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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 109-111

Attitude of the Patient

In order that the power of spiritual healing may be brought fully into operation certain requirements are necessary on the part of the patient, of the healer, of the patient’s friends and of the community at large.
On the part of the patient the prime requisite is, turning with all the heart to God, with implicit trust both in His Power and in His Will to do whatever is best. To an American lady, in August 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:—
All of these ailments will pass away and you will receive perfect physical and spiritual health. … Let your 110 heart be confident and assured that through the Bounty of Bahá’u’lláh, through the Favor of Bahá’u’lláh, everything will become pleasant for you. … But you must turn your face wholly towards the Abhá (All-Glorious) Kingdom, giving perfect attention—the same attention that Mary Magdalene gave to His Holiness Christ—and I assure you that you will get physical and spiritual health. You are worthy. I give you the glad tidings that you are worthy because your heart is pure. … Be confident! Be happy! Be rejoiced! Be hopeful!
Although in this particular case ‘Abdu’l-Bahá guaranteed the attainment of sound physical health, He does not do so in every case, even where there is strong faith on the part of the individual. To a pilgrim in ‘Akká He said:—
The prayers which were written for the purpose of healing are both for the spiritual and material healing. … If healing is best for the patient, surely it will be granted. For some who are sick, healing for them shall be the cause of other ills. Thus it is that Wisdom does not decree the answer to some prayers.

O maid-servant of God. The Power of the Holy Spirit heals both material and spiritual ills.—Daily Lessons Received at ‘Akká, p. 95.
Again He writes to one who is ill:—
Verily the Will of God acts sometimes in a way for which mankind is unable to find out the reason. The causes and reasons shall appear. Trust in God and confide in Him, and resign thyself to the Will of God. Verily thy God is affectionate, compassionate and merciful … and will cause His Mercy to descend upon Thee.
He teaches that spiritual health is conducive to physical health, but physical health depends upon many factors, some of which are outside the control of the individual. Even the most exemplary spiritual attitude on the part of the individual, 111 therefore, may not ensure physical health in every case. The holiest men and women sometimes suffer illness.
Nevertheless, the beneficent influence on bodily health which results from a right spiritual attitude is far more potent than is generally imagined, and is sufficient to banish ill-health in a large proportion of cases. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote to an English lady:—“You have written about the weakness of your body. I ask from the Bounties of Bahá’u’lláh that your spirit may become strong, that through the strength of your spirit your body also may be healed.”
Again He says:—
God hath bestowed upon man such wonderful powers, that he might ever look upward, and receive, among other gifts, healing from His divine Bounty. But alas! man is not grateful for this supreme good, but sleeps the sleep of negligence, being careless of the great mercy which God has shown towards him, turning his face away from the Light and going on his way in darkness.