Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The sorrowing mother

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

Roberto Shiniashiky tells of a Jewish mother who tried to bring her son up in the most traditional way possible. The boy, however, had a forceful personality and would only do what his heart told him to do.

The mother, just like Rabbi Abraham in the preceding story, went straight to Paradise when she died, for she had been a shining example of devotion here on Earth. When she got there, she told the other mothers about the agonies her son had put her through, and she learned that not one of them was satisfied with the paths their children had followed.

After days of conversation, during which they voiced their regrets that they had not been strong enough to control their children, the group of women saw Our Lady passing by.

‘Now she managed to bring her son up properly,’ said one of the mothers.

And they all crowded round Our Lady, praising her son Jesus’s career.

‘He was a wise man,’ they said. ‘He accomplished all that he was destined to accomplish, he walked the path of truth, never deviating for one moment, and he is still a source of pride to his family.’

‘Yes, you’re quite right,’ said Our Lady, ‘but to be perfectly honest, I wanted him to be a doctor.’

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