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I have been learning to see myself as both material and as spiritual, and fasting as a material means to attain spiritual growth.
Abstaining from food and drink - being aware of the appetites of the body and making conscious choices about which of them we will indulge when - is a symbol for being aware of our spiritual state and choosing noble actions over our egotistical desires.
It's a month of constant awareness of God and our reliance on Him. First was my experience of deep satisfaction in maintaining self-imposed discipline.
The traveler, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the fast . Slowly I have realized that when I follow God's instructions I am much happier."With no water I'll become dehydrated." I'm an American, after all, used to instant gratification. With this attitude, it's hard to believe that I've come to love the Fast.In the Bahá'í calendar, the 19-day month of fasting comes between the hospitality of the Intercalary Days (February 26 to March 1) and the joy of New Year (March 21), and I find that I look forward to that sweet time.Not just "any old" prayer, but one of the beautiful prayers written by Bahá'u'lláh specifically for the Fast.If I got up early and said my prayers with devotion, I got through the days of the Fast with very few problems.
As you are aware, Bahá’u’lláh ordained that Bahá’í engagement should not exceed 95 days, and, although this law has not yet been applied universally, it highlights the desirability of marrying quickly once the decision to marry has been firmly taken and parental consent obtained.