The Supreme Gift

The Supreme Gift by Paulo Coelho Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: The Supreme Gift by Paulo Coelho Read Free Book Online
Authors: Paulo Coelho
Faith is merely a path that leads us to the Greater Love.
    Why is Love greater than Charity?
    Because Charity is merely one of the ways in which Love manifests itself. And the whole is always greater than its individual parts. Charity is also merely a path, one of the many paths that Love uses to bring us closer to our fellow man.
    And, as we all know, there is also a kind of Charity in which Love plays no part. It’s so easy to toss a coin to a poor man in the street; in fact it’s usually easier to do that than not.
    It frees us from the guilty feelings aroused by the cruel spectacle of poverty.
    What a relief, and purchased with just one coin! It’s cheap for us and solves the beggar’s problem.
    However, if we really loved that poor man, we would do far more for him.
    Or perhaps less. We would not toss him a coin and, who knows, our guilty feelings might arouse real Love in us.

    P aul then compares Love with sacrifice and martyrdom. And I say to those who hope one day to work for the good of humanity: If I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Nothing!
    You cannot give anything more important than the Love reflected in your own life. That is the one true universal language, which allows us to speak Chinese or the dialects of India. For if, one day, you go to those places, the silent eloquence of Love will mean that you will be understood by everyone.
    A man’s message of Faith lies in the way he lives his life and not in the words he says.
    Not long ago, I was in the heart of Africa, near the Great Lakes. There I met men and women who remembered with affection the one white man they had encountered: David Livingstone. And while I followed his footsteps through the Dark Continent, people’s faces lit up as they told me about the doctor who had passed through there some three years before. They could not understand what Livingstone said to them, but they felt the Love that was there in his heart.
    Take that same Love with you and the work you do will be fully justified.
    When you speak about God and the world of the spirit, there can be no more eloquent subject. There is no point in talking about miracles, witnesses of Faith, fine prayers. If you do all that but have not Love, all your efforts will be in vain.
    You may accomplish everything you set out to accomplish and be prepared to make any sacrifice, but if you give your body to be burned and have not Love, you will have achieved nothing for yourself or for God’s cause.

    A fter comparing Love with all those things, Paul – in three short verses – gives an amazing analysis of that Greatest of Gifts.
    He tells us that Love is made up of many things.
    Like light. We learn at school that if we pick up a prism and allow a ray of light to pass through it, that ray will divide up into seven colours.
    The colours of the rainbow.
    Then Paul takes Love and allows it to pass through the prism of his intellect, dividing it up into its various elements.
    He shows us the rainbow of Love, just as a prism reveals to us the rainbow colours of light.
    And what are those elements? They are virtues we hear about every day and that we can practise at every moment in our lives.
    It is these small things, these simple virtues, that make up the Supreme Gift of Love.

    L ove is made up of nine ingredients:
    Patience: Love is patient…
    Kindness: …and kind.
    Generosity: Love does not envy…
    Humility: …or boast; it is not arrogant.. .
    Courtesy: …or rude.
    Unselfishness: It does not insist on its own way .
    Good temper: It is not irritable… or resentful .
    Guilelessness: or resentful.
    Sincerity: It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth .
    Patience. Kindness. Generosity. Humility. Courtesy. Unselfishness. Good temper. Guilelessness. Sincerity. All these things make up the Supreme Gift, and are there in the soul of whoever wishes to be in the world and close to God.

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