Blessed is… the apartment

Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.

Last night, my apartment got blessed by the presence of a Ruhi 1 group studying “Life of the Spirit”, a class focusing on the importance of prayer, reading the Holy Writings, and life after death. The group was as diverse as it gets — a young Baha’i man, a young Baha’i woman, a young post-Christian agnostic of Indian heritage and a young Muslim from Mauritania, plus my old self.

We prayed, shared tea and cake, and discussed questions ranging from “does God answer all prayers?” and “how do we know when a prayer has been answered” to “how to reconcile a merciful God with the atrocities endured by innocent victims in Darfur?”. The highlight for me was a discussion on how we learn to love God — by knowing Him, by experiencing Him in our own lives, and by observing the role He plays in everyone’s life — whether we allow Him or not:

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…. 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…. The spiritual man finds no delight in anything save in commemoration of God.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá quoted in “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, p. 105

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