Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The spiritual meaning of Fast

Since the beginning of the Fast month, the schedule day has been changed. There is more free time now. Because we are not busy preparing lunch, or eating sank, or cooking dinner, or having a cup of coffee, or …etc
If we compare between: The time we spent feeding our bodies and the time we spent nourishing our souls, we will realize that:
We lose our value time in something is not important, the physical food!
But do we have enough Spiritual Food?
‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains the needed of more Spiritual Food in our life:

“The spiritual food is the principal food, whereas the physical food is not so important. The effect of the spiritual food is eternal. Through the material food the body exists, but through the spiritual food the spirit will be nourished. The material food, that is, the food for the body, is simply water and bread, but the food for the intellect is knowledge and the food for the spirit is the significances of the Heavenly Words and the bounties of the Holy Spirit.”

Acording to that , we realiz the importance of Fasting. As it is:

1- A symbol for abstinence from lust:

“Fasting is a symbol. Fasting signifies abstinence from lust. Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires. But mere abstention from food has no effect on the spirit. It is only a symbol, a reminder. Otherwise it is of no importance.

2- A period of meditation and prayer:
Shoghi Effendi indicates that the fasting period is:

“…essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.”
Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian (New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1973), pp. 27-28.
3- A way to increase our spirituality:

"Fasting is the cause of awakening 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 follow... Fasting is of two kinds, material and spiritual. The material fasting is abstaining from food or drink, that is, from the 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 the spiritual fasting."
`Abdu'l-Bahá, Star of the West, vol. 3, p. 305.

4- A way to show our love toward God:
By obeying His commandments and Laws.

“O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the words which the lips of the All-Merciful have willed to utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in his possession, renounce them one and all, that he might vindicate the truth of even one of His commandments, shining above the Dayspring of His bountiful care and loving-kindness.”
Baha'u'llah , the Kitáb Al Aqdas-p3

"O SON OF BEING! Walk in My statutes for love of Me and deny thyself that which thou desirest if thou seekest My pleasure."
Baha'u'llah , The Arabic Hidden Words – No.38


“O God! As I am fasting from the appetites of the body and not occupied with eating and drinking, even so purify and make holy my heart and my life from aught else save Thy Love, and protect and preserve my soul from self-passions... Thus may the spirit associate with the Fragrances of Holiness and fast from everything else save Thy mention.”

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