July 31, 2016

May Maxwell's tribute to Lua Getsinger

Lua Getsinger
Great and wonderful were her qualities - in her own person she bore the sins and weaknesses of us all, and redeeming herself she redeemed us. She broke the path through the untrod forest; she cast her soul and body into the stream and perished making the bridge by which we cross... The passion of Divine love that consumed her heart shall light the hearts of mankind forever and forever. 
- May Maxwell  (Quoted in the 'In-Memoriam' section of 'The Baha’i World 1938-1940')

July 27, 2016

Hands of the Cause of God animated “love”, “wisdom” and “the spirit of dedication”

Hands of the Cause of God circa 1960
… for the Hands themselves to extend the range of their individual services beyond the continental sphere, thereby making universally available to the friends the love, the wisdom and the spirit of dedication animating the Guardian's appointees. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (Ridvan 1969)

July 24, 2016

The concept of “cluster”

“… the concept of a cluster — a geographic construct intended to facilitate thinking about the growth of the Faith…” 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 28 December 2010 addressed to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors)

July 21, 2016

Conducting meaningful conversations: - Some selected excerpts adapted and grouped using recent messages of the Universal House of Justice

  1. One’s own spiritual preparation
  2. Training received from Ruhi Book 6
  3. Approach
  4. Opportunities & Those to seek out
  5. Range of one’s “participation in the discourses of society”
  6. Themes
  7. Experience gained with action
  8. Impact on society
  9. During Social Portion of 19-Day Feasts
  10. Entire excerpt from the messages of the Universal House of Justice used in this summary
One’s own spiritual preparation
  • To increase one’s “spiritual perception” to “sense receptivity and recognize thirst for the vivifying waters of Bahá’u’lláh’s message”
  • In preparation for meaningful conversation one should cultivate “the habit of study and deep reflection upon the Creative Word”
  • The “process of transformation” as a result of one’s “study and deep reflection upon the Creative Word” will reveal “itself in an ability to express one’s understanding of profound concepts and to explore spiritual reality in conversations of significance.”
Training received from Ruhi Book 6
  • “…the illustrative example in Book 6 of the Ruhi Institute... it gives rise to a conversation between two souls—a conversation distinguished by the depth of understanding achieved and the nature of the relationship established”.
  • “To the extent that the conversation continues beyond the initial encounter and veritable friendships are formed, a direct teaching effort of this kind can become a catalyst for an enduring process of spiritual transformation.”
  • “Whether the first contact with such newly found friends elicits an invitation for them to enrol in the Bahá’í community or to participate in one of its activities is not an overwhelming concern. More important is that every soul feel welcome to join the community in contributing to the betterment of society, commencing a path of service to humanity on which, at the outset or further along, formal enrolment can occur.”

July 19, 2016

A protection prayer by the Báb – “Protect Thou, O God, whosoever learneth this prayer by heart and reciteth it in the day-time and in the night season.”

He is God, the Sovereign Ruler, the Ever-Living, He Whose help all men implore.

Lauded and glorified art Thou, O Lord! Both the world of existence and the souls of men bear witness that Thou art transcendent above the revelations of Thy handiwork, and the bearers of Thy names and attributes proclaim that Thou art immeasurably exalted above such praise as the dwellers of the dominions of creation and invention may render unto Thee. All appearances and realities indicate the oneness of Thine Essence, and all evidences and signs reflect the truth that Thou art God and there is no peer or partner for Thee throughout the kingdoms of heaven and earth.

Immensely high and sanctified art Thou, O Lord! Thy divine Being testifieth that Thou art inscrutable to all that dwell in Thy realm of existence, and Thine inmost Essence proclaimeth that Thou art far above the description of those who reveal Thy glory.

The signs which the sanctified essences reveal and the words which the exalted realities express and the allusions manifested by the ethereal entities all proclaim that Thou art immeasurably exalted above the reach of the embodiments of the realm of being, and all solemnly affirm that Thou art immensely high above the description of such as are wrapt in the veils of fancy.

Praise be unto Thee, O Lord! Thy divine Being is a sure testimony of the oneness of Thine inmost Essence and Thy supreme divinity beareth witness to the unity of Thy Self, and the realities of all created things testify that no tie of intercourse bindeth Thee to anything in the kingdom of creation which Thou hast fashioned.

July 15, 2016

Dr. Auguste Forel

Dr. Auguste Forel, who wrote in his will: I have become a Bahá’í. May this religion live and prosper for the good of mankind; this is my most ardent wish. (Baha’i Media Bank)

July 10, 2016

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s divine example

In contemplating the Master's divine example we may well reflect that His life and deeds were not acted to a pattern of expediency, but were the inevitable and spontaneous expression of His inner self. We, likewise, shall act according to His example only as our inward spirits, growing and maturing through the disciplines of prayer and practice of the Teachings, become the wellsprings of all our attitudes and actions. This will promote the accomplishment of God's purpose; this will ensure the triumph of His Faith and enable us to build up the present motion of the Cause into a grand momentum whose force will carry the community of the Most Great Name… onwards to the as yet unapprehended vistas of the Most Great Peace.
- The Universal House of Justice  (Ridvan 1969)

July 1, 2016

Factors that strengthen and “enhance the vitality of community life” – Identified by the Universal House of Justice

  • “the unity of thought and action achieved among the believers”,
  • "in their enthusiasm and fellowship”,
  • “the effect that performing your individual spiritual responsibilities has on the life of the community”,
  • “the spiritual education provided to children and youth”,
  • “opportunities created to deepen understanding of the teachings”,
  • “gatherings held to celebrate the Nineteen Day Feast and to mark other occasions”,
  • “efforts made to foster and maintain unity in all matters”,
  • “assistance offered to young people and families in need”,
  • “the time spent visiting with friends and neighbours in their homes, engaging in meaningful conversation and weaving bonds of affection and solidarity.”