Some Spiritual Thoughts from Short Stories, Paulo Coelho

Although everything is already written, God is compassionate, and wrote it all down just to help us, If you are still living, it's because you have not yet arrived at the place you should be.

The arts of divination were developed in order to counsel people, never to predict the future. 'God's will be done.' When His will causes a problem, it also presents a solution. If the arts of divination were able to predict the future, every soothsayer would be wealthy, married and content.

"God lives in those places where they allow Him to enter."

"The spiritual path is like a fire that burns before us. A man who wants to light the fire has to bear with the disagreeable smoke that makes it difficult for him to breathe, and brings tears to his eyes. That is how his faith is rediscovered. However, once the fire is rekindled, the smoke disappears, and the flames illuminate everything around him -- providing heat and tranquility." "But what if someone else lights the fire for him?" asked one of the disciples. "And if someone helps us to avoid the smoke?" "If someone does that, he is a false master. A master capable of taking the fire to wherever he desires, or of extinguishing it whenever he wants to do so. And, since he has taught no one how to light the fire, he is likely to leave everyone in the darkness."

"Just as it is impossible for a man to see his face in troubled waters, it is also impossible to seek God if one's mind is anxious about the search."

"When a vice becomes a habit, it is difficult to deal with, but when it requires of us that we develop new attitudes, make new decisions and choices, we become aware that it is not worth the effort."

Rarely do we speak to strangers. And we always say that it's better that way. So we wind up not being of help and not being helped by Life. Our distance makes us appear to be important and sure of ourselves. But actually, we are not allowing the voice of our angel to manifest itself through the words of others.""God's decisions are mysterious; but they are always in our favor."

Do not always try to be consistent; the wisdom of the world is madness in the eyes of God. It doesn't matter what others think -- because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself. "God selected the crazy things on the earth so as to embarrass the wise men," said Saint Paul.

"Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. "God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. "Tomorrow you will receive others."

"To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God."

"Often, we can afford to take our time. But there are occasions when we must roll up our sleeves and resolve a situation. In such cases, there is nothing worse than delay."

"Each person approaches God in his own way: some with certainty, some with denial and some with doubt. For each God appears the same way he sees Him"

We are all concerned with taking action, doing things, resolving problems, providing for others. We are always trying to plan something, conclude something else, discover a third. There is nothing wrong with that -- after all, that is how we build and modify the world. But the act of Adoration is also a part of life. To stop from time to time, to escape one's self, and to stand silent before the Universe. To kneel down, body and soul. Without asking for something, without thinking, without even giving thanks for anything. Just to experience the warmth of the love that surrounds us. At such moments, unexpected tears may appear -- tears neither of happiness nor sadness. Do not be surprised at that. It is a gift. The tears are cleansing your soul.

"Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. "Children stop crying very quickly.”And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do."

"We must care for our body. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and deserves our respect and affection. "We must make the best use of our time. We must fight for our dreams, and concentrate our efforts to that end. "But we must not forget that life is made up of small pleasures. They were placed here to encourage us, assist us in our search, and provide moments of surcease from our daily battles. "It is not a sin to be happy. There is nothing wrong in -- from time to time -- breaking certain rules regarding diet, sleep and happiness. "Do not criticize yourself if -- once in a while -- you waste your time on trifles. These are the small pleasures that stimulate us."

Those who have lost everything they owned are in a better position than many others, because, from that moment on, things can only improve.

"If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted.' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. "Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. "Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. "God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant."

"Although the treasure may be buried in your house, you will find it only if you leave in search of it. There are certain things in our lives that carry a seal that says: 'You will appreciate my value only after you have lost me...and recovered me.' It does no good to try to shorten the path.

A person who forgives is washing and perfuming his own heart.

"Fear is not a sign of cowardice. It is fear that allows us be brave and dignified in the face of life's situations. Someone who experiences fear -- and despite the fear goes on, without allowing it to intimidate him -- is giving proof of valiance. But someone who tackles difficult situations without taking the danger into account is proving only his irresponsibility."

