Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fast Bloggin' Days 1 and 2


My Fast has been pretty strange so far. In fact I have had the two worst days that I've had in a very long time. Is this simply coincidence or are there spiritual forces at work?

'Verily, I say, fasting is the supreme remedy and the most great healing for the disease of self and passion.' (Compilations, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)

I started off Day 1 with a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with raisins and nuts, yogurt, and varied fruits. I washed it down with delicious apple juice. I prayed my favorite Fast prayer and the day felt good. I was then hammered for the next 24 hours with one test after the next. I even managed to oversleep this morning after having been up into the wee small hours so did not get to have breakfast and had to soldier on without food or drink until sunset today. In the midst of my travails, I remembered to be grateful for them:

"My God, my Adored One, my King, my desire! What tongue can voice my thanks to Thee? I was heedless, Thou didst awaken me. I had turned back from Thee, Thou didst graciously aid me to turn towards Thee. I was as one dead, Thou didst quicken me with the water of life. I was withered, Thou didst revive me with the heavenly stream of Thine utterance which hath flowed forth from the Pen of the All-Merciful.

O Divine Providence! All existence is begotten by Thy bounty; deprive it not of the waters of Thy generosity, neither do Thou withhold it from the ocean of Thy mercy. I beseech Thee to aid and assist me at all times and under all conditions, and seek from the heaven of Thy grace Thine ancient favor. Thou art, in truth, the Lord of bounty, and the Sovereign of the kingdom of eternity."

- Bahá'u'lláh

I have no doubt that I was running on prayer today. What else could have gotten me through. But, I guess tests are meant to be reminders right?

"While a man is happy he may forget his God; but when grief comes and sorrows overwhelm him, then will he remember his Father who is in Heaven, and who is able to deliver him from his humiliations.

Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.

The labourer cuts up the earth with his plough, and from that earth comes the rich and plentiful harvest. The more a man is chastened, the greater is the harvest of spiritual virtues shown forth by him. A soldier is no good General until he has been in the front of the fiercest battle and has received the deepest wounds."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 50)

At the end of a hellish day, I was blessed to break the Fast with my wife with a lovely pasta dish with spinach and chicken. I managed to knock out an assignment for a class I'm taking and now I'm blogging as promised. God is the Most Glorious.

Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

5 comments:

  1. Like any other day...more tests and opportunities for growth. Keep on...

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  2. Anonymous11:57 AM

    ""Fasting is the cause of the awakening of man. The heart becomes tender and the spirituality of man increases. This is produced by the fact that man's thoughts will be confined to the commemoration of God, and through this awakening and stimulation surely ideal advancements will follow...The material fast is abstaining from food and drink, that is, from appetites of the body. But spiritual, ideal fasting is this, that man abstain from selfish passions, from negligence and from satanic animal traits. Therefore, material fasting is a token of spiritual fasting."
    'Abdu'I-Baha' Star of the West Vol. IV No. 18 p .305

    Absolutely, spiritual forces are at work!!

    Speaking, of course, only for myself, the Fast is a reminder of what a slave I am to all manner of selfish passions and negligence--
    The very fact that the act of abstaining from food causes me to strongly desire, sometimes fixate, on it is something to ponder.
    Further, the years the Fast has been "easy" for me--not too much hunger, thirst or fatigue, and not too many tests-- seem, in retrospect, to be the ones in which I achieved less remembrance of God on a minute by minute basis, and correspondingly less spiritual insight and growth.

    Good thing the creator designs the methods by which we grow for us, not us weak mortals! We can only pray that He accepts our efforts and attempts at obedience.

    Judith w.

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  3. Anonymous1:36 PM

    I hope that the fast recharges you and your readers. I was looking through "Ocean" for a reference I half-remembered on meditation when I stumbled upon this quotation I wanted to share with you:

    The Body is Like a Horse That Carries the Personality and Spirit

    "...you should not neglect your health, but consider it the means which enables you to serve. It -- the body -- is like a horse which carries the personality and spirit, and as such should be well cared for so it can do its work! You should certainly safeguard your nerves, and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer meditation, but for real rest and relaxation."

    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 3, 1947)

    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 297)

    This is something that I often reflect on - I get inspired about the early believers who sometimes went for a long time with little sleep and comfort and seemed to just burn up for the Faith and I wonder why I just seem to get so tired and depleated when I overdo things.

    When I started fasting, being from and non-Bahá'í background, I was not absolutely sure it was possible but I tried it and found it was. It took a few years to succeed. I supose it is all about Faith and getting to know your self but not be ruled by the insistent self. Hmm... I am still working on unravelling the distinction between the two in some areas but maybe I will be enlightened this fast.

    Pauline

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  4. Nice to see people are still sharing this journey with me. I'm reminded of something I believe is in the Writings about how the circumstances we go through will pass and what lasts is whatever we make of our souls. God willing I'll take full advantage of the current circumstances I'm passing through. Who knows what the Fast will bring next?

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  5. Just to say I am getting e-mails of your blog posts via feedblitz and it makes it very convenient. I don't always login and respond but it is nice to keep up that way!

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