October 31, 2010

October 28, 2010

Work is worship “provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness”

In the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, it is incumbent upon every soul to acquire a trade and an occupation. For example, I know how to weave or make a mat, and you know some other trade. This, in itself is an act of worship, provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, vol. 19, no. 2; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 4)

October 27, 2010

The “best teacher” & an “exemplary believer”

A "best teacher" and an "exemplary believer" is ultimately neither more nor less than an ordinary Bahá'í who has consecrated himself to the work of the Faith, deepened his knowledge and understanding of its Teachings, placed his confidence in Bahá'u'lláh, and arisen to serve Him to the best of his ability. This door is one which we are assured will open before the face of every follower of the Faith who knocks hard enough, so to speak. When the will and the desire are strong enough, the means will be found and the way opened either to do more work locally, to go to a new goal town within the United States, or to enter the foreign pioneer field... (Excerpt from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 26)

October 11, 2010

The “Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the Charter of the future world civilization that Bahá'u'lláh has come to raise up ..”

Of the more than one hundred volumes comprising the sacred Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is of unique importance. "To build anew the whole world" is the claim and challenge of His Message, and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the Charter of the future world civilization that Bahá'u'lláh has come to raise up. Its provisions rest squarely on the foundation established by past religions, for, in the words of Bahá'u'lláh, "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future." In this Revelation the concepts of the past are brought to a new level of understanding, and the social laws, changed to suit the age now dawning, are designed to carry humanity forward into a world civilization the splendours of which can as yet be scarcely imagined. (The Universal House of Justice, Introduction to ‘The Kitab-i-Aqdas’, p. 1)

October 4, 2010

Mystery of Sacrifice

Although we will not be able to fully understand the mystery of sacrifice in this world, we can find through the Writings that there is a tremendous power released when man sacrifices something in the path of God. …In one of His Tablets, 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains that not until a seed completely disintegrates under the soil can it produce a tree. It is then that an object as insignificant as a seed, by sacrificing itself completely, will be transformed into a mighty tree with branches, fruits and flowers. It is the same when man sacrifices something of his own.

A human being has two opposite forces working within him, the animal and the spiritual. The animal nature inclines man to the material world. The Manifestations of God have exhorted their followers to detach themselves from material inclinations so that their spiritual side may dominate over the physical. As we have already stated [previously] … by detachment is not meant renunciation of the world, mendicancy or asceticism. In a nutshell, detachment is to submit one's will to the will of God and to seek His good pleasure above one's own. Therefore, the challenge to every believer in this life is detachment from all else save God. To become detached from something of this world is often a painful process and this is where sacrifice becomes necessary, because man is attracted to the material world and to his own self by nature. When the believer sacrifices something of this world, an act which entails pain and suffering or deprivation of material benefits, he will attain to a higher spiritual status, depending on the measure of sacrifice.