June 29, 2011

The “greatest opportunities … challenges, and … tests” that Baha’i youth face

For any person, whether Bahá'í or not, his youthful years are those in which he will make many decisions which will set the course of his life. In these years he is most likely to choose his life's work, complete his education, begin to earn his own living, marry and start to raise his own family. Most important of all, it is during this period that the mind is most questing and that the spiritual values that will guide the person's future behaviour are adopted. These factors present Bahá'í youth with their greatest opportunities, their greatest challenges, and their greatest tests -- opportunities to truly apprehend the Teachings of their Faith and to give them to their contemporaries, challenges to overcome the pressures of the world and to provide leadership for their and succeeding generations, and tests enabling them to exemplify in their lives the high moral standards set forth in the Bahá'í Writings. Indeed the Guardian wrote of the Bahá'í youth that it is they "who can contribute so decisively to the virility, the purity, and the driving force of the life of the Bahá'í community, and upon whom must depend the future orientation of its destiny, and the complete unfoldment of the potentialities with which God has endowed it." (The Universal House of Justice, 10 June, 1966; Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986) (To see the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

June 24, 2011

We should never imagine that “youth must await their years of maturity before they can render invaluable services to the Cause of God”

From the very beginning of the Bahá'í Era, youth have played a vital part in the promulgation of God's Revelation. The Báb Himself was but twenty-five years old when He declared His Mission, while many of the Letters of the Living were even younger. The Master, as a very young man, was called upon to shoulder heavy responsibilities in the service of His Father in 'Iraq and Turkey, and His brother, the Purest Branch, yielded up his life to God in the Most Great Prison at the age of twenty-two that the servants of God might "be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united." Shoghi Effendi was a student at Oxford when called to the throne of his guardianship, and many of the Knights of Bahá'u'lláh, who won imperishable fame during the Ten Year Crusade, were young people. Let it, therefore, never be imagined that youth must await their years of maturity before they can render invaluable services to the Cause of God. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 10 June, 1966; Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986) 

June 21, 2011

Ruhiyyih Khanum visits the President of India, 1974

The Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum visits with President V.V.Giri, of India, in the presidential offices in New Delhi, on June 14, 1974. Amatu'l-Baha was in New Delhi to represent the Universal House of Justice at the National Baha'i Convention. (Baha'i News, April 1975)

June 11, 2011

'Abdu'l-Baha's bedroom, Plaza Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA, April, 1912

'Abdu'l-Baha's bedroom, Plaza Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA, April, 1912 (The Baha'i World 1932-1934)

June 10, 2011

The International Deputization Fund

For the first time in Bahá'í history, an International Deputization Fund has been established at the World Centre under the administration of the Universal House of Justice. From it supplementary support will be given to specific pioneering projects when other funds are not available. All friends, and particularly those who are unable to respond to the pioneer call are invited to support this Fund, mindful of the injunction of Bahá'u'lláh, "Centre your energies in the propagation of the Faith of God. Whoso is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation, Whose power hath caused the foundations of the mightiest structures to quake, every mountain to be crushed into dust, and every soul to be dumbfounded." (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1965 message)

June 7, 2011

Baha’u’llah “is the Revelation of the inner reality enshrined in the Point of the Bayan”

For in the forthcoming Revelation it is He Who is the Remembrance of God, whereas the devotions which thou art offering at present have been prescribed by the Point of the Bayan, while He Who will shine resplendent in the Day of Resurrection is the Revelation of the inner reality enshrined in the Point of the Bayan--a Revelation more potent, immeasurably more potent, than the one which hath preceded it. (The Báb, ‘Selections from the Writings of the Báb; The Compilation of the Compilations, Vol. II, The Importance of Prayer, Meditation, and the Devotional Attitude)

June 6, 2011

Good “attributes and virtues which are the adornments” of the “reality” of a human being

Then it is clear that the honour and exaltation of man must be something more than material riches. Material comforts are only a branch, but the root of the exaltation of man is the good attributes and virtues which are the adornments of his reality. These are the divine appearances, the heavenly bounties, the sublime emotions, the love and knowledge of God; universal wisdom, intellectual perception, scientific discoveries, justice, equity, truthfulness, benevolence, natural courage and innate fortitude; the respect for rights and the keeping of agreements and covenants; rectitude in all circumstances; serving the truth under all conditions; the sacrifice of one's life for the good of all people; kindness and esteem for all nations; obedience to the teachings of God; service in the Divine Kingdom; the guidance of the people, and the education of the nations and races. This is the prosperity of the human world! This is the exaltation of man in the world! This is eternal life and heavenly honour! (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Some Answered Question’, pp. 79-80; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Conservation of the Earth's Resources)

June 2, 2011

Prayer “transcends all ritualistic forms and formulae”

Prayer is essentially a communion between man and God, and as such transcends all ritualistic forms and formulae. (From a letter dated 15 June 1935 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. III, Service in Baha’i Temples)