If you read any of Coelho’s books, you might have noticed his writing style, always beautiful. I’ve read The Pilgrimage two years ago and although some things stayed with me for a long time, there’s a prayer that Petrus prays in the chapter called “Personal Vices” and today it just popped into my mind and I had to share it with others too so here it is:
“Have pity on those who pity themselves as good people treated unfairly by life-who feel that they do not deserve what has befallen them. Such people will never be able to fight the good fight. And pity those who are cruel to themselves and who see only the evil in their own actions, feeling that they are to blame for the injustice in the world. Because neither of these kinds of people will know Thy law that says “BUT THE VERY HAIRS OF YOUR HAIR ARE NUMBERED”.
Have pity on those who command and those who serve during long hours of work, and who sacrifice themselves in exchange merely for a sunday off, only to find that there is nowhere to go, and everything is closed. But also have pity on those who sanctify their efforts, and who are able to go beyond the bounds of their own madness, winding up indebted or nailed to the cross by their very brothers. Because neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “BE YE THEREFORE AS WISE AS THE SERPENTS AND AS HARMLESS AS THE DOVES”.
Have pity on those who may conquer the world but never join the good fight within themselves. But pity also those who have won the good fight within themselves, and now find themselves in the streets and the bars of life because they were unable to conquer the world. Because neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “HE WHO HEEDS MY WORDS I WILL LIKEN TO A WISE MAN WHO BUILT HIS HOUSE ON A ROCK”.
Have pity on those who are fearful of taking up a pen, or a paintbrush, or an instrument, or a tool because they are afraid someone has already done better that they could, and who feel themselves to be unworthy to enter the marvelous mansion of art. But have even more pity on those who, having taken up a pen, or the paintbrush, or the instrument, or the tool have turned inspiration into a paltry thing, and yet feel themselves to be better than others. Neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “FOR THERE IS NOTHING COVERED THAT WILL NOT BE REVEALED, NOR HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BE KNOWN”.
Pity those who eat and drink and sate themselves, but are unhappy and alone in their satiety. But pity even more those who fast, and who censure and prohibit, and who thereby see themselves as saints, preaching Your name on the streets. For neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “IF I BEAR WITNESS OF MYSELF, MY WITNESS IS NOT TRUE”.
Pity those who fear death, and who are unaware of the many kingdoms through which they have already passed, and the many deaths they have already suffered, and who are unhappy because they think that one day their world will end. But have even more pity for those who already know their many deaths, and today think of themselves as immortals. Neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “EXCEPT THAT ONE IS BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD”.
Have pity on those who bind themselves with the silken tie of love, and think of themselves as masters of others, and who feel envy and poison themselves and who torture themselves because they cannot see that love and all things change like the wind. But pity even more those who die of their fear of loving and who reject love in the name of a greater love that they know not. Neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “WHOEVER DRINKS OF THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM WILL NEVER THIRST”.
Pity those who reduce the cosmos to am explanation, God to a magic potion and humanity to beings with basic human needs that must be satisfied because they never hear the music of the spheres. But have even more pity on those who have blind faith, and who in their laboratories transform mercury into gold, and who are surrounded by their books about the secrets of the Tarot and the power of the pyramids. Neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “WHOEVER DOES NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A LITTLE CHILD WILL BY NO MEANS ENTER IT”.
Pity those who see no one but themselves and for whom others are a blurred and distant scenario as they pass through the streets in their limousines and lock themselves in their air-conditioned penthouse offices, as they suffer in silence the solitude of power. But pity even more those who will do anything for anybody and are charitable and seek to win out over evil only through love. For neither of these kinds of people know Thy law that says “LET HE WHO HAS NO SWORD SELL HIS GARMENT AND BUY ONE”.