Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The vespers

Author: Paulo Coelho

San Francisco, United States

I walk through a park with my former American editor, John Loudon, and his wife, Sharon. We can see the city of San Francisco in the distance, illuminated by the setting sun.
Sharon wrote a book about a Benedictine monastery, and tells us that the afternoon prayers, called vespers, are songs of faith in the certainty that the night will pass.

– The vespers indicate the necessity we have to be near others at nightfall – she says. – But our society has forgotten the importance of this nearness, and pretends to greatly prize each person’s ability to deal with his own difficulties. We no longer pray together; we hide our solitude as if we were afraid to admit it exists.

Sharon pauses, before adding:

– I was like that once. Until one day I lost my fear of depending on my neighbor, because I discovered that he too needed me.

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