Archive for the ‘“Century of Light by The Universal House of Justice’ Category

23 February ― 17 Mulk   Leave a comment

In the forefront of the Westerners who responded to the Master’s summons were the little groups of intrepid believers whom Shoghi Effendi has hailed as “God-intoxicated pilgrims” and who had the privilege of visiting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the prison-city of ‘Akká, of seeing for themselves the luminosity of His Person and of hearing from His own lips words that had the power to transform human life. The effect on these believers has been expressed by May Maxwell:

 

IMG_7172“Of that first meeting,” … “I can remember neither joy nor pain, nor anything that I can name. I had been carried suddenly to too great  19  a height, my soul had come in contact with the Divine Spirit, and this force, so pure, so holy, so mighty, had overwhelmed me….”

 

Mount Carmel in 1894

 

Their return to their homes became, Shoghi Effendi explains, “the signal for an outburst of systematic and sustained activity, which … spread its ramifications over Western Europe and the states and provinces of the North American continent….”  Fuelling their endeavours and those of their fellow believers, and drawing into the Cause growing numbers of new adherents, was a flood of Tablets addressed by the Master to recipients on both sides of the Atlantic, messages that threw open the imagination to the concepts, principles and ideals of God’s new Revelation. The power of this creative force can be felt in the words with which the first American believer, Thornton Chase, sought to describe what he was seeing:

His [the Master’s] own writings, spreading like white-winged doves from the Center of His Presence to the ends of the earth, are so many (hundreds pouring forth daily) that it is an impossibility for him to have given time to them for searching thought or to have applied the mental processes of the scholar to them. They flow like streams from a gushing fountain….

Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 18

MORNING:

The explanations which were set forth awaken the people from the slumber of heedlessness. Indeed the actions of man himself breed a profusion of satanic power. For were men to abide by and observe the divine teachings, every trace of evil would be banished from the face of the earth. However, the widespread differences that exist among mankind and the prevalence of sedition, contention, conflict and the like are the primary factors which provoke the appearance of the satanic spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit hath ever shunned such matters. A world in which naught can be perceived save strife, quarrels and corruption is bound to become the seat of the throne, the very metropolis, of Satan.

How vast the number of the loved and chosen ones of God who have lamented and moaned by day and by night that haply a sweet and fragrant breeze might blow from the court of His good-pleasure and dispel altogether the loathsome and foul-smelling odours from the world. However, this ultimate goal could not be attained, and men were deprived thereof by virtue of their evil deeds, which brought upon them the retribution of God, in accordance with the basic principles of His divine rule. Ours is the duty to remain patient in these circumstances until relief be forthcoming from God, the Forgiving, the Bountiful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 176-177

EVENING:

In the soil of whose heart will these holy seeds germinate? From the garden of whose soul will the blossoms of the invisible realities spring forth? Verily, I say, so fierce is the blaze of the Bush of love, burning in the Sinai of the heart, that the streaming waters of holy utterance can never quench its flame. Oceans can never allay this Leviathan’s burning thirst, and this Phoenix of the undying fire can abide nowhere save in the glow of the countenance of the Well-Beloved. Therefore, O brother! kindle with the oil of wisdom the lamp of the spirit within the innermost chamber of thy heart, and guard it with the globe of understanding, that the breath of the infidel may extinguish not its flame nor dim its brightness. Thus have We illuminated the heavens of utterance with the splendours of the Sun of divine wisdom and understanding, that thy heart may find peace, that thou mayest be of those who, on the wings of certitude, have soared unto the heaven of the love of their Lord, the All-Merciful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 59

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

The world of humanity cannot advance through mere physical powers and intellectual attainments; nay, rather, the Holy Spirit is essential. The divine Father must assist the human world to attain maturity. The body of man is in need of physical and mental energy but his spirit requires the life and fortification of the Holy Spirit. Without its protection and quickening the human world would be extinguished. His Holiness Jesus Christ declared, “Let the dead bury their dead.” He also said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” It is evident therefore according to His Holiness that the human spirit which is not fortified by the presence of the Holy Spirit is dead and in need of resurrection by that divine power; otherwise though materially advanced to high degrees man cannot attain full and complete progress.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 241-242

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1 September ― 13 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of Abdu’l-Bahá to Montréal, Québec, Canada

 1 September 1912―1 September 2017

 

