Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The impatient disciple

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

After an exhausting morning session of prayer in the monastery of Piedra, the novice asked the abbot:
‘Do all these prayers that you teach us make God move closer to us?’
‘I’m going to reply with another question,’ said the abbot. ‘Will all the prayers you say make the sun rise tomorrow?’
‘Of course not! The sun rises in obedience to a universal law.’
‘Well, there’s the answer to your question. God is close to us regardless of how much we pray.’
The novice was shocked.
‘Are you saying that our prayers are useless?’
‘Absolutely not. If you don’t wake up early enough, you will never get to see the sunrise. And although God is always close, if you don’t pray, you will never manage to feel His presence.’

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