January 31, 2010

Body is like a horse which carries the spirit

“ .. you should not neglect your health, but consider it the means which enables you to serve. It - the body - is like a horse which carries the personality and spirit, and as such should be well cared for so it can do its work! You should certainly safeguard your nerves, and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer and meditation, but for real rest and relaxation." (From a letter dated November 23, 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; printed in Spiritual Foundations compilation pp. 18-1 9)

“You should always bear in mind Baha'u'llah’s counsel that we should take the utmost care of our health, surely not because it is an end in itself, but as a necessary means of serving His Cause.” (From a letter dated July 17, 1937 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; printed in "Selections from Baha'i Writings on Some Aspects of Health and Healing compilation prepared by the Universal House of Justice)

January 29, 2010

To be infinitely patient with others AND with our poor selves

"We must be patient with others, infinitely patient!, but also with our poor selves, remembering that even the Prophets of God sometimes got tired and cried out in despair! .. He urges you to persevere and add up your accomplishments, rather than to dwell on the dark side of things. Everyone's life has both a dark and bright side. The Master said: ‘turn your back to the darkness and your face to me.’”
(From a letter dated September 22, 1929, written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer; The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 456)

January 28, 2010

We need to become distinguished from “worldly-minded” people

"The great thing is to 'live the life' - to have our lives so saturated with the Divine teachings and the Baha'i Spirit that people cannot fail to see a joy, a power, a love, a purity, a radiance, an efficiency in our character and work that will distinguish us from worldly-minded people and make people wonder what is the secret of this new life in us.”
(From a letter dated February 14, 1925 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer; printed in The Baha'i Life p.2)

January 27, 2010

Our Limited Understanding of the Baha’i Faith

“The Baha’i Faith is the Revelation of Baha’u’llah: His Own Words as interpreted by 'Abdu’l-Baha and the Guardian. It is a revelation of such staggering magnitude that no Baha'i at this early stage in Baha'i history can rightly claim to have more than a partial and imperfect understanding of it.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 389)

January 26, 2010

Baha’u’llah’s Last Outstanding Tablet

We are told by the beloved Guardian that the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is "the last outstanding Tablet revealed by the Pen of Bahá'u'lláh."- (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By p.219)
Shoghi Effendi gave the western believers his fifth and last book of translations of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, undertaken during the winter of 1939-40 … The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf was Bahá'u'lláh's last major work and contains a selection from His own Writings made by Himself (surely a unique occurrence in religious history!) during the last two years of His life and has therefore a special position of its own in the literature of our Faith. In a cable shortly prior to its publication Shoghi Effendi said "Devoutly hope its study may contribute further enlightenment deeper understanding verities on which effective prosecution teaching administrative undertakings ultimately depend..." (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 222)

January 25, 2010

The Best Way for Mothers to Worship God

"O ye loving mothers, know ye that in God's sight, the best of all ways to worship Him is to educate the children and train them in all the perfections of mankind; and no nobler deed than this can be imagined."
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha p.139)

January 21, 2010

The Baha’i Greeting of Allah-u-Abha

• Allah-u-Abha is an Arabic word that means “God is the Most Glorious or God is All-Glorious.” (Wendy Momen, Baha’i Dictionary, p. 15)

• It is “a form of Bahá'í greeting ..” (Shoghi Effendi, Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 16) It was during the period in Adrianople after Baha’u’llah’s public proclamation “that the greeting of ‘Allah-u-Abha’ superseded the old salutation of ‘Allah-u-Akbar’ [which the Babis used], and was simultaneously adopted in Persia and Adrianople (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 176)

• “The Bahá'ís are free to greet each other with Allah-u-Abha when they meet, if they want to, but they should avoid anything which to outsiders, in a western country, might seem like some strange Oriental password. We must be very firm on principles and laws, but very normal and natural in our ways, so as to attract strangers.” (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 3)

January 11, 2010

Obstacles to Overcome

Now as never before should you strive mightily to free yourselves from the obstacles of apathy, attachment to worldly pursuits, and lethargy ....
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 153, 1996 - North America)

January 1, 2010

'Abdu'l-Baha's initial impression of New York upon His arrival in 1912

I am greatly pleased with the city of New York. Its harbor entrance, its piers, buildings and broad avenues are magnificent and beautiful. Truly, it is a wonderful city. As New York has made such progress in material civilization, I hope that it may also advance spiritually in the Kingdom and Covenant of God so that the friends here may become the cause of the illumination of America, that this city may become the city of love and that the fragrances of God may be spread from this place to all parts of the world.
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 3)