As all mankind have been created by the one God, we are sheep under the care and protection of one Shepherd. Therefore, as His sheep we must associate in accord and agreement. If one single lamb becomes separated from the flock, the thoughts and efforts of all the others must be to bring it back again. Consequently, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed that, inasmuch as God is the one heavenly Shepherd and all mankind are the sheep of His fold, the religion or guidance of God must be the means of love and fellowship in the world. If religion proves to be the source of hatred, enmity and contention, if it becomes the cause of warfare and strife and influences men to kill each other, its absence is preferable. For that which is productive of hatred amongst the people is rejected by God, and that which establishes fellowship is beloved and sanctioned by Him. Religion and divine teachings are like unto a remedy. A remedy must produce the condition of health. If it occasions sickness, it is wiser and better to have no remedy whatever. This is the significance of the statement that if religion becomes the cause of warfare and bloodshed, irreligion and the absence of religion are preferable among mankind.

 

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Talk at Church of the Messiah, 1 September 1912 ―Montréal, Québec, Canada The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 297

 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived in Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1912, one hundred and five years ago last evening.  He was greeted by the Friends at Windsor Station and went immediately to what was then the Maxwell Home and is now the only Bahá’í Shrine in the Western Hemisphere. A devoted group of Bahá’ís and their friends gathered at Windsor Station for prayer and song to mark the  centennial anniversary of this blessed and historic event.


 

MORNING:

Know then that it behoveth thine eminence to ponder from the outset these questions in thy heart: What hath prompted the divers peoples and kindreds of the earth to reject the Apostles whom God hath sent unto them in His might and power, whom He hath raised up to exalt His Cause and ordained to be the Lamps of eternity within the Niche of His oneness? For what reason have the people turned aside from them, disputed about them, risen against and contended with them? On what grounds have they refused to acknowledge their apostleship and authority, nay, denied their truth and reviled their persons, even slaying or banishing them?

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Javáhiru’l-Asrár

Gems of Divine Mysteries

Bahá’í World Centre, 2002 edition, p. 2

EVENING:

Strive then, O My brother, to apprehend this matter, that the veils may be lifted from the face of thy heart and that thou mayest be reckoned among them whom God hath graced with such penetrating vision as to behold the most subtle realities of His dominion, to fathom the mysteries of His kingdom, to perceive the signs of His transcendent Essence in this mortal world, and to attain a station wherein one seeth no distinction amongst His creatures and findeth no flaw in the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Now that the discourse hath reached this exalted and intractable theme and touched upon this sublime and impenetrable mystery, know that the Christian and Jewish peoples have not grasped the intent of the words of God and the promises He hath made to them in His Book, and have therefore denied His Cause, turned aside from His Prophets, and rejected His proofs. Had they but fixed their gaze upon the testimony of God itself, had they refused to follow in the footsteps of the abject and foolish among their leaders and divines, they would doubtless have attained to the repository of guidance and the treasury of virtue, and quaffed from the crystal waters of life eternal in the city of the All-Merciful, in the garden of the All-Glorious, and within the inner reality of His paradise. But as they have refused to see with the eyes wherewith God hath endowed them, and desired things other than that which He in His mercy had desired for them, they have strayed far from the retreats of nearness, have been deprived of the living waters of reunion and the wellspring of His grace, and have lain as dead within the shrouds of their own selves.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Javáhiru’l-Asrár

Gems of Divine Mysteries

Bahá’í World Centre, 2002 edition, pp: 3-4

FROM A WORK BY THE INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AS COMMISSIONED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Two years, almost to the day, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s statement to the editor of the Montreal Daily Star, the world that had enjoyed so intoxicating a sense of self-confidence and whose foundations had appeared impregnable, collapsed abruptly. The catastrophe is popularly associated with the murder in Sarajevo of the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and certainly the train of blunders, reckless threats and mindless appeals to “honour” that led directly to World War I was ignited by this relatively minor event. In reality, however, as the Master had pointed out, preliminary “rumblings” during the entire first decade of the century should have alerted European leaders to the fragility of the existing order.

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Century of Light, p. 28

 

25 September ― 18 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9260Verily, God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the command been recorded by the finger of might and power upon the Tablet of majesty and greatness.

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one quickening all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the day of resurrection into the Riḍván of oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself, the protector, the mighty, the generous! Thus will ye assist your Lord, and naught else save this shall ever be mentioned in this day before God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-207

EVENING:

William II 004Say: O people, cause no corruption in the earth and dispute not with men; for, verily, this is not worthy of those who have chosen in the shelter of their Lord a station which shall indeed remain secure.

