Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The stories of the desert priests

Author: Paulo Coelho

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.

Behave like others

Abbot Pastor was walking with a monk from Scete when they were invited for a meal. The host, honored by the holy men’s presence, served only the finest dishes.

However, the monk was fasting; as soon as the food arrived, he took a pea and chewed it slowly. He only ate that one pea, during the whole meal.

As they left, Abbot Pastor called him:

– Brother, when you pay a visit, do not render your holiness an offense. The next time you are fasting, do not accept an invitation to dine.

The monk understood what Abbot Pastor said. From then on, whenever he was with others, he behaved as they did.

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