Prayers/readings for study
In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love. (Bahá’u’lláh)
- The Unkind Man. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá shows love to a man who reviles and curses him for twenty-four years. Ruhi Book 3, pp.45-46.
- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speaks to Corinne True about love: “Mrs True, when you go back I want you to look at every human being and say to yourself, “you are a letter from my Beloved, and I must love you because of the Beloved Who wrote you. The letter may be torn, it may be blurred, but because the Beloved wrote the letter, you must love it.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from the book, Corinne True)
- Love, Love, Love. From Ruhi Book 3.
- Love Gives Life to the Lifeless.
- Rose Tag. Played much like freeze tag, except that when a player is tagged, he/she must sit down; a player must untag them by kneeling, touching the ground and saying (planting) “the rose of love”. Helps the related quote (see above) to sink in.
- The Bridge. Children must cross a narrow “bridge” two at a time, starting from opposite sides, and manoeuver around each other as they meet in the middle. If either child falls off the bridge (i.e. by losing their balance and stepping off of it), they are “out” and must try again. The bridge can be a length of rope, a line of masking tape on the ground, a wooden beam, or anything else that’s long, narrow and relatively flat.
- Handprint flowers. Trace your hand and turn it into a flower! A lily, to be precise.
- Tissue paper flowers. All you need is coloured tissue paper and pipe cleaners, and the children can make some beautiful flowers to give to a loved one.
O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly. (Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic, No.3)
Gloria Faizi has beautifully explained the Master’s wide love: ‘When the heart of man is attracted to God through His Manifestation on earth, he has established a link of love with his Creator. And as the link grows stronger, he will feel an overflowing love for all that God has created. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá once gave the example of a soiled and crushed letter that reaches the hand of a lover from his beloved. That letter, He said, is no less precious because of the condition in which it has arrived. It is cherished because it has come from a loved one. In the same way, we can learn to love a fellow man, no matter who he is, because he is God’s creature.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 96)
Into the lives of those He loved spilled ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s love of flowers, which He often shared with others. On one occasion a ‘little floor maid emerged from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s suite, her arms filled with roses – beautiful roses – a gift to Him from some of the Bahá’ís. Sensing that we were friends of the Master,’ continued Ella Quant, ‘all formality fell away and with a touching gesture she exclaimed, “See what He gave me! See what He gave me!” She probably knew nothing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Station as the Center of God’s Covenant and the Interpreter of Bahá’u’lláh’s teaching to a needy world; she perhaps did not know His name or title, but He had shown her His love.’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 97)