The closer I came to God's work, the closer I came to His wisdom.

"Just as I succeeded in finding all the answers, all the questions changed.”We are always concerned with finding answers. We feel that answers are important to understand what life means. "It is more important to live fully, and allow time to reveal to us the secrets of our existence. If we are too concerned with making sense of life, we prevent nature from acting, and we become unable to read God's signs."

One person's happiness does not mean others must be sad.

Our feet are often bound by fragile ties. But since, as children, we became accustomed to the strength of the tree trunk, we do not dare to struggle. Without realizing that a simple courageous act is all that is needed to find our freedom.

"No one will ever prove that God exists. Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -- and never explained. "Love is such a thing. God -- who is love -- is also such a thing. "God will never enter your head. The door that He uses is your heart."

"The lack of a struggle weakens the soul. And when he is once again struggling to resist temptation, let us pray that he never says: 'Lord, take this devil away.' Let us pray that instead he asks: 'Lord, give me the strength to win out over evil"

There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark. In most spiritual traditions, this moment is considered holy. God mixes shadow and light to see if the Earth has the courage to go on turning. If the Earth is not frightened by the darkness, night passes -- a new sun shines the next day.

"Preoccupation." It can be divided in two: "pre" and "occupation." It means to occupy oneself with something before it happens. "Who, in the entire universe, could have the gift of occupying himself with a thing that has not yet happened? Never be preoccupied. Be attentive to your destiny and to your path. Learn everything you need to know in order to handle the bright sword entrusted to you. Pay attention to how your friends, your masters and your enemies fight. "Train yourself sufficiently, but do not commit the worst of errors: believing that you know what kind of blow your adversary is going to deliver."

In ancient Rome, a group of soothsayers known as the Sybils wrote nine books that forecasted the future of the Roman empire. They took the books to Tiberius. "How much do they cost?" asked the Roman emperor. "One hundred pieces of gold," answered the Sybils. Tiberius angrily banished them from his sight. The Sybils burned three of the books, and returned. "They still cost one hundred pieces of gold," they told Tiberius. Tiberius laughed and refused: why would he pay for six books what nine of them had cost? The Sybils burned three more books, and returned with the remaining three. "The price is still one hundred pieces of gold," they said. Tiberius, consumed with curiosity, decided to pay. But he was able to read only a part of the future of his empire. The master says: "It is an important part of living not to bargain when presented with opportunities."

The spiritual quest is, above all, a challenge. Whoever uses it to flee from his problems will not go very far. It does no good for someone who cannot make friends to retire from the world. It accomplishes nothing to take a vow of poverty if you are already unable to earn a living. And it makes no sense to become humble if one is already a coward. It is one thing to have something and give it up. It is another not to have something and to condemn those who have. It is easy for a weak man to go around preaching absolute charity, but what good is it? The master says: "Praise the Lord's work. Conquer yourself as you confront the world."

It is easy to be difficult. All we have to do is stay away from people, and in that way, avoid suffering. That way, we don't have to risk love, disappointment, frustrated dreams. It is easy to be difficult. We don't have to be concerned about phone calls we should have made, people who ask us for help, charity that should be extended. It is easy to be difficult. We just have to pretend that we live in an ivory tower, and never shed a tear. We just have to spend the rest of our lives playing a role. It is easy to be difficult. All we have to do is reject everything good that life offers.

Fear a few things, and concentrate all of your fear on them -- so you can be courageous in facing the important things."

"If you accept such love with purity and humility, you will understand that Love is neither giving nor receiving -- it is participating."

Excerpts from a "Letter to my Heart:" "My heart, I will never condemn you or criticize you. Nor will I ever be ashamed of what you say. I know that you are a beloved child of God, and that He protects you within a glorious and loving radiance." "I believe in you, my heart. I am on your side, and I will always ask for blessing in my prayers. I will always ask that you find the help and support you need." "I believe in you, my heart. I believe that you will share your love with anyone who needs or deserves it. That my path is your path, and that we will walk together to the Holy Spirit." "I ask of you: trust in me. Know that I love you and that I am trying to give you all the freedom you need to continue beating joyfully in my breast. I will do everything I can so that you never feel uncomfortable with my presence surrounding you."

"When we decide to act, it is natural that unexpected conflict should arise. It is natural that we will be wounded as a result of such conflict. "Wounds heal: they stay on as scars, and that is blessing. Such scars stay with us for the rest of our lives, and are of great help to us. If at some point -- for whatever reason -- our desire to return to the past is strong, we have only to look at our scars. "Scars are the marks of handcuffs, and remind us of the horrors of prison -- and with that reminder we move forward again."

Sweetness is one of the main characteristics of love. Let us never forget: love is tenderness. A rigid soul does not allow the hand of God to mold it in accordance with His desires.

"Pray every day. Even if your prayers are wordless and ask for nothing, and can hardly be understood. Make a habit of your prayers. If that is difficult at the beginning, decide for yourself: 'I am going to pray every day this week.' And renew that promise for each of the next seven days. "Remember that you are creating not only a more intimate link with the spiritual world; you are also training your will. It is through certain practices that we develop the discipline needed for life's combat. "It does no good to forget the resolution one day and pray twice the next. Nor to pray seven times the same day, and go through the rest of the week thinking that you have completed your task. "Certain things have to occur with the right pace and rhythm."

"A crossroad is a holy place. There, the pilgrim has to make a decision. That is why the gods usually sleep and eat at crossroads. "Where roads cross, two great forces are concentrated -- the path that will be chosen, and the path to be ignored. Both are transformed into a single path, but only for a short period of time. "The pilgrim may rest, sleep a bit, and even consult with the gods that inhabit the crossroad. But no one can remain there forever: once his choice is made, he has to move on, without thinking about the path he has rejected. "Otherwise, the crossroad becomes a curse."

"Wise is the man who can leave a situation when he sees that he is forced to do so."

In certain magic traditions, disciples devote one day a year -- or a weekend if it is needed -- to enter into contact with the objects in their home. They touch each object and ask aloud: "Do I really need this?" They take the books from their shelves: "Will I ever reread this?" They examine each souvenir they have kept: "Do I still consider the moment that this object reminds me of to be important?" They open all of their closets: "How long is it since I wore this? Do I really need it?" The master says: "Objects have their own energy. When they are not used, they turn into standing water in the house -- a good place for rot and for mosquitos. "You must be attentive, and allow that energy to flow freely. If you keep what is old, the new has no place in which to manifest itself."

"From now on -- and for the next few hundred years -- the universe is going to boycott all those have preconceived ideas. The energy of the Earth has to be renewed. New ideas need space. The body and the soul need new challenges. The future is knocking on our door, and all ideas -- except those that are based upon preconceptions -- will have a chance to appear. "What is important will remain; what is useless will disappear. But let each person judge only his own concepts. We are not the judges of the dreams of others. In order to have faith in our own path, it is not necessary to prove that another's path is wrong. One who does that does not believe in his own steps."

Life is like a great bike race, the goal of which is to live one's own Personal Destiny. At the starting line, we are all together, sharing camaraderie and enthusiasm. But, as the race develops, the initial joy gives way to challenges: exhaustion, monotony, doubts as to one's ability. We notice that some friends refuse to accept the challenges -- they are still in the race, but only because they cannot stop in the middle of a road. There are many of them. They ride along with the support car, talk among themselves and complete the task. We find ourselves outdistancing them; and then we have to confront solitude, the surprises around unfamiliar curves, problems with the bicycle. We wind up asking ourselves if the effort is worth it. Yes, it is worth it. Don't give up.

Life is not about giving or receiving advice. If we need assistance, it is better to see how others solve -- or fail to solve -- their problems. Our angel is always present, and often uses someone else's lips to tell us something. But it usually reaches us in a casual way, generally at a moment in which -- although we are attentive -- our preoccupations prevent us from seeing the miracle of life. We must allow our angel to speak to us in the way he knows best -- when he thinks it is needed. The master says: "Advice is a theory about life -- and the practice of life is generally quite different."

Instead of cursing the place where you fall, you should try to find out what made you slip in the first place."

"It is true that everything has its price, but the price is always relative. When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart."

"The word is power. Words transform the world, and man as well. "We have all heard it said: 'We should not talk about the good things that have happened to us, because the envy of others will ruin our happiness.' "Nothing of the sort. Those who are winners speak with pride of the miracles in their lives. If you release positive energy into the air, it attracts more positive energy, and makes those who really wish you well happy. "As for the envious and defeated, they can only do damage to you if you give them this power. "Have no fear. Speak out about the good things in your life to whoever will listen. The Soul of the World has a great need for your happiness."

"There are two gods. The god that our professors taught us about, and the God who teaches us. The god of whom people always speak, and the God that speaks to us. The god we have learned to fear, and the God who speaks to us of compassion. "There are two gods. The god who is on high, and the God who takes part in our daily lives. The god who makes demands upon us, and the God who pardons our debts. The god who threatens us with the fires of Hell, and the God who shows us the best path. "There are two gods. A god who crushes us under our sins, and a God who liberates us with His love."

"There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -- no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -- we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor."

"We all need love. Love is a part of human nature, as much as eating, drinking and sleeping. Sometimes we find ourselves, completely alone, looking at a beautiful sunset, and we think: 'This beauty isn't important, because I have no one to share it with.' "At such times, we should ask: how often have we been asked to give love, and turned away? How many times have we been fearful of approaching someone and saying, unmistakably, that we love them? "Beware of solitude. It is as much of an addiction as the most dangerous narcotic. If the sunset no longer makes sense to you, be humble, and go in search of love. Know that -- as with other spiritual blessings -- the more you are willing to give, the more you will receive in return."

Along our spiritual path, we should not look for visions, or believe the statements we hear from others on the same path. Our only support should be our faith, because that faith is clear, transparent and born within us. It cannot be confused. A writer was conversing with a priest, and asked what it was to experience God. "I don't know," the priest answered. "The only experience I have had so far is the experience of my faith in God." And that is the most important.

"Forgiveness is a two-way street. Each time we forgive someone, we are also pardoning ourselves. If we are tolerant of others, it is easier to accept our own mistakes. That way, without guilt or bitterness, we are able to improve our approach to life. "When, out of weakness, we allow hatred, envy and intolerance to vibrate around us, we wind up being consumed by the vibrations. The act of forgiving cleanses the astral plane, and shows us the true light of the Divinity."

"When any action becomes habitual, it loses its meaning; and it may wind up causing damage." "Every action is your action, and there is only one secret: never let the habit take command of your movements."

A disciple asked, "I have been told that, in order to achieve enlightenment, we should avoid eating meat. Is that true?" "Accept with joy everything that life offers you," the man answered. "Do not commit sins against the spirit, but do not blaspheme the earth's generosity."

"If your journey is difficult, listen to your heart. Try to be as honest as possible with yourself, and see whether you are really following your path and paying the price for your dreams. "If you do this, and nevertheless your life is hard, the moment comes when it is right to complain. But do it with respect, as a child complains to a parent. But do not fail to ask for more attention and help. God is Father and Mother, and parents always want the best for their children. It may be that the learning process is being pushed too hard, and it costs nothing to request a pause, some affection. "But never exaggerate. Job complained at the proper time, and his belongings were returned to him. Al Afid complained too much, and God stopped listening."

"One's personal destiny is not as simple as it appears. Not at all. It may even call for some sort of dangerous action. When we want something, we put into motion some powerful energies, and we are no longer able to conceal from ourselves the true meaning of our life. When we want something, we make a choice and we pay a price. "To follow one's dream carries a price. It may demand that we give up old habits, it may create problems for us, and it may bring disappointment. "But, no matter how high the price, it is never so high as that we pay for not having lived out our personal destiny. Because one day we will look back and see everything we have done, and hear our own heart say: 'I wasted my life.' "Believe me, that is the worst phrase you can ever hear."

"Sometimes God takes back a certain blessing in order to help the person understand it better. God knows up to what point he can test a soul -- and he never goes beyond that point. "At such times, we never say: 'God has abandoned me.' If the Lord imposes a demanding test upon us, he always provides us with a sufficient number of graces -- probably more than sufficient -- to meet the test. "When we feel far from His presence, we should ask ourselves: 'Do we understand how to make use of what he has placed in our path?'"

Sometimes days or weeks pass without our having received a gesture of affection from anyone. Such periods are difficult; when human kindness seems to have disappeared, and life seems to be simply a matter of survival. The master says: "We must examine our own fireplace. We must place more kindling, and try to illuminate the dark room that our life has become. When we hear our fire crackling and the burning wood snapping, and when we read the stories the flames are telling, hope returns to us. "If we are capable of loving, we will also be capable of being loved. It is only a matter of time."

"I learned many things from the pioneers," he said. "They fought the indians, crossed deserts, searched for food and water in remote places. And all that was written during that period shows that they demonstrated a curious trait: the pioneers wrote only about and talked about only good things. Instead of complaining, they composed songs and jokes about their difficulties. That way, they avoided discouragement and depression.

"I want to free my soul so that it can enjoy all of the gifts that the spirits own. When this is possible, I will not try to know the craters of the moon, nor track the rays of the sun to their source. I will not try to understand the beauty of a star, nor the artificial desolation of a human being. "When I learn how to free my soul, I will follow the dawn, and to return with it through time. When I learn how to free my soul, I will plunge into the magnetic currents that drain into an ocean where all waters meet to form the Soul of the World. "When I learn how to free my soul, I will try to read the splendid page of Creation from the beginning."

"We are often incapable of understanding the blessings we have received. Many times we do not perceive what He does to keep us spiritually nourished.

If you are dissatisfied with something -- even a good thing that you would like to do, but have not been able to -- stop now. If things are not going well, there are only two explanations: either your perseverance is being tested, or you need to change direction. In order to discover which of those options is correct -- since they are opposites -- make use of silence and prayer. Little by little, things will become strangely clear, until you have sufficient strength to choose. Once you have made your decision, forget completely the other possibility. And go forward, because God is the God of the Valiant. Domingos Sabino said: "Everything always turns out for the best. If things are not going well, it is because you have not yet reached the end."

"There are certain things that are already written, but God finds us a way to get past them without any serious problem. That is, it was a part of your destiny to be in an automobile accident at this point in your life," for instance. "But, as you see, everything happened -- and nothing."

I learned that I would be able to get to Santiago only if I went at my own pace. "It took me longer than the others, and I walked alone for many stretches along the road. But it was only because I respected my own pace that I was able to walk the entire road.

"The language of signs is there is before us, to teach us the best way to act. But many times we try to distort those signs so that they "agree" with what we wanted to do in the first place.

"It's not worthwhile to spend time discussing everything; it is a part of the human condition to err from time to time.”There are people who insist that they be right about even minor details. They often do not permit themselves to make a mistake. "What they accomplish with that attitude is a fear of moving ahead. "Fear of making a mistake is the door that locks us into the castle of mediocrity. If we are able to overcome that fear, we have taken an important step in the direction of our freedom."

