The first attribute of perfection is learning and the cultural attainments of the mind, and this eminent station is achieved when the individual combines in himself a thorough knowledge of those complex and transcendental realities pertaining to God, of the fundamental truths of Qur’ánic political and religious law, of the contents of the sacred Scriptures of other faiths, and of those regulations and procedures which would contribute to the progress and civilization of this distinguished country… The second attribute of perfection is justice and impartiality. This means to have no regard for one’s own personal benefits and selfish advantages, and to carry out the laws of God without the slightest concern for anything else... The third requirement of perfection is to arise with complete sincerity and purity of purpose to educate the masses: to exert the utmost effort to instruct them in the various branches of learning and useful sciences, to encourage the development of modern progress, to widen the scope of commerce, industry and the arts, to further such measures as will increase the people’s wealth... Other attributes of perfection are to fear God, to love God by loving His servants, to exercise mildness and forbearance and calm, to be sincere, amenable, clement and compassionate; to have resolution and courage, trustworthiness and energy, to strive and struggle, to be generous, loyal, without malice, to have zeal and a sense of honor, to be high-minded and magnanimous, and to have regard for the rights of others. Whoever is lacking in these excellent human qualities is defective. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)
September 30, 2013
September 23, 2013
The “Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and of the Tablets of the Divine Plan” are “the two charters provided by the Master for the administration and the teaching of the Cause of God.”
As we contemplate the fruits of the Master's Ministry harvested during the first fifty years of the Formative Age, a period dominated by the dynamic and beloved figure of Shoghi Effendi, whose life was dedicated to the systematic implementation of the provisions of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and of the Tablets of the Divine Plan -- the two charters provided by the Master for the administration and the teaching of the Cause of God - we may well experience a sense of awe at the prospect of the next fifty years. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1971 message to the Baha’i World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the UniversalHouse of Justice)
September 18, 2013
I ask God to help thee to become humble and submissive to all of beloved of God. Be kind and easy and compassionate to all. And dispute not with anybody over anything. Speak of the Divine Word. But if contradicted by a certain person, do not argue with him, follow my steps in all matters and take my disposition as an example for you in dealing with all persons. Rely upon God, the Living, the Self Existent. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, excerpt from a Tablet to Arthur Dodge, quoted by his son, William in a talk) (To hear and read the entire talk please visit Baha’i Talks, Messages and Articles)
September 13, 2013
The travels and other services of the Hands of the Cause of God continually evoke our thankfulness and delight, even wonder and astonishment. Their deeds are such as to eclipse the acts of the apostles of old and to confer eternal splendour on this period of the Formative Age. On behalf of all the friends everywhere, we offer them our reverent love and gratitude. It is fitting to record here the passing, after seventy years' exemplary service to the Faith, of the Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander, whose early services in Hawaii were said by the Master to be greater than if she had founded an empire. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1971 message to the Baha’i World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community –by the Universal House of Justice)
September 8, 2013
…becoming aware that the three-month cycles of activity in a cluster is the “rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth”
“… the three-month cycles of activity — rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth …”
…realizing that there are “two complementary perspectives on the pattern of action” that develop in a cluster
“… to keep two complementary perspectives on the pattern of action developing in the cluster firmly in view: one, the three-month cycles of activity—the rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth—and the other, the distinct stages of a process of education for children, for junior youth, and for youth and adults.”
…understanding that the process of education in a cluster contains “three stages”
While understanding clearly the relationship that connects these three stages, [“for children, for junior youth, and for youth and adults”] the friends are aware that each has its own dynamics, its own requirements, and its own inherent merit.
…becoming “conscious” of the “operation of powerful spiritual forces”
Above all, they are conscious of the operation of powerful spiritual forces, whose workings can be discerned as much in the quantitative data that reflect the community's progress as in the array of accounts that narrate its accomplishments.
…deepening our capacity for fostering a “rich and intricate pattern of life” within a cluster
As the experience of the friends has deepened, their capacity for fostering within a cluster a rich and intricate pattern of life, embracing hundreds or even thousands of people, has risen. How pleased we are to note the many insights the believers are gaining from their endeavours.
…realizing the dynamic nature of the Plan at cluster level and trying not to simplify it
… the Plan's gradual unfoldment at the level of the cluster is a dynamic process, one that is necessarily complex and does not lend itself to ready simplification.