing to fight about, cause He is all and in all! In finding Him one stays content, your search is completed. Like when Paulo searched for his Sword without knowing what to do with it once found, Life is pointless, if we do not know that we are made seekers, seekers are made finders, cause what they seek already found them!! The Seed is in us, the Tree of Life, is our Life eternal, our spirits can never die, they are born in eternity and are meant to wake up the sleeping ones. Blessings in the Son in us all, whatever you call Him can never change His core being, God our creator within, through His prescious Son making us all sons of Glory! Wake up church, He is in our midst, we are His body, His eternal Tempel of grace and Love, our language. In Him our place of Unity!

  15. THELMA says:

    Is it you, dearest Paulo Coelho, in the above … Hippie photo??? ;-)) At that time, 1971… , I was already a .. respectable wife and mother, not at all … rebellious! My only rebellion was the … mini skirt and .. platform shoes!
    Blessings.
    LOVE,
    Thelma xxx

  16. THELMA says:

    Children need FAITH and to believe in a Higher Power to turn to..
    Yesterday I happened to watch a T.V. program in ERT, Greek Television and the new discoveries about brain function, prayer and meditation. They are now investigating scientifically the value/results of Prayer. They have even mentioned how HEALING happens to people after others have .. prayed for them! You ARE the living example, dearest Paulo Coelho and this is the reason of the party on … St. Joseph’s day!
    Greek Orthodox Church, in which I was born, believes in JOY of life. We were taught that Jesus and Maria went to the wedding in Kana and there He performed his first miracle, transforming water into WINE. Wine is the symbol of life and joy.
    We were also taught two contradictory axioms: ‘Believe and do not investigate’ and ‘Investigate the Scripts’ = ‘Πίστευε και μή ερεύνα’ και ‘Ερευνάτε τας γραφάς’. Some from us have FAITH unquestionably but others, like Thomas, want to touch on the ‘marks of the nails’ = “Επί τών τύπων τών ήλων” Each one of us finds his own Way. Faith is in our Heart and RELIGIONS are just external expressions, sometimes/ usually used wrongly for imposing Discipline, Power, Fear on people. A really FREE person, in my opinion, is the one who finds his way back to his father’s home after wandering in the sea of life: We are the Prodigal sons who return to our Father’s House, Heaven, and the Angels rejoice: Because we will/have earned Individualization, the I, and then .. lost it again in our Heart, in the sea of LOVE.
    LOVE,
    Thelma xxx

    1. Sonia says:

      Thank you, for sharing your thoughts, my dear Thelma..

      We all need this kind of thinking.. Open and broad to any comment.. Any religion..

      One thing is sure!! What we are leaving behind, when time comes to move on.. another life? another being? another planet? Who knows.. LOVE should only be that..

    2. THELMA says:

      I guess you ARE my dearest, since elementary school, friend beautiful SONIA! One thing that we both know for sure, having had wonderful loving parents is that LOVE is what keeps us alive and what we … take with us!
      Blessings.
      LOVE,
      Thelma xxx

  17. kealan says:

    I think that religion can be beautiful yet as we learn from life many beautiful things are the most dangerous on our teeny tiny planet Earth. If I had to choose I would choose Buddhism, not as a follower but as a participant; if I had to choose. I won’t choose because I do not feel I have to have a standard religion to fall back on. My religion is ‘I don’t care’, because underneath it all I don’t, but secondly in all that, I do care.

