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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