“Thy might, in truth, is equal to all things.”
“This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure—and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath—and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants from the love of aught except Thee and to draw them nigh unto the Dawning-Place of the lights of Thy countenance and the Seat of the throne of Thy oneness.”
kat eghdamian/left (oxford, uk): This year: full of gratitude, contentment, and complete awe of life’s blessings and confirmations.
glenn loe/right (japan): In the Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh Arabic 69, Bahá’u’lláh says, “O YE SONS OF SPIRIT! Ye are My treasury, for in you I have treasured the pearls of My mysteries and the gems of My knowledge. Guard them from the strangers amidst My servants and from the ungodly amongst My people.” And makes me think that there are a lot of strangers and ungodly amongst us that we should be aware of. So we have to be always be on our guard and not fall prey to them.
“The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.”
“O Thou kind Lord! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou has decreed that all shall belong to the same household. In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all mankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty, all are illumined through the light of Thy Providence.”
saia tu’itahi/left (auckland, new zealand): It is the third year in a row I am Fasting alone on behalf of my little family. Some mornings are filled with the joyous laughter and chattering of my two young children while others, like today, are a rare moment of silence and tranquility. Growing up, Fasting has always been associated with the physical struggles of hunger and tiredness, but at the beginning of this Fast I was reminded by the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the quote above of the necessity of hardship in order for growth to occur. As a time of cleansing and renewal, it should be hard, right? Ironically the last week and bit haven’t been as hard as I remember it to be, which feels somewhat bittersweet.
bre vader/right (boston, ma, usa): Something that brings me so much joy during the fast is caring for the people in my life and putting extra thought and attention into the food and time we share together during these nineteen days. I feel sincerely grateful for my table so often being full of friends and family who are part of this Faith and who are reaping the spiritual benefits of this time. It’s so remarkable that over the course of only two generations, my parents went from fasting alone, to breaking the fast with their children and grandchildren. I imagine my own children in the future, praying and breaking the fast with their grandparents, parents, cousins, aunties and uncles, even their own children–and I look forward to the ever-growing table. … speaking of family, my sofa has played host to many end-of-fasting-day naps … my gorgeous sister graced it with her presence just before sunset this evening. Love you, Jaleh
“The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world.”
amy: my life is out of my hands. our lives are out of our hands. it is so refreshing to remember that. to make plans, to hope, to look forward to the future is what i love to do, what i do that too often for my own good. i never want to forget to how to embrace this exact moment, today, right now.
leila: detachment seems to be the theme of my fast this year. it is perhaps an obvious one, with the whole Not Eating Whenever One Feels Like It thing, but i am feeling it on several levels. although i am with my beloved family, i am apart from my beloved husband. although i love taking pictures every day, every time i see amy’s images i think Wow, I Wish I Could Take Photos Like That. although i had expectations about what this time back at university was going to be like, i am having to let go of some of my preconceived ideas. because life? it doesn’t always match up with what i want.