  18. Empié says:

    Hola a todos, feliz día de resurección¡¡¡

    Yo también me críe con la doctrina catolica, quizá por mi personalidad (he de decir que creo que era un poquito autista, de verdad), la religión me influyo mucho, no había ninguna duda por mi parte respecto a lo que la religión que me enseñaban me ofrecía, poco a poco fui diferenciando entre la iglesia y Dios, pero aun así confiaba ciegamente en Dios, dejaba la responsabilidad de mi vida en Él, y seguía las leyes estrictamente, pero todo cambió cuando pasé por la depresión, siempre me había comportado bien y nunca actué por conveniencia o maldad, ni siquiera concebía que pudiese comportarme así, ni siquiera concebía que hubiese gente con maldad que actuase por interes o envidia, después de mucho rogar y rezar me dí cuenta de que me había abandonado, que Él no haría nada por mi, fue en ese momento cuando rompí con la fe antigua, no podía confiar en Dios, el no era justo ni bueno, me había condenado al infierno injustamente, rompí con el. Para mi ese momento fue mi bautismo de agua, fui sumergido en los abismos y resurjí libre para comenzar mi busqueda de la verdad, y no se como pero aquí estoy de nuevo.

    Respecto a lo de las religiones creo que Dios es más inteligente que los hombres y a cada grupo le dio una religión en función del tipo de grupo y de la misión que tendría en el mundo, las distintas lenguas, y los distintos intereses de los que se asentaban en el poder hicieron que los que son hermanos peleen entre si por el mismo Dios, porque la verdad es una, si no no sería la verdad.

    Algún día cuando Dios vea que la humanidad está madura todo cambiará, supongo que en el mundo antiguo cuando se esclavizaba y se mataban sin que importará nada las normas morales, y por tanto las religiones que las dictaban, sería distintas de las que necesita otro tipo de sociedad, y Dios lo sabe, sabe como somos los hombres, nuestras limitaciones, y que las cosas tienen su momento, y lo que un día fue util, mañana seguramente no lo será y habrá que cambiarlo por el bien de la humanidad, a veces pienso que para los hombres la pertenencia a una religión es como la pertenencia a un equipo de futbol, salvo que por ellas somos capaces de convertirnos en demonios, recapacitemos un poco.

  19. Hi, I’m an Indonesian and I was studying at Jesuit high school and university in Indonesia.
    Before I read this article, I don’t feel and I don’t even know that Jesuits are like that.
    Here in Indonesia, Jesuits are known because they uphold freedom.
    When many students cannot go to school because they don’t have uniform (it happens in 50s after world war), they let them have education in this Jesuit high school (John de Britto College in Yogyakarta, Indonesia).
    When I went studying there, I was so amazed because my school taught us about the real freedom and democracy. They let us not to wear uniform (in Indonesia, it’s compulsory to wear uniform from kindergarten to high school) and let us have our hair style (every boys is compulsory to have a short hair cut here in Indonesian schools). They said it is not about your outside appearance, it is about inside you.
    Even one of Jesuit priest there was so brave to face army that came to this school to cut students hair there (yes, in Suharto’s regime, you will face army if your hair is to long). He said, “walk my body first if you want to cut their hair”.
    And majority Indonesian are Muslim but some of them go to Jesuit school and they said it’s because Jesuit schools are great (both quality and values of humanity especially freedom). As long as I know, they never say about Catholic is the best but emphasize on pluralism and appreciate others.
    That was my experience with Jesuits here in Indonesia.
    Maybe they have changed from that time or maybe it only happens in Indonesia.
    But I agree 100% that God is not only in church, God is everywhere :)

    1. Adda says:

      very beautiful story

  20. Jessica G says:

    “I don’t think you can put God in a church. God is everywhere. All religions have advantages and disadvantages.

    Furthermore I don’t think love is at odds with Christianity. Jesus message was above all a message of love to humanity.”

    Just makes me wonder why we have had so many wars in the name of God …. it´s like a competition about who is right and who is wrong.
    But if we would have more AGAPE the world shouldn´t look like it does … so I pray for more agape in the world <3

    Love and light <3

  21. Daniel says:

    I don’t think God minds what language you use to speak to him/her. Is there a faith that does not speak of love?

  22. Alexandra says:

    I don’t think you can put God in a church.
    I think thats true, and I think church might be inspired by the nature, think at a forest with tall trees…if one walk in a midle of such forest, might feel as in a great temple.

  23. Subis Cirico says:

    Você as vezes podes me achar exagerada de mais, mais tudo que você escreveu tem sentido, também já sofri com isso, no meu Caso Paulo não foi diferente, tudo era pecado, fui criada com cristão desde de pequena, e as vezes colocavam na minha cabeça se você sai da Assembleia de Deus JESUS vai te castiga, vai te deixa mais deficiente a inda, e fui crescendo com aquilo na cabeça, sempre andando numa igreja só, nunca procurava outras religiões com medo de ser castigada por Deus.
    Quando vi uma entrevista sua na REDE TV me marcou muito, me emocionei de mais não conseguia parar de chorar, porque tudo que você falou naquele dia ficou marcado em mim, me perdoa no que eu vou escrever aqui mais é verdade, a 3 anos atrais sofri abuso sexual no meio da minha família pelo um parente meu que convivia comigo e o pior era pastor da igreja, então entendo perfeitamente o que você tá falando Deus não tá em placa de igreja e sim dentro dos nossos corações, o pior de tudo que aconteceu comigo foi quando me dizia, sou pastor e nunca ninguém iria acreditar em nenhuma palavra sua sabe porque? Porque você é portadora da paralisia cerebral, só consegui provar através de exames médicos com psiquiatra.
    A 1 mês atras me deu quase um infarto devido minhas sequelas no cérebro, dai pensei comigo, será que é porque eu sai da igreja?
    Mais agora vejo que NÃO através da sua mensagem maravilhosa, perfeita estou podendo ver a vida diferente do meu jeito, você não precisa ir numa igreja ouvi profecias basta uma só palavra de amor e carinho como você descreveu que tudo já se resolver e sua alma se renova e te da mais forças para continua sua jornada.

    Um forte abraço..

  24. Jayeeta says:

    Often I wonder why we always listen,if u do anything wrong Almighty will penalize you; can’t our God say, “You will never be wrong under my guardianship!”
    our outer part may crave for tranquil ,easy going life but our inner part always want something novel and a rebel exists in the core of our heart;he is capricious,he wants to break rules,wary of traditions,indulged to do Original sin!
    but the progress of the world is grateful to this attitude;if our prehistoric forefathers would follow all the rules we will never lead such a magnanimous life.
    nature is generous & we are bound to enjoy its’ bounty!

  25. Lailah says:

    Yes, God is everywhere! There are different paths to find God, as long as you have faith you can always be near God and spirituality.

  26. barbara korycinska says:

    I was raised the same way. Church, always church, never miss church, never miss confessions, take the communion if you don’t what did you do? I had to go confess to someone I didn’t feel comfortable with. I talk to God, and if I feel I sin I try to change it, not just confess and do it over again. Church is just like politics and I will not comment no more. I was raised this way as a catholic and I always will but I read about other religions. I agree that God is everywhere!

  27. Marisol says:

    God is love, everything is summed up in four beautiful letters … I do not understand why people contradict both and divided the world in many religions, when God is not religion, are his creation and shows right through us … he placed a beacon of whether each creature created, just open the windows of the heart to see the invisible, find his kingdom there.

    god bless u Maestro

  28. Laia Cazorla says:

    Antes de todo, espero que sepas español, pues en inglés me defiendo escasamente, y no hablo portugués.

    Sé que es muy probable que no leas esto, y se también que aunque asi sea, habrá mucha gente de la que tendrás que preocuparte y no espero respuesta alguna.

    He estado buscando alguna forma de mensajearte, porque lo que me gustaria decirte es algo que no me ha pasado nunca…

    Al caer la noche, necesito de tus palabras para relajarme, ¡tienes tanta sabiduria!. No sé, eres coherente con tus palabras, empatizas con los sentimientos de los demás, sabes expresar muy bien lo que sientes y encandilas en cada una de tus frases.

    Realmente no sé que es ser un buen o un mal escritor, pero espero, que si algun dia, alguien considera a otro, buen escritor, o simplemente, escritor, sea la mitad de lo que tu eres. Con tanta guerra, con tanta hambre, y con tanta maldad en este mundo, hacen falta muchos Paulo Coelho.

