Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Paradigm for the Life of the Soul

“Enable us, then, O my God, to live in remembrance of Thee and to die in love of Thee, and suppl
y us with the gift of Thy presence in Thy worlds hereafter – worlds which are inscrutable to all except Thee.”

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, LXXXV, p. 145)

This sentence – which appears in a prayer revealed by Baha’u’llah for the Fast – is an entreaty, an act of service in itself, in that one is asking of God on behalf of others as well as one’s self: "Enable us," "supply us."
This sentence quoted above addresses how to live this current life, how to face inevitable death, and lets us ask for the attainment in the life that comes after death.
  • "to live in remembrance of Thee"
  • "to die in love of Thee"
  • "the gift of Thy presence in Thy worlds hereafter"

Enable us
Implicit in this request is belief in the efficacy of prayer, the ministry of “the scattering angels of the Almighty,” the grace of confirmations.

O my God

There is a special warmth to this phrase that reflects a personal relationship with the Creator.

to live in remembrance of Thee

"Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy."

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, CLXX, p. 262)
[Emphasis added.]

I entreat Thee to enable me to cleave steadfastly to Thy Love and Thy remembrance. This is, verily, within my power, and Thou art the One that knoweth all that is in me.

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, III, p. 5)
[Emphasis added.]

O servants! Lifeless is the body that is bereft of a soul, and withered the heart that is devoid of the remembrance of its Lord. Commune with the remembrance of the Friend and shun the enemy. Your enemy is such things as ye have acquired of your own inclination, to which ye have firmly clung, and whereby ye have sullied your souls. The soul hath been created for the remembrance of the Friend; safeguard its purity.

(Baha'u'llah, Tabernacle of Unity, p. 68) [Emphasis added.]

"Happy the days that have been consecrated to the remembrance of God, and blessed the hours which have been spent in praise of Him Who is the All-Wise."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, LXXI, p. 139)
[Emphasis added.]

"Remembrance of God is like the rain and dew which bestow freshness and grace on flowers and hyacinths, revive them and cause them to acquire fragrance, redolence and renewed charm."

(Abdu'l-Baha, "The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and the Devotional Attitude," The Compilation of Compilations Vol. II, p. 232)
[Emphasis added.]

to die in love of Thee

“The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High.”

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, LXXI, pp. 156-157)

"How often hath a sinner, at the hour of death, attained to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the celestial Concourse. And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul's ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire. Our purpose in revealing these convincing and weighty utterances is to impress upon the seeker that he should regard all else beside God as transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all adoration, as utter nothingness."

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 194-195)

“You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone. Often at the time of death their souls are filled with remorse; and worst of all, their hope in the mercy of God is less than ours. Praise be to God! Our hope is in the mercy of God…”

(Abdu'l-Baha, addressing the poor at the Bowery Mission in New York, April 19, 1912, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.33)

supply us with the gift of Thy presence in Thy worlds hereafter

“Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds.”

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, LXXXI, p. 156)

worlds which are inscrutable to all except Thee

“Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 187)

If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station...

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings,
LXXXI p. 156)