March 29, 2013

Shoghi Effendi's Birth Place

The room in the House of Abdu'llah Pasha, in Akka, in which the beloved Guardian was born.

March 25, 2013

How each Baha’i community can become the recipient of divine strength to “overcome the forces of spiritual disintegration which are engulfing the non-Baha'i world…”

The universal participation of the believers in every aspect of the Faith -- in contributing to the Fund, in teaching, deepening, living the Baha'i life, administering the affairs of the community, and, above all, in the life of prayer and devotion to God -- will endow the Baha'i community with such strength that it can overcome the forces of spiritual disintegration which are engulfing the non-Baha'i world, and can become an ocean of oneness that will cover the face of the planet. (The Universal House of Justice, from a letter dated 29 December 1970, ‘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)

March 23, 2013

The purpose of the devotional portion of the Nineteen Day Feast

The beloved Guardian described that portion of the Feast in which prayers and other passages of the Sacred Scriptures of the Faith are read as being “devotional” in character and stated that its purpose is to inspire a prayerful attitude and stimulate a spirit of reverence in the hearts of the friends. (From a letter dated March 15, 2011 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

March 20, 2013

The spiritual world is the “exact counterpart” of the physical world

The spiritual world is like unto the phenomenal world. They are the exact counterpart of each other. Whatever objects appear in this world of existence are the outer pictures of the world of heaven. When we look upon the phenomenal world, we perceive that it is divided into four seasons; one is the season of spring, another the season of summer, another autumn and then these three seasons are followed by winter. When the season of spring appears in the arena of existence, the whole world is rejuvenated and finds new life. The soul-refreshing breeze is wafted from every direction; the soul-quickening bounty is everywhere; the cloud of mercy showers down its rain, and the sun shines upon everything. Day by day we perceive that the signs of vegetation are all about us. Wonderful flowers, hyacinths and roses perfume the nostrils. The trees are full of leaves and blossoms, and the blossoms are followed by fruit. The spring and summer are followed by autumn and winter. The flowers wither and are no more; the leaves turn gray and life has gone. Then comes another springtime; the former springtime is renewed; again a new life stirs within everything.

The appearances of the Manifestations of God are the divine springtime. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

Happy Naw-Rúz!!

March 12, 2013

Condition of the world and our responsibility

O ye friends of God! The world is like the body of man—it hath become sick, feeble and infirm. Its eye is devoid of sight, its ear hath become destitute of hearing and its faculties of sense are entirely dissolved. The friends of God must become as wise physicians and care for and heal this sick person, in accord with the divine teachings, in order that—God willing—it may perchance gain health, find eternal healing and that its lost powers may be restored; and that the person of the world may find such health, freshness and purity that it will appear in the utmost beauty and charm.

The first remedy is to guide the people, so that they may turn unto God, hearken unto the divine commandments and go forth with a hearing ear and seeing eye. After this swift and certain remedy hath been applied, then according to the divine teachings, they ought to be trained in the conduct, morals and deeds of the Supreme Concourse, encouraged and inspired with the gifts of the Kingdom of ABHA. The hearts should be purified and cleansed from every trace of hatred and rancor and enabled to engage in truthfulness, conciliation, uprightness and love toward the world of humanity; so that the East and the West may embrace each other like unto two lovers, enmity and animosity may vanish from the human world and the universal peace be established! (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, vol. 1)

March 10, 2013

“The secrets of the whole economic question are divine in nature, and are concerned with the world of the heart and spirit.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains

The disease which afflicts the body politic is a lack of love and absence of altruism.[1] In the hearts of men no real love is found, and the condition is such that unless their susceptibilities are quickened by some power so that unity, love and accord develops within them, there can be no healing, no relief among mankind. Love and unity are the needs of the body politic today. Without these no progress nor prosperity can be attained. Therefore, the friends of God must adhere to that Power which will create this love and unity in the hearts of the sons of men."

This is an exigency of the times, and the divine remedy has been provided. The spiritual Teachings of the Religion of God alone can create this love, unity and accord in human hearts. Therefore, hold to these heavenly agencies which God has provided so that through the love of God this soul-bond may be established, this heart-attachment realized and the light of the reality of unity be reflected from you throughout the universes.

The secrets of the whole economic question are divine in nature, and are concerned with the world of the heart and spirit. In the Baha'i Teachings this is most completely explained, and without the consideration of the Baha'i Teachings it is impossible to bring about a better state. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Scriptures)
[1] altruism: unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others

March 8, 2013

Baha'i Amity Banquet, Pasadena, California, 1938

Amity Banquet held under the auspices of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Pasadena, California, December 3rd, 1938 (The Baha'i World 1938-1940)

March 2, 2013

A prayer for the Fast ...

O Divine Providence! As I am abstaining from bodily desires and not occupied with eating and drinking, even so purify and sanctify my heart from the love of anyone save Thyself and shield and protect my soul from corrupt desires and satanic qualities so that my spirit may commune with the breaths of holiness and fast from the mention of all else besides Thee. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a talk in Akka, ‘Table Talks by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’; Corinne True, booklet published by Baha’i Publishing Society, Chicago 1907; revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre in ‘Fasting a Baha’i Handbook, by Duane Herrmann)