Archive for February 2016

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29 February ― 4 Ayyám-i-Há

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Together with the authority vested in elected corporate bodies to make decisions binding on the community is the spiritual, moral and intellectual influence that the Administrative Order exerts on both the lives of believers and the work of the Faith’s institutions. This influence acquires a special character through the services performed by those individuals who are appointed to the high rank of Counsellors and by their deputies. More specifically, the Continental Counsellors and the members of the Auxiliary Boards and their assistants are charged with functions relating to the protection and propagation of the Faith. In carrying out their duties, the Continental Counsellors receive their guidance from the International Teaching Centre, an institution whose mandate is global and which functions in close proximity to the Universal House of Justice.

 

The Universal House of Justice

Documents : The Institution of the Counsellors

IMG_1643MORNING:

It is evident that the changes brought about in every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that intervene between the eye of man’s understanding and the Divine Luminary which shineth forth from the day spring of the Divine Essence. Consider how men for generations have been blindly imitating their fathers, and have been trained according to such ways and manners as have been laid down by the dictates of their Faith. Were these men, therefore, to discover suddenly that a Man, Who hath been living in their midst, Who, with respect to every human limitation hath been their equal, had risen to abolish every established principle imposed by their Faith — principles by which for centuries they have been disciplined, and every opposer and denier of which they have come to regard as infidel, profligate and wicked, — they would of a certainty be veiled and hindered from acknowledging His truth. Such things are as “clouds” that veil the eyes of those whose inner being hath not tasted the Salsabil of detachment, nor drunk from the Kawthar of the knowledge of God. Such men, when acquainted with those circumstances, become so veiled that, without the least question, they pronounce the Manifestation of God as infidel, and sentence Him to death. You must have heard of such things taking place all down the ages, and are now observing them in these days.

It behoveth us, therefore, to make the utmost endeavor, that, by God’s invisible assistance, these dark veils, these clouds of Heaven-sent trials, may not hinder us from beholding the beauty of His shining Countenance, and that we may recognize Him only by His own Self.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:26-27

IMG_1644EVENING:

Lauded and glorified be Thy name, O Lord, my God! From all eternity I have indeed recognized Thee and unto all eternity will ever do so through Thine Own Self and not through any one else besides Thee. Verily Thou art the Source of all knowledge, the Omniscient. From everlasting I have besought and unto everlasting will beseech forgiveness for my limited understanding of Thee, aware as I am that there is no God but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Almighty.

I beg of Thee, O my Best Beloved, to pardon me and those who earnestly seek to promote Thy Cause; Thou art indeed the One Who forgiveth the sins of all mankind. And in this second year of my Revelation — a Revelation which took place at Thy behest — I bear witness that Thou art the Most Manifest, the Omnipotent, the Ever-Abiding; that of all things that exist on earth and in the heavens nothing whatsoever can frustrate Thy purpose and that Thou art the Knower of all things and the Lord of might and majesty.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp: 3-4

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_5734O ye dear friends! The world is at war and the human race is in travail and mortal combat. The dark night of hate hath taken over, and the light of good faith is blotted out. The peoples and kindreds of the earth have sharpened their claws, and are hurling themselves one against the other. It is the very foundation of the human race that is being destroyed. It is thousands of households that are vagrant and dispossessed, and every year seeth thousands upon thousands of human beings weltering in their life-blood on dusty battlefields. The tents of life and joy are down. The generals practise their generalship, boasting of the blood they shed, competing one with the next in inciting to violence. ‘With this sword,’ saith one of them, ‘I beheaded a people!’ And another: ‘I toppled a nation to the ground!’ And yet another: ‘I brought a government down!’ On such things do men pride themselves, in such do they glory! Love — righteousness — these are everywhere censured, while despised are harmony, and devotion to the truth.

