Friday, May 08, 2020

Prayer as Soul Polish, Words of Abdu'l-Baha

"Man becomes like a stone unless he continually supplicates to God. The heart of man is like a mirror which is covered with dust and to cleanse it one must continually pray to God that it may become clean. The act of supplication is the polish which erases all worldly desires.

The delight of supplicating and entreating before God cuts one's heart from the world. When the taste of man is nourished by honey he never likes to taste any other sweet-meat. Therefore, prayer is a key by which the doors of the kingdom are opened. There are many subjects which are difficult for man to solve. But during prayer and supplication they are unveiled and there is nothing that man cannot find out. Mohammed said:

"Prayer is a ladder by which every one can ascend to heaven."

If one's heart is cut from the world his prayer is the ascension to heaven. In the highest prayer men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear him or hell or hope for bounty or heaven. Thus the souls in whose hearts the fire of love is enkindled are attracted by supplication. True supplication to God must therefore be actuated by love to God only. .. When a man falls in love with a human being it is impossible for him to keep from mentioning the name of his beloved. How much more difficult is it to keep from mentioning the name of God when one has come to love him. One can pray for the dead and by so doing their spiritual condition will become better. The spiritual man finds no delight in anything save in commemoration of God. When one is confirmed his heart becomes rejoiced through the commemoration of God.

(Words of Abdu'l-Baha, from notes of Miss Alma Albertson and other pilgrims, November and December, 1900.)

Star of the West, Vol. VIII, No. 4, (17 May, 1917) p. 43

Cited in Visiting Abdu'l-Baha, Vol. 1, by Earl Redman, p. 47

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