Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

February 21, 2010

Reflecting on the Life of the Spirit in Spanish

A while back I received an e-mail: a Spanish-speaker in my area had called 1-800-22-UNITE to learn more about the Bahá'í Faith, could I return the call? I got in touch with the individual, and nervously chatted for a few minutes in a mixture of Spanish and English (her English was better than my Spanish). She had already read about the Bahá'ís online and wanted to know more. So we agreed to study a book called Reflections on the Life of the Spirit together. This small but profound workbook is composed of three units: Understanding the Bahá'í Writings, Prayer, and Life and Death. Each one contains a number of passages from the Bahá'í writings as well as questions designed to help the person remember and apply the text.

Luckily I was able to find an acquaintance fluent in Spanish who could join me, and we met this individual and her family yesterday. In fact, I can't imagine that I could have found a better person to join me, as he is very fluent both in the language and the "Ruhi method" employed in this workbook. Over the course of a few hours, we had a deep conversation, to which I was only occasionally able to contribute. But my contribution didn't matter – it was immediately clear that this new friend is deeply connected with the spirit and excited to explore a Faith that may become a new home for her family. It was a pleasure to just sit and listen to the discussion and the exploration of quotations such as...

  1. "Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues."
  2. "Say: O brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning."
  3. "They who dwell within the tabernacle of God, and are established upon the seats of everlasting glory, will refuse, though they be dying of hunger, to stretch their hands and seize unlawfully the property of their neighbor, however vile and worthless he may be."
  4. "O Son of Being! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning..."

As we prepared to leave for the day, she asked when we would be back. We settled on a schedule to continue the study, and she indicated that she would slowly bring her husband into the conversation as well (my companion and I had not asked, assuming that it was personal decision on which we should not intrude). Before saying our goodbyes, I clearly heard "estoy encontada" – I am delighted. Y yo tambien.

References

  1. ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in Shoghi Effendi's Advent of Divine Justice, p. 26. Another version appears in a list of "seven qualifications" for the enlightened soul written by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá
  2. Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Persian #5
  3. Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 298
  4. Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic #31