Posts Tagged ‘Melk Abbey’

You, who they call Lord

March 28, 2011
setting sun Tenerife

setting sun Tenerife

You, who I can feel deep inside my soul.
You, who has created this world.

When I look into the microcosmos, in the macrocosmos, everywhere I find you.
I sense your greatness.

You, who they call Lord,
who they call Father,
who they call Allah,
who they call Jahwe,
You, who is there.

Who is with us. Who walks with us.
The older I become, the more I can call you friend.
You are the friend of my life, who loves me and who called me to carry your message to the people.
Thank you.

I want to ask for everyone who is here today, to feel some of God’s Greatness and His love, who wants us, who loves us.
Jesus Christ showed us a way which we can walk together.
In spite of everything and everyone, we can find ways together,
seek and find ways which will gift us with a better and more beautiful life.

Paulo has written that he is searching for the sense in his life.
And while searching he went across new paths, wrong tracks and detours, like the all of us.

Let’s keep on looking for you in the humans beings that are present in our path.


— Abbot Burkhard

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

At the press conference and at the party too at Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul on St Joseph Day, Paulo Coelho explained why he held a party on St Joseph Day, and that prayers would be said to St Joseph, that it was not an obligation to join in, but that if you did, the prayers must come from your heart, from your soul.

He invited several people on to the platform so that a prayer could be said in many languages. One of those who he invited was the Abbot of Melk Abbey who said this prayer in German.

Paulo invited everyone to hold hands during the prayers. It was a very moving experience.

I look forward to Abbot Burkhard’s recent book being translated into English.

Top story in Religion Today (Tuesday 29 March 2011).

Spiritual experience of a sunset
Paulo Coelho’s St Joseph’s Day Party at Pera Palace Hotel
Abbot Burkhard’s book is # 1!!!
No mosteiro de Melk
Footprints in the Sand
Sand and Foam

The chess game

August 19, 2010
chess game

chess game

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery of Melk:

– I’d actually like to be a monk, but I haven’t learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin.

– They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion, and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both – was the reply.

The abbot asked for a chess board, sent for a monk and told him to play the young man.

But before the game began, he added:

– Although we need diversion, we cannot allow everyone to play chess the whole time. So, we only have the best players here; if our monk loses, he will leave the monastery and his place will be yours.

The abbot was serious. The young man knew he was playing for his life, and broke into a cold sweat; the chess board became the center of the world.

The monk began badly. The young man attacked, but then saw the saintly look on the other man’s face; at that moment, he began playing badly on purpose.

After all, he would rather lose, a monk is far more useful to the world.

Suddenly, the abbot threw the chess board to the floor.

– You have learned far more than was taught you – he said. – You concentrated yourself enough to win, were capable of fighting for that which you desire.

“Then, you had compassion, and were willing to make a sacrifice in the name of a noble cause. Welcome, because the secret of life is to know how to balance discipline with compassion.”

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Also see

A Christmas Tale

No mosteiro de Melk

March 26, 2010
Paulo Coelho with Abbot Burkhard

Paulo Coelho with Abbot Burkhard

Paulo Coelho

This year my Feast of St. Joseph was held at the Abbey of Melk, Austria (see community prayer at the end of page). There I again had the opportunity to meet one of my great spiritual mentors, Abbot Burkhard. We speak no common language, but his presence gives me not only peace, but a kind of special understanding of the meaning of life. In 2006, I gave an interview for the magazine News, which said that Burkhard was my silent mentor at the same time warned that he would not like to be called so. Of course I was right: in an article affectionate, he rejected the title, but once again shows his wisdom. The following are excerpts of his thoughts in that article

In search of meaning

In one of our meetings in the basement of the abbey, (Rabbit) asked what would be the correct steps to be given by a man. Of course there are many things wrong in the world, capable of bringing destruction and regret. There are other things that would be able to compensate for all that, but not always possible, and do not understand why.

Even people who have faith know the situation of the world. This recognition allows us to be able to move rocks, if we will, and turn back all the lights were extinguished.

When I entered the Benedictine Order, I had some small reasons for this decision. Gradually, I began to go my way, I identify with him, while he could not understand all of what was happening around me. Every time I made a suggestion about something that needed to be changed, he heard the answer:

“What do you want exactly? This monastery was raised to think in terms of centuries, not of immediate changes.”

This comment did not help me, and I felt distant from all the ideals that brought inside.

Finally, a conversation with an old monk has completely transformed my view of the subject. When I remarked my problem, I replied:

“You get upset that we here think in terms of centuries? Perfect, then forget it, and do what works best, as fast as it deems appropriate.”

At the same time I realized that all my major transformation was slow interiors, and His presence in my soul emerged gradually. Not in terms of my conscience, but in a place deeper, denser, where things do not leave so easily shaken.

