What’s The Use of Sacrificing ?

sacrifice
Ever wanted to sacrifice yourself?

I can hear someone saying, Why in hell would anyone want to do that?

Our current world culture permits some to have the feeling they never have to give up anything while forcing millions into a state of perpetual sacrifice.

What’s the solution?

From Y Net News: Arab driver who ignited Akko riots ‘ready to sacrifice himself’

From Fair Investment Company: Scots sacrifice savings accounts to pay off debts, finds Lloyds TSB

From Daily News Central: Don’t Sacrifice Health to Stay Afloat in Tough Times

What’s really gained by never sacrificing?

What if mothers and fathers don’t sacrifice for their children?

What if politicians don’t sacrifice for their constituents?

What if the rich don’t sacrifice for the poor?

Time for a definition. “Sacrifice” has a root meaning derived from “sacred”—to make holy. It’s highest meaning is to give up something lesser for something greater.

Current culture seems to short-change most everything, even word meanings. Sacrifice has come to mean merely loss—giving up and not getting in return.

Naturally, if one is too egotistical, it’s very difficult to see what can be gained by sacrificing; but, one thing definitely acquired is growth.

The best example I can think of is the growth each of us has experienced in our journey through life on the Earth.

The first thing sacrificed is the womb. Next is mother’s milk. Then comes the loss of security in the shelter of home through introduction to the wider world. Each grade of school sees the sacrifice of limited understanding for an ever-growing fund of knowledge. Each love lost has the power to enlarge the heart. Every opportunity closed off opens new paths…

Even Life itself is lost with the rebirth of death—believed by some as new life in the ineffable Worlds of God.

Spiritual Quotes:

“Our greatest longing is that truth may be established in the world, and in this hope we draw near to one another in love and affection. Each and all are whole-hearted and selfless, willing to sacrifice all personal ambition to the grand ideal towards which they strive: Brotherly love and peace and union among men!”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 100

“He bore hardships, he lived through misfortunes, he suffered afflictions. From the lips of the Manifestation he heard marvelous things. He was shown the lights of Paradise; he won his dearest wish. And at the end, when the Daystar of the world had set, he could endure no more, and flung himself into the sea. The waters of sacrifice closed over him; he was drowned, and he came, at last, to the Most High.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 35

“Know thou that when the Son of Man [Jesus] yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 85

“Ponder that which befell Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, may the life of all else be a sacrifice unto Him. How severe the afflictions which the leaders of the Jewish people and of the idol-worshipers caused to rain upon Him, Who is the sovereign Lord of all, in consequence of His proclamation of the unity of God and of the truth of His Message! By the righteousness of My Cause! My Pen groaneth, and all created things weep with a great weeping, as a result of the woes He suffered at the hands of them that have broken the Covenant of God, violated His Testament, rejected His proofs, and disputed His signs. Thus recount We unto thee the tale of that which happened in days past, haply thou mayest comprehend.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 57

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Verse Five

This post is one in a series. All poems are from my free-to-download book, Is Your Soul In Here ? I’ll keep the series going as long as interest is shown through your comments. If there are enough comments, I’ll publish them in their own post !

~~~~~~~~~

Imperious

“Back so
Soon with
Scars so
Fresh,
Willing to be
Pressed against the
Sharp
Edge of
Pain?”

“Howling yet from
Severance
Won and
Sacrifice obtained by
Standing in the
Prow of
Life and
Facing every
Tempest hot, I turn
Again and
Lay it down—my
Blood a warming
Storm of
Victory.”


The Value of Pain

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image credit

I’ve spent about as much time as most folks dealing with pain; recently, eleven months of debilitating drugs to clear a virus from my liver.

I’ve had my bumps and bruises from engaging with life on earth.

Now, at 62, my best advice is to strive to see pain as the mother of joy.

Like most philosophical or spiritual sayings, there’s a built-in, seeming-contradiction . . .

From William Shakespeare:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

From my free-to-download poetry book:

Forebear

The chains of hollow
Imitation clasp their sterile links on
Minds so lost in routinized
Intentions even
Love can spawn but
Crimes; and,
Faithless certainties, like
Clockwork, build their
Superstitious blinds so even
Faith becomes the Devil trading
Hope for fruitless
Rinds.

From the Nobel Prize Speech of the writer William Faulkner.

“…the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed–love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.”

From a prayer by the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith:

“Thou art He Who, through a word of Thy mouth, hath so enravished the hearts of Thy chosen ones that they have, in their love for Thee, detached themselves from all except Thyself, and laid down their lives and sacrificed their souls in Thy path, and borne, for Thy sake, what none of Thy creatures hath borne.”

Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 163