    Gracias por iluminarme con tus palabras, y gracias por existir.

    Laia.

  29. Yilmaz says:

    This story also retells my personal story to some extent.

    I was born a Muslim in Germany, as my parents originally are from Turkey. Even though they have never been strict, you automatically have other influences from relatives or other surroundings. Hearing quite a lot of bla-bla-non-sense rules and together with the terror attacks in the name of Islam that have unfortunately occurred in the past, I started to question my religion. And not only mine, but actually each of the others, too, as the same terror just in another form were and still are going on in all other religions as well. So, I started to secretly drift apart from religion itself, although I never lost an undefined faith in god deep down in my heart.

    That was until I discovered mysticism – for me in the form of Sufism and Zen. I learned what truly matters and I restored my strong connection to god through the most powerful bond: Love. And this has been the common message of prophets of any “religion” throughout time and space.

    Some people still need to define their religion. I don’t need it anymore. If you want, I belong to every religion and to none at all at the same time. Often, because misunderstood, so-called religions built borders, but there is only one religion that always builds a bridge. It begins with a “L”.

    Last but not least, one out of Rumi’s many beautiful poems:
    I profess the religion of love,
    Love is my religion and my faith.
    My mother is love
    My father is love
    My prophet is love
    My God is love
    I am a child of love
    I have come only to speak of love.

    Love and Peace,
    Yilmaz

    1. Dear Yilmaz,
      Thankyou for sharing.
      Was thinking about love and bridges yesterday and today! Quite an amazing poem by Rumi; simply beautiful. As well, watching Sufi dancing inspired my soul, began to realize something personally; dreams being a prayer in motion.
      Since then, felt even more regard and respect for dreams.

      Thanks again!
      Love and Gratitude,
      Jane

    2. Dafré Troskie says:

      beautifull, Truth in all, His Love radiating! each individual have a radiance of light although not all knows, but the gift in us is Life, who can deny Life at any chosen time, and be succesfull? No one, so Love in the only universal language and eery heart knows it, and seeks unity in Love.

    3. Jayeeta says:

      Hi Yilmaz ,your words are seeming as white colour of serenity in the tapestry of Muslim religion,but I find a few people to feel the same;today the religion is replete with fundamentalists and fanatics who always try to smother the true motto of almighty.They defy the fact that pampering own religion and torturing others would only increase malice.
      after all, we have to unfurl the flag of humanity in the azure firmament of philanthropy among the white clouds of peace!

  30. Sister Marguerita vs Sister Act says:

    It’s early.
    The bell is ringing.
    Here comes Sister Marguerita, starting her morning round.
    Prayers are on the menu as she walks along the dormitory prior to us heading for mass in the little chapel.
    We are eying each other.
    Which one is going to be brave enough having an impromptu stomach ache?
    It is my turn.
    Sister Marguerita is not impressed this morning. She must have had a bad dream and permission is refused.
    So,reluctantly, I head for the bathroom, mumbling down my Hail Mary whilst I am brushing my teeth.
    The mass finished, we are all heading back for the dormitory to finish our chores.
    Then it is breakfast time. We go down to the refectory. Here we go again it is a prayer before we eat and after.
    Recess and school starts.
    The first lesson gets on its way with the usual prayer again and finishes with another one. It is repeated throughout the day until it is time to go to bed again.
    One thing for sure I do know my “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” very well.
    What was the idea behind?
    I am not sure.
    Was it necessary?
    I am still trying to figure this one out.

  31. Stella says:

    Thank you Paulo for always reminding us that Love is the only possilble answer! Have a wonderful celebration of Easter, and may God protect you and your loved ones!
    With love,
    Stella

  32. Annie says:

    “God is everywhere”

    Above, below, in front of us, behind us, at our side, and inside…

    “Wherever you look, there is something to be seen” -Talmud
    All we have to do is see/do wherever or whatever we look/do with Love

    Love and Gratitude
    Annie

    1. Yilmaz says:

      Thanks Annie for sharing, now I feel dizzy from looking everywhere. It’s great :) Something from one of the greatest books I’ve read:

      Love is the Law of god.
      You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live. No other lesson is
      required of Man.
      And what is it to love but for the lover to absorb forever the beloved so that the twain be one?
      And whom, or what, is one to love? Is one to choose a certain leaf upon the Tree of Life and
      pour upon it all one’s heart? What of the branch that bears the leaf? What of the stem that holds
      the branch? What of the bark that shields the stem? What of the roots that feed the bark, the
      stem, the branches and the leaves? What of the soil embosoming the roots? What of the sun,
      and sea, and air that fertilize the soil?

      “Book of Mirdad” by Mikhail Naimy

    2. Annie says:

      Watch out for that vertigo, i have to watch out too ;o)

      The ‘Book of Mirdad’ is pure poetry..
      thank you for that passage, every time i read it I am mesmerized..

      Love and Gratitude
      Annie

  33. Tati says:

    I was brought up as Catholic and studied in Nun school.

    As I grow up, through life experiences, I understand that we need to be at our best and to act in the best human behavior that we can and to treat others the same.

  34. Kenny Rose says:

    I felt the same growing up being brought up as a catholic I felt oppressed at school and the burden of religion was heavy.

    As I matured and experienced more of life I began to understand I did not need a church. I need to act and be the best human being I could be with my understanding of my reality at any given moment.

    I also return to my Catholic roots. I want to make that pilgrimage one day and I am seriously thinking about how to make it sooner rather than later.

    Thank you Paulo.

  35. Gabriela says:

    I had similar reaction, at the early 20, and i felt obliged to honor my parents religion, because I was went trou all the rites (except matrimony, the holy one, because he was not ready) We were ready for the Civil one, the Holy one never came, although the children did… now divorced.
    Its not because the church didn’t help,
    it was because the man and the women could not be saved…

    Then I remember your book: the witch of Portobello. I remember Jesus outside the the Chapel, and I cry everytime.

    1. Gabriela says:

      I felt ogliged (20) then to break up with Catholic, I asked my father for permission, and he told me half mad half tolerant: !ts YOUR choice!
      But, I felt betraying not only GOD, but my earthly father too,

      but he said, not mad at all: I forgive you.

      16 years has passed, I have went back to catholic church, father is in heaven, so I was asking Mother, yesterday, what is your opinion?
      She said: All religion teaches for the same.
      So afterall, there is no betrayals?
      MEANING, we can not betray God ever!
      And we break the rules set by the man, we are the biggest criminals, ohhhhhh
      Jesus only ask us 1 thing:

      Eis o mandamento novo: Amai a Deus sobre todas as coisas,
      e o segundo: Amai-nos uns aos outros como eu vou amei

      and we pass our life bathmouthing our sisters and brothers and think we are SAINTS,
      because I did break the human’s hipocritical morally controversial and incompreenhsible, debatable at the least, or paranoid and second agenda filled rules, I am a CRIMINAL for actual jailtime??

      I did not harm anyone with anything at all (except myself). BULLSHIT TOO.
      You harm EVERYONE that is around you, by spreading the example, by making people feel weird BECAUSE they have better heart that yours cinical ones?

      GOD forgive me but:
      YOU ARE INSANE!!!!
      AND still tighted to COMPETITION BETWEEN MAN
      The REAL competition is ALWAYS WITHIN YOURSELF
      WITH YOURSELF
      and nothing else really mattters, if you dont do it like this

      Hell is full of winners

    2. Gabriela says:

      I did not mean that GOD was insane.
      I meant MANKIND was insane!
      Everything is ME first, MY plesasure, my money, my house, my car, my PRADA and….

