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)

“…a rendezvous of the soul with the Source of its light and guidance…”
For the purpose of the Holy Year is not fulfilled by public memorials alone, befitting as they will be. Essential to its purpose is the opportunity it offers for inner reflection on the part of every Bahá'í individual. Indeed, this is a special time for a rendezvous of the soul with the Source of its light and guidance, a time to turn to Bahá'u'lláh, to seek to obtain a deeper appreciation of His purpose, to renew allegiance to Him. This is a time of retreat to one's innermost being, to the dwelling-place of the Spirit of Baha, that interior to which He summons us when He says: "Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting." This is a time for recommitment to the Covenant, for rededication to duty, for revitalizing the energy for teaching, the "most meritorious of all deeds". (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1992)

“…conversations about the Person of Baha’u’llah…”
…[to have] conversations about the Person of Baha’u’llah, about how He was willing to bear extraordinary hardship so that humankind might be rescued from its confusion and suffering, about how He now inspires the efforts of millions of people who derive from His Teachings inner strength and spiritual direction for their lives. (The Universal House of Justice, quoted by the NSA of the United States, Feast of Nur, June 3, 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)

“Teachings” of the Faith and “the lives of the Founders of the Cause” are our sources of our “guidance and inspiration”
Surely, the believers, no matter how qualified they may be, whether as teachers or administrators, and however high their intellectual and spiritual merits, should never be looked upon as the standard whereby to evaluate and measure the divine authority and mission of the Faith. It is to the Teachings themselves, and to the lives of the Founders of the Cause that the believers should look for their guidance and inspiration, and only by keeping strictly to such a true attitude can they hope to establish their loyalty to Bahá'u'lláh upon an enduring and unassailable basis. You should take heart, therefore, and with unrelaxing vigilance and unremitting effort endeavour to play your full share in the gradual unfoldment of this Divine World Order. (From a letter dated 23 August 1939 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. III, Issues Concerning Community Functioning)