August 18, 2017

Becoming more cognizant of our relationship to the Person of Baha’u’llah…

To remember Baha’u’llah’s days
  • “Remember My days during they days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison.” (Baha’u’llah, Tablet of Ahmad)
  • “…give hear unto My call and walk in My path. Remember, then, the days of My presence and then My exile, My solitude, and My imprisonment, that you may be remembered by God in His kingdom of sublime glory.” (Baha’u’llah, Súrat al-A’ráb [The Súrah of the Arabs], provisional translation)

“…the most precious Being ever to have drawn breath on this planet”
Beloved Friends: Merely two years separate us from the conclusion of the Six Year Plan and the beginning at Ridvan 1992 of the Holy Year, that special time when we shall pause to appreciate the tumultuous record of events which will have brought us to the Centenary of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh and to reflect with due solemnity upon the redemptive purpose of the life of the most precious Being ever to have drawn breath on this planet. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1990 message to the Baha’is of the world)

August 17, 2017

The “most great ornament of the people of Bahá” - Trustworthiness

We will now mention unto thee Trustworthiness and the station thereof in the estimation of God, thy Lord, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. One day of days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in their midst. Turning Our face to the right, We beheld what the pen is powerless to describe; nor can it set forth that which the eye of the Lord of Mankind witnessed in that most sanctified, that most sublime, that blest, and most exalted Spot. Turning, then, to the left We gazed on one of the Beauties of the Most Sublime Paradise, standing on a pillar of light, and calling aloud saying: ‘O inmates of earth and heaven! Behold ye My beauty, and My radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God, the True One! I am Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the beauty thereof. I will recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and recognize My rank and station, and hold fast unto My hem. I am the most great ornament of the people of Bahá, and the vesture of glory unto all who are in the kingdom of creation. I am the supreme instrument for the prosperity of the world, and the horizon of assurance unto all beings.’ Thus have We sent down for thee that which will draw men nigh unto the Lord of creation. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Epistle to the Son of the Wolf’)

August 14, 2017

To use the Hidden Words as a mirror...

‘Abdu’l-Bahá once said to me that we should use the Hidden Words as a mirror—comparing our actions and thoughts with what is there revealed—and if they did not match, so to speak, and fully reflect these Divine Counsels—then we must change our actions and conduct until they were in perfect harmony and agreement with these heavenly exhortations. 
- Ethel J. Rosenberg  (Included in a letter dated 12 April, 1927, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; ‘Messages to Canada’)

August 11, 2017

Baha’i Writings have “permeated the world” – the amazing benefits that one could receive from Them

Praise be to God that the spirit of the Holy Writings and tablets which have been revealed in this wondrous Dispensation concerning matters of major or minor importance, whether essential or otherwise, related to the sciences and the arts, to natural philosophy, literature, politics or economics, have so permeated the world that since the inception of the world in the course of past Dispensations and bygone ages nothing like it has ever been seen or heard. Indeed if an avowed follower of Bahá'u'lláh were to immerse himself in, and fathom the depths of, the ocean of these heavenly teachings, and with utmost care and attention deduce from each of them the subtle mysteries and consummate wisdom that lie enshrined therein, such a person's life, materially, intellectually and spiritually, will be safe from toil and trouble, unaffected by setbacks and perils, or any sadness or despondency. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 13 January 1923 to the friends in Adhirbáyján; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith)

August 9, 2017

The significance of mentioning Baha’u’llah’s Name in our teaching activities

As to his question about the permissibility of promulgating the divine teachings without relating them to the Most Great Name, you should answer: "This blessed Name hath an effect on the reality of things. If these teachings are spread without identifying them with this holy Name, they will fail to exert an abiding influence in the world. The teachings are like the body, and this holy Name is like the spirit. It imparteth life to the body. It causeth the people of the world to be aroused from their slumber." 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha, (From a Tablet; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

August 7, 2017

Holy Land - “the nest of all the Prophets of God,” “the Vale of God’s unsearchable Decree, the snow-white Spot, the Land of unfading splendor”

… the Holy Land—the Land promised by God to Abraham, sanctified by the Revelation of Moses, honored by the lives and labors of the Hebrew patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, revered as the cradle of Christianity, and as the place where Zoroaster, according to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s testimony, had “held converse with some of the Prophets of Israel,” and associated by Islám with the Apostle’s night-journey, through the seven heavens, to the throne of the Almighty. Within the confines of this holy and enviable country, “the nest of all the Prophets of God,” “the Vale of God’s unsearchable Decree, the snow-white Spot, the Land of unfading splendor” was the Exile of Baghdád, of Constantinople and Adrianople His Mission. “It is difficult,” declares ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “to understand how Bahá’u’lláh could have been obliged to leave Persia, and to pitch His tent in this Holy Land, but for the persecution of His enemies, His banishment and exile.”

August 4, 2017

Baha’is must make a superhuman effort

One day during her [Jessie Revell] pilgrimage Shoghi Effendi invited her to stroll up Mount Carmel with him to visit the Shrine of the Bab. On that walk he said that the Baha’is must make a superhuman effort. Jessie often said there was something about the way the Guardian said ‘superhuman’ that engraved it for all time in her heart. 
- Ethel Revell  ('In Memoriam' section of 'The Baha’i World 1963-1968')

August 3, 2017

Expanding our vision – advice from ‘Abdu’l-Baha

O ye heavenly ones!

Organize ye spiritual assemblies. Lay ye the foundation of union and concord in this world. Destroy ye the fabric of strife and war from the face of the earth. Construct ye the temple of harmony and agreement. Enkindle ye the light of the realm of the oneness of humanity. Open ye your eyes. Gaze and behold ye the Other World. The Kingdom of Peace, Salvation, Uprightness and Reconciliation is founded in the Invisible World, and it will by degrees become manifest and apparent through the power of the Word of God. I supplicate God that ye may become the army of that Kingdom, in order that, by the power of the Most Great Name, the friends of God may conquer the world through love, friendship and the strength of the Kingdom of Peace, the human race may become compassionate, and bloodshed and carnage be completely effaced from the universe. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 5. No. 9, August 20, 1914)