      Its not a sin to have stuff
      Its a sin to JUDGE those who has or havent
      To CONTROL what others should or shouldnt get BY THE RULES OF MAN, that does always remember that only GOD is without sins, shames, guilts, etc.

    3. Yilmaz says:

      Thanks Gabriela, so true =)

      Envy is the most dangerous disease inside a human being’s heart. It always had and it always will be. Maybe until the glorious day when everyone of us in this world starts teaching our children from the beginning that this world is nota “rat race” and we all have our own roles in this world like it was excellently expressed in one of the previous posts “Each to his/her own destiny”.

      Love, Peace and Harmony,
      Yilmaz

    4. Gabriela says:

      Envy serves to propel you to get what you want.
      Dont mix with desire to make others fall, feel bad, etc, to kill your ENVY feeling.
      Use your envy feeling to work harder to get what you want with your own hands, and Envy can also be a friend.

    5. Gabriela says:

      To be absolutely clear: use envy to remind you that you must not have what other have, but its ok to want, just DONT HARM others to get what you want, not even “not on purpose”, like badmouthing to belittle the other and hence feel LESS envious of that person.
      USE ENVY and do no HARM with it.

      Just an honest opinion.

  36. Es un punto de vista muy amplio donde todas las ventanas se abren y todas las puertas sin tener diferencias. Todos sirven a Dios desde cualquier religión o forma espiritual, tan solo basta con no ser excluyente ni fanático y reconocer en el otro a Dios pues El está en todas partes.
    Gracias Paulo pienso como William Blake.

    1. Yilmaz says:

      Hay otra poema de Rumi que sigue esta pensamiento en la manera exprimida que hace llorar mi corazón de alegria:

      A strange passion is moving in my head.
      My heart has become a bird
      which searches in the sky.
      Every part of me goes in different directions.
      Is it really so
      that the one I love is everywhere? (Rumi)

    2. Annie says:

      thank you for sharing this beautiful poem!
      what a beautiful picture of the heart becoming a bird…

      Love and Gratitude
      Annie

  37. Ketki says:

    I feel rebellious many a times……. and that leads me to freedom……. and being free is the essence of life for me……… The picture in this article is beautiful……. there is joy when there is freedom…….

  38. eleonora says:

    condivido quanto leggo,ognuno di noi sin da piccolo in base al luogo dove si nasce, riceve insegnamenti religiosi e non…con il passare degli anni, penso che la fede sia una scoperta che avviene di pari passo alle nostre esperienze …non si apprende come dottrina,quanto con l’esperienza chiamata Vita o semplicemente Amore!!!

  39. Paayal says:

    love is THE RELIGION !
    Feel Loved!
    Give Love!

    1. Yilmaz says:

      AmEn and AmIn to that! =)

  40. Monika says:

    My father is catholic with a very free attitude and mother was a tolerant atheist. I am baptized catholic and had communion (my mother agreed), but I was not confirmed, because at that stage I also began thinking atheistic. Later I began to study theology some semesters in my study for teaching at school. I also read a lot about other religions and became aware of my spiritual side.
    What always stayed in my blood is the tolerant, free attitude and the different influences from my parents.

  41. Jojo says:

    True, and I with my own path came to the same perception. I just would like to comment on this portion … All religions have advantages and disadvantages.

    Everything in life, we can evaluate with advantages and disavantages … and here in my sanctuary in Mexico, where I always am do not know how to day but like teached, just yesterday, more awareness … and I come to see that I must stop evaluating as advantage and disavantage because my mind will always find those, try to justify, to help me detach or act to put more on the balance of disadvantage or advantage … so I just understood that it is only to see my heart, follow it, see it as me I want to live that adventure, I am attracted to that way, etc … in evaluating it is like givin force to a subtile way to cover culpability, to let old forces from the past be alive … Evolution is movement, life is movement, and it will push … just follow the movement and capture the moment … without trying to explain the “pour and contre” (for it or not for it). My son strangely came to me about a month ago saying you know mom I am there for 2 years trying to find the advantage and desadvantage of me getting on with this world or not … and it is a circle that does not stop … and then it is to just follow my heart that want change, something, an adventure without the mind that at the end controls and keeps me in the same spot … and it is not that this spot is good or not … it is just that I seek another chapter of my life.

