4 September ― 16 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 102nd Anniversary of the Visit of Abdu’l-Bahá to Montréal, Québec, Canada   4 September 1912―4 September 2014

 

One evening, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland Maxwell in Montreal, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá summed up in a few intensely poignant words both the crisis He saw engulfing humankind and the sole means of deliverance:

“Today the world of humanity is walking in darkness because it is out of touch with the world of God.  That is why we do not see the signs of God in the hearts of men….  When a divine spiritual illumination becomes manifest in the world of humanity, when divine instruction and guidance appear, then enlightenment follows, a new spirit is realized within, a new power descends, and a new life is given.  It is like the birth from the animal kingdom into the kingdom of man.  When man acquires these virtues, the oneness of the world of humanity will be revealed….  Then will the justice of God become manifest, all humanity will appear as the members of one family, and every member of that family will be consecrated to cooperation and mutual assistance.”

It is to this divine illumination that you have turned your hearts. It is the force of this spiritual enlightenment — sharply focused in the institute process — that is opening your minds even wider to the possibilities of the Cause of God.  And it is not surprising that, for those who are exposed to such influences, the experience does indeed seem like the birth from an old condition to an entirely new one.

With hearts filled with admiration for all that your community is accomplishing and with the brightest hopes for the contributions that you as youth will particularly bring to the great adventure ahead, we urge you to make a wholehearted commitment to this vision of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  Like the rest of the world, Canadian society stands in urgent need of moral transformation.  Such transformation, as amply evidenced by decades of contentious history, cannot be achieved through political passion, the conflict of vested interests, or technical recipes.  What is called for is a spiritual revival, as a prerequisite to the successful application of political, economic and technological instruments.  But there is a need for a catalyst.  Be assured that, in spite of your small numbers, you are the channels through which such a catalyst can be provided.

Be not dismayed if your endeavours are dismissed as utopian by the voices that would oppose any suggestion of fundamental change.  Trust in the capacity of this generation to disentangle itself from the embroilments of a divided world.  To discharge your responsibilities, you will have to show forth courage, the courage of those who cling to standards of rectitude, who champion the cause of justice, whose lives are characterized by purity of thought and action, and whose purpose is directed by love and indomitable faith.

As one of the co-executors of the Divine Plan, your community’s mandate is not, of course, limited to Canada.  It is worldwide, and this global perspective must frame both your deliberations and your endeavours.  Be confident that, as you turn your hearts and minds to the challenge facing you, you will be surrounded by our ardent prayers at the Holy Threshold that Bahá’u’lláh will empower you to realize your highest aspirations.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice

2000 Jul 20, To Vancouver Youth Congress

 

MORNING:

Amongst the proofs demonstrating the truth of this Revelation is this, that in every age and Dispensation, whenever the invisible Essence was revealed in the person of His Manifestation, certain souls, obscure and detached from all worldly entanglements, would seek illumination from the Sun of Prophethood and Moon of Divine guidance, and would attain unto the Divine Presence. For this reason, the divines of the age and those possessed of wealth, would scorn and scoff at these people. Even as He hath revealed concerning them that erred: “Then said the chiefs of His people who believed not, ‘We see in Thee but a man like ourselves; and we see not any who have followed Thee except our meanest ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves: nay, we deem you liars.'” They caviled at those holy Manifestations, and protested saying: “None hath followed you except the abject amongst us, those who are worthy of no attention.” Their aim was to show that no one amongst the learned, the wealthy, and the renowned believed in them. By this and similar proofs they sought to demonstrate the falsity of Him that speaketh naught but the truth.

In this most resplendent Dispensation, however, this most mighty Sovereignty, a number of illumined divines, of men of consummate learning, of doctors of mature wisdom, have attained unto His Court, drunk the cup of His divine Presence, and been invested with the honor of His most excellent favor. They have renounced, for the sake of the Beloved, the world and all that is therein….

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 179-180

EVENING:

How many those who entered within the Abode of Paradise, the Seat wherein the throne of God had been established, and stood before their Lord, the Most Exalted, the Most Great, only to inquire about the four Gates or of some Imam of the Islamic Faith! Such was the state of these souls, if ye be of them that comprehend. It is even as ye witness in the present day: those who have disbelieved in God and joined partners with Him cling to a single one of Our Names, and are debarred from recognizing Him Who is the Creator of all Names. We testify that such men are of a truth amongst the people of the Fire. They ask the sun to expound the words of the shadow, and the True One to explain the utterances of His creatures, could ye but perceive it! Say: O people! The sun offereth naught save the effulgence of its own light and that which appeareth therefrom, whilst all else seek illumination from its rays. Fear God, and be not of the ignorant! Among them also were those who inquired of the darkness about the light. Say: Open thine eyes, that thou mayest behold the brightness which hath visibly enveloped the earth! This, verily, is a light which hath risen and shone forth above the horizon of the Dayspring of divine knowledge with manifest radiance. Would ye ask the Jews whether Jesus was the True One from God, or the idols if Muhammad was an Apostle of His Lord, or inquire from the people of the Qur’án as to Him Who was the Remembrance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great?

His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple,

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 41-42

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