Someone up there is listening.
Paulo Coelho | Sept/Oct 2009 issue
Nobody is courageous all the time. The unknown is a constant challenge, and being afraid is part of the journey. What to do? Talk to yourself. Talk alone. Talk to yourself even if others think you’ve gone crazy. As we talk, an inner force gives us the security to overcome the obstacles that need to be surmounted. We learn lessons from the defeats we’re bound to suffer—and we prepare ourselves for the many victories that will be part of our life.
And just between you and me, those who have this habit (and I’m one of them) know they never talk alone. The guardian angel is there, listening and helping us reflect. What follows are three stories about angels.
Abd Mubarak was on his way to Mecca when he dreamed that he was in heaven and heard two angels having a conversation.
“How many pilgrims came to the holy city this year?” one of them asked.
“Six hundred thousand,” said the other.
“And how many of them had their pilgrimage accepted?”
The answer: “None of them. However in Baghdad there’s a shoemaker called Ali Mufiq who didn’t make the pilgrimage, but did have his pilgrimage accepted, and his graces benefited the 600,000 pilgrims.”
When he woke up, Abd Mubarak went to Mufiq’s shoe shop and told him his dream.
“At great cost and much sacrifice, I finally managed to get 350 coins together,” the shoemaker said, in tears. “But when I was ready to go to Mecca I discovered my neighbors were hungry, so I distributed the money among them and gave up my pilgrimage.”
A monk was meditating in the desert when a beggar came up and said, “I need to eat.”
The monk, who was almost at the point of perfect harmony with the spiritual world, didn’t answer.
“I need to eat,” insisted the beggar.
The monk sighed. “Go to the town and ask someone else. Can’t you see you’re bothering me? I’m trying to communicate with the angels.”
Replied the beggar: “God placed himself lower than men, washed their feet, gave His life, and no one recognized Him. He who says he loves God—who doesn’t see—and forgets his brother—who does see—is lying.” And he turned into an angel. “What a pity, you almost made it,” he remarked before leaving.
Abbot Isaac of Thebes was On the patio of the monastery praying when he glanced up to see one of the monks commit a sin. Furious, he interrupted his prayers and condemned the sinner.
That night, the abbot was prevented from returning to his cell by an angel who said, “You condemned your brother, but you didn’t say what punishment we should inflict. The pains of hell? Some terrible disease in this life? Some torment in his family?”
Isaac quickly dropped to his knees and asked for pardon. “I tossed the words in the air, and an angel heard them. I sinned by being irresponsible in what I said. Forget my ire, Lord, and make me take greater care in judging my neighbor.”
Paulo Coelho is the Brazilian author of international bestsellers, including The Alchemist. paulocoelhoblog.com