If ye find one athirst, give him to drink from the chalice of Kawthá and Tasneen; and if ye find one endowed with an attentive ear, read unto him the verses of God, the mighty, the merciful, the compassionate! Unloose the tongue with excellent utterance, then admonish the people if ye find them advancing unto the sanctuary of God; otherwise abandon them unto themselves and forsake them in the abyss of hell. Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of inner significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl.

Verily, wert thou to read the most mighty, wonderful verses to the stone for a thousand years, will it understand, or will they take any effect therein? No! by thy Lord, the merciful, the clement! If thou readest all the verses of God unto the deaf, will he hear a single letter? No! Verily, by the beauty, the mighty, the ancient!

Thus have We delivered unto thee some of the jewels of wisdom and utterance, in order that thou mayest gaze unto the direction of thy Lord and be severed from all the creatures. May the spirit and glory rest upon thee, and upon those who dwell upon the plain of holiness and who remain in the Cause of their Lord in manifest steadfastness!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-207

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

Calligraphy 034Consider how throughout history many a king has sat on his throne as a conqueror. Among them were Hulagu Khán and Tamerlane, who took over the vast continent of Asia, and Alexander of Macedon and Napoléon I, who stretched their arrogant fists over three of the earth’s five continents. And what was gained by all their mighty victories? Was any country made to flourish, did any happiness result, did any throne stand? Or was it rather that those reigning houses lost their power? Except that Asia went up in the flame of many battles and fell away to ashes, Changiz’s Hulagu, the warlord, gathered no fruit from all his conquests. And Tamerlane, out of all his triumphs, reaped only the peoples blown to the winds, and universal ruin. And Alexander had nothing to show for his vast victories, except that his son toppled from the throne and Philip and Ptolemy took over the dominions he once had ruled. And what did the first Napoléon gain from subjugating the kings of Europe, except the destruction of flourishing countries, the downfall of their inhabitants, the spreading of terror and anguish across Europe and, at the end of his days, his own captivity? So much for the conquerors and the monuments they leave behind them.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 67-68

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

During these same years, the Asian continent also saw the sudden emergence of the Malaysian Bahá’í community as an engine of the expansion work, winning its own goals with stunning speed and dispatching pioneers and travelling teachers to neighbouring lands. A development that made this dramatic advance possible was the bonds of spiritual partnership that had been woven between believers of Chinese and Indian backgrounds. Visitors to Malaysia spoke, with something approaching awe, of the way in which the Malaysian community, although working under many constraints and disabilities, seemed to be the very embodiment of the military metaphors with which Shoghi Effendi’s writings seek to capture the spirit of Bahá’í teaching efforts.

Bahá’í Temple in Uganda

Neither the world-wide growth of the Bahá’í community nor the process of learning it was experiencing, however, tell the whole story of these tumultuous and creative decades. When the history of the period is eventually written, one of its most brilliant chapters will recount the spiritual victories won by Bahá’í communities, in Africa particularly, who survived war, terror, political oppression and extreme privations, and who emerged from these tests with their faith intact, determined to resume the interrupted work of building a viable Bahá’í collective life. The community in Ethiopia, homeland of one of the world’s oldest and richest cultural traditions, succeeded in maintaining both the morale of its members and the coherence of its administrative structures under relentless pressure from a brutal dictatorship. Of the friends in other countries on the continent, it may be truly said that their path of faithfulness to the Cause led through a hell of suffering seldom equalled in modern history. The annals of the Faith possess few more moving testimonies to the sheer power of the spirit than the stories of courage and purity of heart emerging from the inferno that engulfed the friends in what was then Zaïre, stories that will inspire generations to come and represent priceless contributions to the creation of a global Bahá’í culture. Such countries as Uganda and Rwanda added unforgettable achievements of their own to this record of heroic struggle.

Century of Light

Bahá’í World Centre, 2001 edition, pp: 105-106

19 September ― 12 ‘Izzat   1 comment

MORNING:

IMG_2207Knowledge is one of the wondrous gifts of God. It is incumbent upon everyone to acquire it. Such arts and material means as are now manifest have been achieved by virtue of His knowledge and wisdom which have been revealed in Epistles and Tablets through His Most Exalted Pen—a Pen out of whose treasury pearls of wisdom and utterance and the arts and crafts of the world are brought to light.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988, p. 39

EVENING:

IMG_2208O people of the earth! Whoso obeyeth the Remembrance of God and His Book hath in truth obeyed God and His chosen ones and he will, in the life to come, be reckoned in the presence of God among the inmates of the Paradise of His good-pleasure. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world…. In truth, knowledge is a veritable treasure for man, and a source of glory, of bounty, of joy, of exaltation, of cheer and gladness unto him. Thus hath the Tongue of Grandeur spoken in this Most Great Prison.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988,, pp. 51–52)

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSICE:

With the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Apostolic Age of the Cause reached its end. The Divine intervention that had begun seventy-seven years earlier on the night the Báb declared His mission to Mulla Ḥusayn—and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself was born—had completed its work. It had been, in the words of Shoghi Effendi, “a period whose splendours no victories in this or any future age, however brilliant, can rival….” 1 Ahead lay the thousand or thousands of years in which the potentialities that this creative force has planted in human consciousness will gradually unfold.

Contemplation of so great a juncture in the history of civilization brings into sharp focus the Figure whose nature and role have been unique in this six-thousand-year process. Bahá’u’lláh has called ‘Abdu’l-Bahá “the Mystery of God”. Shoghi Effendi has described Him as “the Centre and Pivot” of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, the “perfect Exemplar” of the teachings of the Revelation of God for the age of human maturity, and “the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity”. No phenomenon in any way comparable to His appearance had accompanied any of the Divine Revelations that had given birth to the other great religious systems in recorded history; all of these had been essentially stages preparing humanity for its coming of age. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was Bahá’u’lláh’s supreme Creation, the One that made everything else possible. An understanding of this truth moved a perceptive American Bahá’í to write:

Hand of the Cause of God Horace HolleyNow a message from God must be delivered, and there was no mankind to hear this message. Therefore, God gave the world ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá received the message of Bahá’u’lláh on behalf of the human race. He heard the voice of God; He was inspired by the spirit; He attained complete consciousness and awareness of the meaning of this message, and He pledged the human race to respond to the voice of God. …to me that is the Covenant—that there was on this earth some one who could be a representative of an as yet uncreated race. There were only tribes, families, creeds, classes, etc., but there was no man except ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as man, took to Himself the message of Bahá’u’lláh and promised God that He would bring the people into the oneness of mankind, and create a humanity that could be the vehicle for the laws of God.*

*Religion for Mankind (London: George Ronald, 1956), pp. 243–244.

Century of Light

Bahá’í World Centre, 2001 edition, pp: 39-40

Photograph of Hand of the Cause of God Horace Holly [1887-1960]

16 July ― 4 Kalimát   Leave a comment

Significantly, it was also on the initiative of a political leader of one of the Western hemisphere nations which had been addressed by Bahá’u’lláh, that His summons to collective security — first reflected in the nominal sanctions voted by the League of Nations against Fascist aggression in Ethiopia — was at long last given practical effect. In November 1956, Lester Bowles Pearson, then External Affairs Minister and later Prime Minister of Canada, secured the creation by the United Nations of its first international peacekeeping force, an achievement which won its author the Nobel Prize for Peace. The full nature of the authority contained in such a mandate would steadily emerge as a major feature of international relations during the second half of the century. Beginning with the policing of agreements worked out between hostile states, the principle of collective action in defence of peace gradually took on the form of military interventions such as that of the Gulf War, in which compliance with Security Council resolutions was imposed by force on aggressor factions and states.

Along with the establishment of the new United Nations’ system and steps to enforce its sanctions, a second major breakthrough occurred. Even before hostilities had ended, public audiences throughout the world were stunned by film coverage of the liberation of Nazi death camps, which exposed for all to see the horrific consequences of racism. What can adequately be described only as a profound sense of shame at the depths of evil that humanity had shown itself capable of committing shook the conscience of humankind. Through the window of opportunity thus briefly opened, a group of dedicated and far-sighted men and women, under the inspired leadership of figures like Eleanor Roosevelt, secured the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The moral commitment it represented was institutionalized in the subsequent establishment of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. In due course, the Bahá’í community itself would have good cause to appreciate, at firsthand, the system’s importance as a shield protecting minorities from the abuses of the past.