    With love, Jojo.

  42. Marie-Christine says:

    Traduction en francais

    Mon education religieuse

    Ma famille etait tres stricte et mon pere m’a envoye a l’ecole jesuite pour que je puisse recevoir une vraie discipline.

    Les chaines de rigueur etaient tellement lourdes pendant toute ma jeunesse que tres vite j’ai commence a douter cette religion qui ne montrait aucune pitie, seulement contrainte et souffrance.

    Je me rappelle etre oblige d’assister a la messe et les continuelles menaces de l’enfer dans la bouche des pretres. Tout etait un peche, tout etait defendu, le plaisir etait exclu.

    Je crois que ma rebellion fut ce qui m’a sauve. j’etais dans le doute sur le catholicisme et avais envie d’essayer quelque chose de nouveau.

    Plus tard, pendant mon adolescence, je suis devenu un hippie.

    Au cours de cette periode, j’ai beaucoup voyage, rencontre des gens de differents milieux, ai appris des chemins varies pour me rapprocher de la spiritualite.

    J’ai commence a voir d’autres routes et a me rendre compte que ma propre religion n’etait pas limitee a la perception juive.

    Apres avoir complete le pelerinage de Santiago de Compostelle, j’ai repris confiance en la foi catholique – seulement parce que c’est dans mon sang, pas parce que c’est la meilleure religion –

    Je ne crois pas que l’on peut placer Dieu dans une eglise. Dieu est partout. Toutes les religions ont leurs avantages et inconvenients.

    Par ailleurs, je ne crois pas que l’amour est brouille avec la christianite. Le message de Jesus etait par-dessus tout un message d’amour pour l’humanite.

    Dieu est – comme William Blake a dit : dans un grain de sable et dans une fleur – Cette energie est partout.

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      Traduction en francais

      Mon education religieuse

      Ma famille etait tres stricte et mon pere m’a envoye a l’ecole jesuite pour que je puisse recevoir une vraie discipline.

      Les chaines de rigueur etaient tellement lourdes pendant toute ma jeunesse que tres tot j’ai commence a douter cette religion qui ne montrait aucune pitie, seulement contrainte et souffrance.

      Je me souviens etre oblige d’assister a la messe et les continuelles menaces de l’enfer dans la bouche des pretres. Tout etait un peche, tout etait defendu, le plaisir etait exclu.

      Je crois que ma rebellion fut ce qui m’a sauve. Je doutais du catholicisme et avais envie d’essayer quelque chose de nouveau.

      Plus tard, pendant mon adolescence, je suis devenu un hippie.

      Au cours de cette periode, j’ai beaucoup voyage, rencontre des gens de differents milieux, ai appris des chemins divers pour me rapprocher de la spiritualite.

      J’ai commence a voir d’autres routes et a me rendre compte que ma propre religion n’etait pas limitee a la perception jesuite.

      Apres avoir fait le pelerinage de Compostelle, j’ai repris confiance dans la foi catholique – seulement parce que c’est dans mon sang, pas parce que c’est la meilleure religion –

      Je ne pense pas que l’on puisse mettre Dieu dans une eglise. Dieu est partout. Toutes les religions ont leurs avantages et inconvenients.

      Par ailleurs, je ne crois pas que l’amour est brouille avec la christianite. Le message de Jesus etait par-dessus tout un message d’amour pour l’humanite.

      Dieu est – comme William Blake a dit: dans un grain de sable et dans une fleur – cette energie est partout.

      Cher Paulo,
      Je m’excuse. J’ai fait une erreur en tapant le premier texte.
      Dans la 7ieme phrase, 2ieme ligne, il fallait lire :
      “Perception jesuite” au lieu de “perception juive.”
      Avec amour
      Marie-Christine