Unto Thee be praise, O Thou Who inclinest Thine ear to the sighing of them that have rid themselves of all attachment to any one but Thee, and Who hearest the voice of the lamentation of those who are wholly devoted to Thy Self! Thou beholdest all that hath befallen them at the hands of such of Thy creatures as have transgressed and rebelled against Thee. Thy might beareth me witness, O Thou Who art the King of the realms of justice and the Ruler of the cities of mercy! The tribulations they have been made to suffer are such as no pen, in the entire creation, can reckon. Should any one attempt to make mention of them, he would find himself powerless to describe them.

As these tribulations, however, were sustained in Thy path and for love of Thee, they who were afflicted by them render thanks, under all conditions, unto Thee, and say: “O Thou Who art the Delight of our hearts and the Object of our adoration! Were the clouds of Thy decree to rain down upon us the darts of affliction, we would, in our love for Thee, refuse to be impatient. We would yield Thee praise and thanksgiving, for we have recognized and are persuaded that Thou hast ordained only that which will be best for us. If our bodies be, at times, weighed down by our troubles, yet our souls rejoice with exceeding gladness. We swear by Thy might, O Thou Who art the Desire of our hearts and the Exultation of our souls! Every trouble that toucheth us in our love for Thee is an evidence of Thy tender mercy, every fiery ordeal a sign of the brightness of Thy light, every woeful tribulation a cooling draught, every toil a blissful repose, every anguish a fountain of gladness.”

Whosoever, O my Lord, is impatient in the tribulations befalling him in Thy path, hath not drunk of the cup of Thy love nor tasted of the sweetness of Thy remembrance. I implore Thee, by Him Who is the King of all names and their Sovereign, Who is the Revealer of all attributes and their Creator, and by them who have soared aloft and drawn nigh unto Thee and winged their flight into the atmosphere of Thy presence, and have endured the galling of chains for Thy sake, to grant that all Thy people may be graciously aided to recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thine own Self, Who, because He summoned mankind unto Thee, hath been exiled and cast into prison.

The tenderness of Thy mercy, O my Lord, surpasseth the fury of Thy wrath, and Thy loving-kindness exceedeth Thy hot displeasure, and Thy grace excelleth Thy justice. Hold Thou, through Thy wondrous favors and mercies, the hands of Thy creatures, and suffer them not to be separated from the grace which Thou hast ordained as the means whereby they can recognize Thee. The glory of Thy might beareth me witness! Were such a thing to happen, every soul would be sore shaken, every man endued with understanding would be bewildered, and every possessor of knowledge would be dumbfounded, except those who have been succored through the hands of Thy Cause, and have been made the recipients of the revelations of Thy grace and of the tokens of Thy favors.

I swear by Thy might, O my God! Wert Thou to regard Thy servants according to their deserts in Thy days, they would assuredly merit naught except Thy chastisement and torment. Thou art, however, the One Who is of great bounteousness, Whose grace is immense. Look not down upon them, O my God, with the glance of Thy justice, but rather with the eyes of Thy tender compassions and mercies. Do, then, with them according to what beseemeth Thy generosity and bountiful favor. Potent art Thou to do whatsoever may please Thee. Incomparable art Thou. No God is there beside Thee, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, the Ruler of this world and of the world to come. Thou art the God of Bounty, the Ever-Forgiving, the Great Giver, the Most Generous.

Do Thou bless, O Lord my God, the One through Whom the mysteries of Thine omnipotence have been disclosed, through Whom the revelations of Thy divinity have been glorified, through Whom the goodly pearls of Thy knowledge and wisdom have been uncovered, through Whom Thy signs and tokens have been noised abroad, through Whom Thy word hath been set forth with clearness, through Whom the light of Thy countenance hath shone forth and the power of Thy sovereignty been established. Bless Thou all those also who, wholly for Thy sake, have turned towards Thee. Send down, moreover, upon Him and them such of Thy wondrous mercies as may well beseem Thy highness. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the All-Glorious, the Self-Subsisting.


Prayers and Meditations, LXXXI

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