O Divine Providence! Immerse the father and mother of this servant of Thy Threshold in the ocean of Thy forgiveness, and purge and sanctify them from every sin and transgression. Grant them Thy forgiveness and mercy, and bestow upon them Thy gracious pardon. Thou, verily, art the Pardoner, the Ever-Forgiving, the Bestower of abundant grace. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Twenty-six Prayers Revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of His passing, number 13)
When I was first looking at the effects of my childhood trauma, I knew I had to forgive but I wasn’t ready yet. The best I could do was to ask God to forgive them for me. Because the Bab had told us that “It is seemly that the servant should, after each prayer, supplicate God to bestow mercy and forgiveness upon his parents” and that “Thousand upon thousand of what thou hast asked for thy parents shall be thy recompense!” (The Báb, Lights of Guidance, p. 230). Recognizing that praying for my parents was in my best interest, I was highly motivated to memorize the prayer for parents and say it frequently, though I’m still not remembering to to it after every prayer!
When I was looking at the newly released prayers of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, I was happy to see a new prayer for parents and wanted to compare the two.
In the earlier prayer we’re really just asking God to “submerge his father in the ocean of Thy grace”, but in the new prayer we’re asking so much more:
- immerse them . . . in the ocean of Thy forgiveness
- purge and sanctify them from every sin and transgression
- grant them Thy forgiveness and mercy
- bestow upon them Thy gracious pardon
For this abuse survivor, this asks so much more from God, specific to what I would want for them and for myself. I think I’ll memorize this one too.
Knowing how to ask God to forgive them and me, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Making Friends with Sin and Temptation