"What are the things I should do in order to please God?"
"Abraham accepted strangers, and God was happy. Elijah did not like strangers, and God was happy. David was proud of what he did, and God was happy. The Roman publican, before the altar, was ashamed of what he did, and God was happy. John the Baptist went into the desert, and God was happy. Jonah went to the great city of Ninevah, and God was happy. "Ask your soul what it wants to do. When your soul is in agreement with your dreams, it makes God happy."

"When a tree is laden with fruit, its branches bend to touch the ground. The truly wise is he who is humble. "When a tree bears no fruit, its branches are arrogant and haughty. The foolish man always believes that he is better than others."

The path is made to be walked. By walking, the path is made, and if you look back, all you will see are the marks of footsteps that one day your feet will once again take. Pathfinder, there is no path; the path is made to be walked."

"Sometimes we are afraid of doing good. Our sense of guilt always tries to tell us that -- when we act with generosity -- we are merely trying to impress others. It is difficult for us to accept that we are good by nature. We mask our good acts with irony and indifference, as if live were synonymous with weakness

"Like the juggler, we throw a dream out into the world, but we don't always have control over it. At times like that, you have to know how to put yourself in God's hands -- and ask that, in due time, the dream follows its course correctly and falls, completed, back into your hand."

One of the most powerful exercises in interior growth consists in paying attention to
things we do automatically -- like breathing, blinking our eyes, or attending to things around us. When we do this, we allow our brain to work with greater freedom -- without the interference of our desires. Certain problems that appeared to be insoluble wind up being resolved, and certain pains that we thought could never be overcome wind up dissipating effortlessly. The master says: "When you have to confront a difficult situation, try to use that technique. It requires a bit of discipline...but the results can be surprising.

Three fairies were invited to the baptism of a prince. The first granted the prince the gift of finding his love. The second granted him enough money to do as he pleased. The third granted him beauty. But, as in all fairy tales, a witch appeared. She was furious at not having been invited, and pronounced a curse: "Because you already have everything, I'm going to give you even more. You will be talented at whatever you try to do." The prince grew up handsome, rich and in love. But he was never able to complete his mission on Earth. He was an excellent painter, sculptor, musician, mathematician -- but he was never able to complete a task because he quickly became distracted and wanted to move on to something else. The master says: "All roads lead to the same place. But choose your own, and follow it to the end. Do not try to walk every road."

"There is nothing to be taught, because you cannot transmit faith in the same way that you transmit knowledge about mathematics. Accept the mystery of faith, and the Universe will reveal itself."

"Write! Whether it's a letter, a diary or just some notes as you speak on the telephone -- but write! "In writing, we come closer to God and to others. "If you want to understand your role in the world better, write. Try to put your soul in writing, even if no one reads your words -- or worse, even if someone winds up reading what you did not want to be read. The simple fact of writing helps us to organize our thoughts and see more clearly what is in our surroundings. A paper and pen perform miracles -- they alleviate pain, make dreams come true and summon lost hope. "The word has power."

The monks of the desert affirmed that it was necessary to allow the hand of the angels to act. In order to bring this about, they sometimes did absurd things -- such as speaking to the flowers or laughing without cause. The alchemists follow the "signs from God;" clues that sometimes make very little sense but wind up leading somewhere. The master says: "Do not fear being regarded as crazy -- do something today that fits not at all with the logic you have learned. Behave is a way that is opposite to the usual serious comportment you were taught. This little thing, no matter how little it is, can open the door to a great adventure -- human and spiritual."

"When we begin our spiritual path, we want to speak often with God -- and we wind up not listening to what He has to say to us. "Relax a bit. It is not easy. We have a natural need always to do the right thing, and we think we can do that if we work unceasingly. "It is important to try, to fall, to get up and try again. But let us allow God to help. In the middle of a great effort, let us look at ourselves, allow Him to reveal himself and guide us. "Let us sometimes allow Him to take us onto his lap."

"You are ready for the next step, when you have learned to laugh in the face of your problems."

"I've noticed that it's very easy to be hurtful to those you know," he said. "If you were a stranger, I would have controlled myself much more. But because we are friends -- and you know me better than anyone does -- I wound up being much more aggressive. That’s human nature." Maybe it is human nature. But we should fight against it.

There are moments when we would very much like to help someone, but there is nothing we can do. Either the circumstances do not allow us to offer help, or the person is not receptive to any expression of relatedness and support. The master says: "There is always love. Even at those times when we feel most useless, we can still love -- without expectation of reward, change or thanks. "If we are able to act in that way, the energy of love begins to transform the Universe around us. When this energy appears, it is always able to do its work.

"Each of us knows the best way to do his work. Only the person confronted with the task knows what problems are involved."

Of all the powerful arms of destruction that man has been able to invent, the most terrible -- and most cowardly -- is the word. Fists and firearms at least leave some blood remaining. Bombs destroy houses and streets. Poisons can be detected. The master says: "The word can destroy without leaving a clue. Children are conditioned for years by their parents, men are impiously criticized, women are systematically massacred by the words of their husbands. The faithful are kept far away from religion by those who regard themselves as the interpreters of the voice of God. "Verify whether you are making use of this weapon. See whether others are using this weapon on you. And prevent either of those from continuing."

"Sometimes people get used to what they see in films and forget the real story,"
someone says to the wanderer. "Do you remember the film, 'The Ten Commandments?" "Of course. Moses raises his staff, the waters open, and the people of Israel are able to cross the Red Sea." But "In the Bible, that's not how it was, "There, God gives an order to Moses: 'Tell the children of Israel to march.' And it is only after they begin to move forward that Moses raises his staff and the waters part. "Because only courage in walking the path makes the path reveal itself."

"On the one hand, we know that it is important to seek God. On the other, life creates a distance between us and Him. We feel ignored by the Divinity, or we are preoccupied with our daily tasks. This creates a feeling of guilt: either we are renouncing life to too much of an extent because of God, or we feel we are renouncing God too much because of life. "This apparent conflict is a fantasy: God is in life and life is in God. One has only to be aware of this in order to understand fate better. If we are able to penetrate into the holy harmony of our daily round, we will always be on the right path, and we will complete our task."

"When we begin along our path, a great fear arises. We feel obligated to do everything right. In the end, since we have only one life to live, who was it that invented the standard of "Everything right?" God made the giraffe, the elephant and the ant -- why do we have to follow a standard? "A standard serves only to show us how others define their own reality. Often we admire the models of others, and many times we can avoid the errors committed by others. "But as for living well -- only we know how to do that for ourselves."

"Just as with the movie screen, God is there -- behind every one of life's agonies and ecstasies. We will see them all when our film ends."

He who is unable to balance work with relaxation loses his enthusiasm, and cannot go far.

"There is only one important thing in our lives: to live our personal destiny -- the mission that was fated for us. But we always wind up loading ourselves down with useless concerns that then destroy our dream."

"Prayers are the branches of a tree, whose roots are called faith," said the master. "There can be faith without prayer. But there can be no prayer without faith."

"Remember: the Lord invited all of us, and -- since He is the pure truth -- we cannot doubt his invitation. He said: 'Come to me all who are thirsty, and I will give you to drink.' "If the invitation were not for each and every one of us, the Lord would have said: 'Come to me all who wish to, because you have nothing to lose. But I will provide drink only for those who are prepared.' He imposes no conditions. It is enough to walk and desire, and all will receive the Water of Life of his love.

"Everything around us is constantly changing. Every day, the sun shines upon a new world. What we call routine is full of new proposals and opportunities. But we do not perceive that each day is different from all the others. "Today, in some place, a treasure awaits you. It may be a fleeting smile, it may be a great victory -- it doesn't matter. Life is made up of large and small miracles. Nothing is boring, because everything constantly changes. Tedium is not of the world. "The poet, T. S. Eliot, wrote: 'Walk many highways/ return to your home/ and view everything as if for the first time."

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