Therefore, it is necessary that the person can experience the wrong paths, shortcuts that should not be crossed, little by little, through just these ups and downs of our lives is that we begin to realize what is right. And we feel tremendous freedom to move forward.

You must learn to live with the energy that comes from within us, and that keeps us passionate and enthusiastic about what we do. Instead of seeking the big things we need answers, just pay attention to small details that go unnoticed. Like any child, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to children. [Matthew 11:25]

This is how we realize our transformation. When the individual understands that small things can change, it takes the meaning of his life, no hurry because it is focused on the next step.

And the more the small change, the more great is process.

Google translation from post on blog of Paulo Coelho. With a little tidying up by me.

Also see

St Joseph’s Day at Melk Abbey
A Christmas Tale

St Joseph’s Day at Melk Abbey

March 23, 2010
St Joseph's Day at Melk Abbey

St Joseph's Day at Melk Abbey

It is a tradition of Paulo Coelho to celebrate his birthday on St Joseph’s Day and to invite friends to a party. This year the party was held at Melk Abbey in Austria, an important Benedictine Abbey in Austria.

I was one of those who had the honour of being invited to Paulo’s party at Melk Abbey on St Joseph’s Day. I would have loved to have gone with my lovely friend Sian, looked around the Abbey and the old town of Melk. Unfortunately I was taken very ill with a bad fever and chicken pox and sadly unable to attend.

Like Carolena Sabah, I was there in spirit.

Prayers to St Joseph were said at the party.

Also see

A Christmas Tale

A Warrior’s Life by Fernando Morais

A Christmas Tale

December 18, 2009
Melk Abbey in Austria

Melk Abbey in Austria

A medieval legend tells us that in the country we know today as Austria the Burkhard family – a man, a woman and a child – used to amuse people at Christmas parties by reciting poetry, singing ancient troubadour ballads, and juggling. Of course, there was never any money left over to buy presents, but the man always told his son:

“Do you know why Santa Claus’s bag never gets empty, although there are so many children in the world? Because it may be full of toys, but sometimes there are more important things to be delivered, what we call “invisible gifts”. In a broken home, he tries to bring harmony and peace on the holiest night in Christianity. Where love is lacking, he deposits a seed of faith in children’s hearts. Where the future seems black and uncertain, he brings hope. In our case, the day after Father Christmas comes to visit us, we are happy to be still alive and doing our work, which is to make people happy. Never forget that.”

Time passed, the boy grew up, and one day the family passed in front of the impressive Melk Abbey, which had just been built.

“Father, do you remember many years ago you told me the story of Santa Claus and his invisible gifts? I think that I received one of those gifts once: the vocation to become a priest. Would you mind if now I took my first step towards what I have always dreamed of?”

Although they really needed their son’s company, the family understood and respected the boy’s wish. They knocked at the door of the monastery and were given a loving, generous welcome by the monks, who accepted the young Buckhard as a novice.

Christmas Eve came around. And precisely on that day, a special miracle happened in Melk: Our Lady, carrying the baby Jesus in her arms, decided to descend to Earth to visit the monastery.

All the priests lined up and each of them stood proudly before the Virgin trying to pay homage to the Madonna and her Son. One of them displayed the beautiful paintings that decorated the place, another showed a copy of a Bible that had taken a hundred years to be written and illustrated, while a third recited the names of all the saints.

At the very end of the line, young Buckhard anxiously waited his turn. His parents were simple people, and all that they had taught him was to toss balls up in the air and do some juggling.

When it came his turn, the other priests wanted to put an end to all the homage that had been paid, since the ex-juggler had nothing important to add and might even mar the image of the abbey.

Nevertheless, deep in his heart he also felt a great need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin. Feeling very ashamed before the reproachful gaze of his brothers, he took some oranges from his pocket and began to toss them in the air and catch them in his hands, creating a beautiful circle in the air just as he used to do when he and his family traveled to all the fairs in the region.

At that instant, the baby Jesus, lying in Our Lady’s lap, began to clap his hands with joy. And it was to young Buckhard that the Virgin held out her arms to let him hold the smiling child for a few moments.

The legend ends by saying that on account of this miracle, every two hundred years a new Buckhard knocks on the door of Melk Abbey, is welcomed in, and for the whole time he remains there he warms the hearts of all who meet him.

‘A Christmas Tale’ was first published by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Melk Abbey is a medieval Benedictine monastery established in 1089. It lies on a bluff overlooking the town of Melk and the River Danube. It was rebuilt following a fire.

Vienna and the Danube: Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey

March 2010, Paulo Coelho will host host his St Joseph’s party in Melk Abbey.

Also see

The Juggler of Our Lady
The chess game
The story of the pencil
Like the Flowing River
The Pilgimage
A Warrior’s Life

%d bloggers like this: