Rúhíyyih (Khánum) Rabbani: Sorrow & Trial

There are two kinds of affliction in this life; one is essential, the other non-essential. Or let us say that one is our portion, deliberately given to us for our own good, the other is accidental, produced by a combination of circumstances….


 But the second kind of suffering, the form that chastens us, forges in the furnace of ordeal the bright sword of our soul, cannot and should not be eliminated. We must recognize that under duress, great things are born. Diamonds form in molten rock. The sweetest flowers of man’s spirit  have often been watered by tears. To struggle gives strength, to endure breeds a greater capacity for endurance. We must not run away from our heartbreaks in life; we must go through them, however fiery they may be, and bring with us out of the fire a stronger character, a deeper reliance on ourselves and on the Creator Who, like a good Parent, chastises us because He loves us and because He knows what can be made out of us and that the pain is worth the prize that can be won. 


This is indeed a power world. Great forces are at play – the sun, the wind, the rain, night and day – they are big things and do great things in nature. Electricity, gravitation, are strong forces that forge the earth, with all it’s beauty, its life, its growth. We human beings are subjected to strong forces too. Love, hate, passion, fear, sorrow, pain – they act on us and spur us on, they develop our qualities and give us colour and individuality. Why should we want to shun and abolish some of the factors that bring out the best in us, that temper our steel, that teach us to value happiness at its true worth? Can a man who has never been hungry in all his life know what a piece of bread means, savor all its sweetness, as can a man who has starved?   If we must go through life denying the existence of pain and suffering, or refusing to experience their keenness because we pad ourselves with foolish mental attitudes or psychological opiates, we shall grow to be a race lacking depth, lacking sensitivity, devoid of strong moral fibre.  The blades of our souls will become dull. 
(Ruhiyyih Rabbani, Prescription for Living, pg. 131)


Tricia Hague-Barrett
Author: Tricia Hague-Barrett

Tricia Hague-Barrett Is a New Zealand Bahá'í and applied for membership in 1973. She has served in many capacities, including as Public Relations Officer and was appointed an Archivist in 3 communities. She has served on several Spiritual Assemblies. She is a published author and poet, has written an Autobiography, and she has helped produce and been one of the voices on “Bahá’iTime” on Community Radio. She has created several video presentations for YouTube. Tricia studied art with The Learning Connexion in Wellington, NZ receiving a Diploma of Art & Creativity. An artist with multiple talents in Pottery, Sculpting, Painting, chanting and other arts, she has also tutored art with little children as well as adults. She was invited to go to the Marshall Islands to help create 52 radio programs based on the Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (2004) Her love of art has seen her create posters, pamphlets, and articles during her lifetime, and of course many other things to help further the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. A mother of 5, grandmother of 12, and a great grandmother of 2.

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