The Faith of the Blessed Beauty is summoning mankind to safety and love, to amity and peace; it hath raised up its tabernacle on the heights of the earth, and directeth its call to all nations. Wherefore, O ye who are God’s lovers, know ye the value of this precious Faith, obey its teachings, walk in this road that is drawn straight, and show ye this way to the people. Lift up your voices and sing out the song of the Kingdom. Spread far and wide the precepts and counsels of the loving Lord, so that this world will change into another world, and this darksome earth will be flooded with light, and the dead body of mankind will arise and live; so that every soul will ask for immortality, through the holy breaths of God.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp:2-3

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE FAITH SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Now surely, if ever, is the time for us, the chosen ones of Bahá’u’lláh and the bearers of His Message to the world, to endeavour, by day and by night, to deepen, first and foremost, the Spirit of His Cause in our own individuals lives, and then labour, and labour incessantly to exemplify in all our dealings with our fellow-men that noble Spirit of which His beloved Son, `Abdu’l-Bahá, has been all the days of His life a true and unique exponent. The sayings of our beloved Master have been noised abroad, His name has filled all regions, and the eyes of mankind are now turned expectant towards His disciples who bear His name and profess His teachings. Shall we not by our daily life vindicate the high claims of His teachings, and prove by our services the influence of His undying Spirit? This surely is our highest privilege, and our most sacred duty.

Let us, with a pure heart, with humility and earnestness, turn afresh to His counsels and exhortations, and seek from that Source of Celestial Potency all the guidance, the Spirit, the power which we shall need for the fulfilment of our mission in this life.

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Behold, the Station to which `Abdu’l-Bahá is now calling His loved ones from the Realm of Glory:- “It behoveth the loved ones of God to be enamoured of one another and to sacrifice themselves for their fellow-workers in the Cause. They should yearn towards one another even as the sore athirst yearneth for the Water of Life, and the lover burneth to meet his heart’s desire.”

Such is the sublime, the glorious position He wishes us, and all the peoples and kindreds on earth to attain in this world; how much more to achieve unity and common understanding among ourselves, and then arise to herald with one voice the coming of the Kingdom and the salvation of mankind.

With unity of purpose firmly established in our minds, with every trace of personal animosity banished from our hearts, and with the spirit of whole-hearted and sustained fellowship kindled in our souls, can we hope to deliver effectively the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, and execute faithfully the various provisions of our Beloved’s Will and Testament.

Shoghi Effendi : Messages to the Antipodes

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14 February ― 8 Mulk   Leave a comment

Let no one, however, mistake my purpose. The Revelation, of which Bahá’u’lláh is the source and center, abrogates none of the religions that have preceded it, nor does it attempt, in the slightest degree, to distort their features or to belittle their value. It disclaims any intention of dwarfing any of the Prophets of the past, or of whittling down the eternal verity of their teachings. It can, in no wise, conflict with the spirit that animates their claims, nor does it seek to undermine the basis of any man’s allegiance to their cause. Its declared, its primary purpose is to enable every adherent of these Faiths to obtain a fuller understanding of the religion with which he stands identified, and to acquire a clearer apprehension of its purpose. It is neither eclectic in the presentation of its truths, nor arrogant in the affirmation of its claims. Its teachings revolve around the fundamental principle that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is progressive, not final. Unequivocally and without the least reservation it proclaims all established religions to be divine in origin, identical in their aims, complementary in their functions, continuous in their purpose, indispensable in their value to mankind.

Shoghi Effendi. The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Wilmette, Il.: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991, pp. 57-8.

MORNING:

The fourteenth Glad-Tidings

It is not necessary to undertake special journeys to visit the resting-places of the dead. If people of substance and affluence offer the cost of such journeys to the House of Justice, it will be pleasing and acceptable in the presence of God. Happy are they that observe His precepts.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 27-28

EVENING:

The fifteenth Glad-Tidings

Although a republican form of government profiteth all the peoples of the world, yet the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God. We do not wish that the countries of the world should remain deprived thereof. If the sagacious combine the two forms into one, great will be their reward in the presence of God.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 28