August 30, 2014

Traces of prejudice that every human being should blot out from his/her life

Let us strive to blot out from our lives every last trace of prejudice -- racial, religious, political, economic, national, tribal, class, cultural, and that which is based on differences of education or age. 
(The Universal House of Justice, from a message dated 13 July 1972, addressed to all National Spiritual Assemblies; Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973)

August 24, 2014

The Book of Certitude - “the cynosure of all books”

…the Book of Certitude, which is indeed the cynosure of all books, and which streamed from the Pen of Glory in the early years of this Most Great Revelation. Blessed is he that hath beheld it and pondered its contents for the love of God, the Lord of creation. 
(Baha’u’llah, ‘The Tabernacle of Unity, Bahá’u’lláh’s Responses to Mánikchí Sáhib and Other Writings’) 

August 19, 2014

The “administrative portion of the Feast should not be laborious”

Second, the administrative portion of the Feast should not be laborious or burdensome. It can become so because too many reports by too many local Bahá'í committees are presented at one Feast. Such reports could perhaps be conveyed in bulletins. Also, there can be too many messages from agencies of the national administration. While it lies within the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly to send a message or items of information to be shared at the Feast, care must be taken not to overburden these events with a multiplicity of items from the National Assembly and its auxiliary agencies. Some National Assemblies have developed the practice of sending a message to every Feast; this is, of course, not wrong in principle, but they may need to examine their methods of communicating with the believers and see whether occasional messages might not be sufficient. The idea is that the local Bahá'í communities should exercise control over the Feast and not be made to feel that they are being overrun by messages, instructions and assignments from the national administration of the Faith. This whole matter needs to be studied by the National Spiritual Assembly with a balanced perspective, so that while important national issues are not ignored, the potentialities of the Feast for development of the local community are fully realized. 
(The Universal House of Justice, 1989 Aug 28, Issues Related to the Nineteen Day Feast)

August 15, 2014

“To sum up, let all the lessons be entirely devoted to the acquisition of human perfections.” -- 'Abdu'l-Baha describes a curriculum for children’s school

The subjects to be taught in children's school are many, and for lack of time We can touch on only a few: First and most important is training in behaviour and good character; the rectification of qualities; arousing the desire to become accomplished and acquire perfections, and to cleave unto the religion of God and stand firm in His Laws, to accord total obedience to every just government, to show forth loyalty and trustworthiness to the ruler of the time, to be well-wishers of mankind, to be kind to all.

And further, as well as in the ideals of character, instruction in such arts and sciences as are of benefit, and in foreign tongues. Also, the repeating of prayers for the well-being of ruler and ruled; and the avoidance of materialistic works that are current among those who see only natural causation, and tales of love, and books that arouse the passions.

To sum up, let all the lessons be entirely devoted to the acquisition of human perfections.

Here, then, in brief are directions for the curriculum of these schools.

Greetings be unto you, and praise.
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a Tablet to an individual believer, published in "The Baha'i World", vol. 16, p. 37; included in a memorandum by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, dated July 1980)

August 10, 2014

The “balance wheel of all behavior”

The third element of the utterance under discussion is, “opposes his passions.” How wonderful are the implications of this deceptively easy, all-inclusive phrase. This is the very foundation of every laudable human quality; indeed, these few words embody the light of the world, the impregnable basis of all the spiritual attributes of human beings. This is the balance wheel of all behavior, the means of keeping all man’s good qualities in equilibrium. 
('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization)

August 3, 2014

Destiny of America – the Guardian highlights

… a nation that has achieved undisputed ascendancy in the entire Western Hemisphere, whose rulers have been uniquely honored by being collectively addressed by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas; which has been acclaimed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “home of the righteous and the gathering-place of the free,” where the “splendors of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled” and belonging to a continent which, as recorded by that same pen, “giveth signs and evidences of very great advancement,” whose “future is even more promising,” whose “influence and illumination are far-reaching,” and which “will lead all nations spiritually.” Moreover, it is to this great republic of the West that the Center of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh has referred as the nation that has “developed powers and capacities greater and more wonderful than other nations,” and which “is equipped and empowered to accomplish that which will adorn the pages of history, to become the envy of the world, and be blest in both the East and the West for the triumph of its people.” It is for this same American democracy that He expressed His fervent hope that it might be “the first nation to establish the foundation of international agreement,” “to proclaim the unity of mankind,” and “to unfurl the Standard of the Most Great Peace,” that it might become “the distributing center of spiritual enlightenment, and all the world receive this heavenly blessing,” and that its inhabitants might “rise from their present material attainments to such a height that heavenly illumination may stream from this center to all the peoples of the world.” It is in connection with its people that He has affirmed that they are “indeed worthy of being the first to build the Tabernacle of the Great Peace and proclaim the oneness of mankind.” 
(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated June 5, 1947; ‘Citadel of Faith’)