Daily Reflection – 19 Alá (Loftiness) Final Day of Fast

O Divine Providence! As I am abstaining from bodily desires and not occupied with eating and drinking, even so purify and sanctify my heart from the love of anyone save Thyself, and shield and protect my soul from corrupt desires and satanic qualities, so that my spirit may commune with the breaths of holiness, and fast from the mention of all else besides Thee.

Remembrance of God, p. 151-2

Daily Reflection – 18 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

‘self sacrifice’ by josephacheng

Whosoever and whatsoever meeting becometh a hindrance to the diffusion of the Light of Faith, let the loved ones give them counsel and say: “Of all the gifts of God the greatest is the gift of Teaching. It draweth unto us the Grace of God and is our first obligation. Of such a gift how can we deprive ourselves? Nay, our lives, our goods, our comforts, our rest, we offer them all as a sacrifice for the Abha Beauty and teach the Cause of God.” Caution and prudence, however, must be observed even as recorded in the Book. The veil must in no wise be suddenly rent asunder. The Glory of Glories rest upon you.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Baha’i World Faith. [1943] 1976: 448-449

Daily Reflection – 12 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

     “O Army of God!  A letter signed jointly by all of you hath been received.  It was most eloquent and full of flavour, and reading it was a delight.

     “Ye had written of the fasting month.  Fortunate are ye to have obeyed the commandment of God, and kept this fast during the holy season.  For this material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.”
(‘Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha’, (Haifa: Baha’i World Centre, 1978), pp. 69-70)

Photo by Glenn Franco Simmons

Daily Reflection – 7 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Photo by Glenn Franco Simmons

Glory be to Thee, O Lord my God! These are the days whereon Thou hast bidden all men to observe the fast, that through it they may purify their souls and rid themselves of all attachment to any one but Thee, and that out of their hearts may ascend that which will be worthy of the court of Thy majesty and may well beseem the seat of the revelation of Thy oneness.

Grant, O my Lord, that this fast may become a river of life-giving waters and may yield the virtue wherewith Thou hast endowed it. Cleanse Thou by its means the hearts of Thy servants whom the evils of the world have failed to hinder from turning towards Thine all-glorious Name, and who have remained unmoved by the noise and tumult of such as have repudiated Thy most resplendent signs which have accompanied the advent of Thy Manifestation Whom Thou hast invested with Thy sovereignty, Thy power, Thy majesty and glory. These are the servants who, as soon as Thy call reached them, hastened in the direction of Thy mercy and were not kept back from Thee by the changes and chances of this world or by any human limitations.
— Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 79-80 

Daily Reflection – 2 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Photo by Marco Abrar

Exaggerated fasting destroys the divine forces. God has created man in a way that cannot be surpassed; we must not try to change his creation. Strive to attain nearness to reality through the acquisition of strength of character, through morality, through good works and helping the poor, through being consumed with the fire of the love of God and in discovering each day new spiritual mysteries. This is the path of intimate approach.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 99

By God, the True One, verily, the gifts of God are in such profusion as to rush like a torrent, overflow as a sea, and shower as rain. Gird up thy loins, strengthen thy back, make firm thy feet, and exert thyself in quickening souls, dilating breasts, illumining insights, giving hearing to ears, and attracting hearts. Unseal the jars of the choice wine of the love of God, and give the craving ones to drink from this cup which is overflowing with the knowledge of God.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 163 

Daily Reflection – 1 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Photo by Marco Abrar

O ye [1] Cohorts of God!

A letter which was signed by you in general was received. Its content was of the utmost beauty, sweetness, eloquence and perfection. While reading it the utmost happiness was produced. It spoke of fasting during the month of the Fast. Happy is your condition for you have executed the divine command; and have arisen to fast in these blessed days. For this physical fasting is a symbol of the spiritual fasting, that is, abstaining from all carnal desires, becoming characterized with the attributes of the spiritual ones, attracted to the heavenly fragrances and enkindled with the fire of the love of God.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 40    

[1]Revealed in response to a supplication signed by 489 believers in America during the period of the 19-day fast in 1906.

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