March 04, 2013

days of the fast

"This Fast leadeth to the cleansing of the soul from all selfish desires, 
the acquisition of spiritual attributes, 
 attraction to the breezes of the All-Merciful, 
and enkindlement with the fire of divine love.

~ Compilations, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting 

i close my eyes.
i rest my mind.
i silence my tongue.
i bow my head.
i begin to pray.

it is time to..
reflect inwardly.
commune with my spirit.
humble myself before my Lord.
remain still.
draw upon divine assistance and inspiration.
look deeply at my weaknesses and faults.
determine to root them out, one by one, day by day.

..these are the days of the fast.

"Material fasting is a token of our spiritual detachment. The Physical fast is simply restraint from eating physical food: physical detachment. The greater detachment is the spiritual fast: detachment from all desires of the self. This latter is our goal and the harder to attain. Still, we have the material fast to remind us and help us on our way towards real detachment. The Guardian assures us that prayer and fasting will help us in this struggle. He said they ”act as stimulants to the soul, strengthen, revive and purify it, and thus ensure its steady development”. The fasting time, he said, is ”essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation”. He did not say it was a time of hunger, so the incidental hunger is of no consequence. It is not important. The significance and purpose of the fast is ”fundamentally spiritual in character”. 

~ On Behalf of Shoghi Effendi quoted in Fasting, A Baha'i Handbook p. 54

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