Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Filling the other’s cup

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

During a dinner at the monastery of Sceta, the oldest priest rose to serve water to the others. He went from table to table with a certain difficulty, but none of the priests accepted.
     “We are not worthy of this saint’s sacrifice,” they thought.
     When the old man reached Abbot Little John’s table, he asked for his cup to be filled to the brim.
     The other monks look on in horror. When dinner was over, they scolded John:
     – How can you judge yourself worthy of being served by a holy man? Didn’t you see how hard it was for him to lift the pitcher? Didn’t you notice how his hands were shaking?
     – How can I stop goodness being manifested? – answered John. – You who find yourselves so perfect lack the humility of receiving, and deprive the poor man of the joy of giving.

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