Paulo Coelho’s name and his classic The Alchemist came up in a recent conversation. The book is only one among his numerous classics.
I checked my personal library of books. I wondered, do I want to read this book again to find out if my appreciation of it has evolved, now that I myself have? Could that be the reason why Paulo Coelho’s name and his book came up?
It also always makes me smile each time this book is mentioned, which synchronistically was published at just about the time when I started my healing journey. A dear friend once told me how she was so reminded of me as she was reading The Alchemist. Of course, my ego so loved that! Whose ego wouldn’t?
Out of curiosity, I checked the Amazon site and was pleased, and even more intrigued with Paulo’s latest writing, The Supreme Gift (Publication Date: January 20, 2014).
What caught my attention was the book description which reads,
“I thought that I had already thought about everything you could think about Love when Henry Drummond’s sermon fell into my hands. My life changed a lot from the moment I read the words in this book and tried to put his teaching into practice.” ~ Paulo Coelho
‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.’
At some point, all of us have heard this passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. But do we really understand his message?
At the end of the 19th century, the young missionary Henry Drummond was asked to replace a famous preacher. Though at the beginning he did not convince the audience, they were soon captivated by his analysis of the words of the Apostle Paul.
This sermon, The Greatest Thing in the World, has become a classic and is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful texts ever written on love. Drummond broke it down into the following nine elements: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, gentleness, dedication, tolerance, sincerity and innocence.
Contrary to what we are used to hearing, the greatest treasure in the spiritual life is not faith, but love. No matter what your religious beliefs are, this feeling is, without doubt, the most rewarding way to live.
In The Supreme Gift, Paulo Coelho adapts Henry Drummond’s text, offering a real and powerful message that will help us incorporate love into our daily life and experience all its transformational power in our lives.”
When I read the part, “Contrary to what we are used to hearing, the greatest treasure in the spiritual life is not faith, but love,” it was reason enough for me to purchase a copy, which I did earlier today.
I suddenly realized that I’ve been unconsciously valuing faith more than love. I’m quite sure a lot of that belief is rooted in my Catholic upbringing. It’d be interesting to find out what gets revealed to me as I flip through the pages.
What makes all these more interesting and intriguing for me is, a few days ago, I started reviewing a research paper which I wrote while attending graduate school at JFKU in Northern California. The topic and the title of my paper?
Heart Chakra Healing: Is Love All That Matters?
I was going to take snippets from that paper while I was gathering my thoughts about heart disease and the heart chakra which I wanted to blog about.
Lately, there has been an increased incidence of heart attacks and heart diseases that I’ve heard of — be it from my own immediate circle or social media. I myself also, for the first time, experienced high blood pressure a couple of months back, an unusually highly stressful time for me.
And the quotation that I used in the opening section of my paper?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
With the same passage being used as [our] reference, I can’t wait to get started reading this latest offering from Paulo Coelho. What is it that wants to speak to me? Or might that be perhaps what is it that wants to speak through me? What can I learn from Paulo’s book that will help me “incorporate love into [my] daily life and experience all its transformational power?”
And maybe, what I’m being told is that it isn’t my appreciation of The Alchemist that has evolved. Rather, the message from the passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians.
And perhaps too, when I finish reading both Paulo Coelho’s The Supreme Gift, and Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World, which I will read now for the first time, I will even be more convinced, and I will have unwavering faith, (pun intended), that Love is really all that matters. Love is enough.
The Supreme Gift of Love is more than enough.
Indeed and truly.
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