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Century of Light, pp: 72-73, ¶’s 6.18-6.19

MORNING:

As to the words — “Immediately after the oppression of those days” — they refer to the time when men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and the fruit of the Tree of knowledge and wisdom will have vanished from the midst of men, when the reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp of the foolish and ignorant, when the portals of divine unity and understanding — the essential and highest purpose in creation — will have been closed, when certain knowledge will have given way to idle fancy, and corruption will have usurped the station of righteousness. Such a condition as this is witnessed in this day when the reins of every community have fallen into the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire. On their tongue the mention of God hath become an empty name; in their midst His holy Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires, that the lamp of conscience and reason hath been quenched in their hearts, and this although the fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals of the knowledge of God, and the light of divine knowledge and heavenly grace hath illumined and inspired the essence of all created things, in such wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge hath been opened, and within every atom traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet, in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine knowledge, which have encompassed the world, they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled. Clinging unto idle fancy, they have strayed far from the ‘Urvatu’l-Vuthqá of divine knowledge. Their hearts seem not to be inclined to knowledge and the door thereof, neither think they of its manifestations, inasmuch as in idle fancy they have found the door that leadeth unto earthly riches, whereas in the manifestation of the Revealer of knowledge they find naught but the call to self-sacrifice. They therefore naturally hold fast unto the former, and flee from the latter. Though they recognize in their hearts the Law of God to be one and the same, yet from every direction they issue a new command, and in every season proclaim a fresh decree. No two are found to agree on one and the same law, for they seek no God but their own desire, and tread no path but the path of error. In leadership they have recognized the ultimate object of their endeavour, and account pride and haughtiness as the highest attainments of their heart’s desire. They have placed their sordid machinations above the divine decree, have renounced resignation unto the will of God, busied themselves with selfish calculation, and walked in the way of the hypocrite. With all their power and strength they strive to secure themselves in their petty pursuits, fearful lest the least discredit undermine their authority or blemish the display of their magnificence. Were the eye to be anointed and illumined with the collyrium of the knowledge of God, it would surely discover that a number of voracious beasts have gathered and preyed upon the carrion of the souls of men.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 29-31

EVENING:

What “oppression” is greater than that which hath been recounted? What “oppression” is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This “oppression” is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text of these traditions.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 31-32

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The spiritual love of God maketh man pure and holy and clotheth him with the garment of virtue and purity. And when man attacheth his heart wholly to God and becometh related to the Blessed Perfection, the divine bounty will dawn. This love is not physical, nay, rather, it is absolutely spiritual.

The souls whose consciences are enlightened through the light of the love of God, they are like unto shining lights and resemble stars of holiness in the heaven of purity.

The real and great love is the love of God. That is holy above the imaginations and thoughts of men.

The beloved of God must each be the essence of purity and holiness; so may they be known by their purity, freedom and meekness in every land; they may drink from the eternal chalice of the love of God, enjoy its ecstasy, and through meeting the Beauty of Abhá, they should be joyful, active, aglow with zeal and wonderful. This is the station of the sincere. This is the quality of those who are firm. This is the illumination of the faces of those who are near.

Therefore, O ye friends of God, ye must in perfect purity attain spiritual unity and agreement to a degree that ye may express one spirit and one life.

In this condition physical bodies play no part; the command and authority are in the hand of the spirit. When the spirit becometh all inclusive, the spiritual union shall be attained. Night and day endeavor to attain perfect harmony; be thoughtful concerning your own spiritual developments and close your eyes to the shortcomings of one another.

By good deeds, pure lives, humility and meekness be a lesson for others.

Abdul-Baha wisheth no one’s heart to feel hurt, nor will he be a source of grief to any one; for there is no greater satisfaction than being a source of joy to the hearts

I ask God that ye may become like angels of heaven, sources of happiness to souls.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, pp: 22-23

12 July ― 19 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

Let us acknowledge at the outset the magnitude of the ruin that the human race has brought upon itself during the period of history under review. The loss of life alone has been beyond counting. The disintegration of basic institutions of social order, the violation — indeed, the abandonment — of standards of decency, the betrayal of the life of the mind through surrender to ideologies as squalid as they have been empty, the invention and deployment of monstrous weapons of mass annihilation, the bankrupting of entire nations and the reduction of masses of human beings to hopeless poverty, the reckless destruction of the environment of the planet — such are only the more obvious in a catalogue of horrors unknown to even the darkest of ages past. Merely to mention them is to call to mind the Divine warnings expressed in Bahá’u’lláh’s words of a century ago: “O heedless ones! Though the wonders of My mercy have encompassed all created things, both visible and invisible, and though the revelations of My grace and bounty have permeated every atom of the universe, yet the rod with which I can chastise the wicked is grievous, and the fierceness of Mine anger against them terrible.”

Lest any observer of the Cause be tempted to misunderstand such warnings as only metaphorical, Shoghi Effendi, drawing some of the historical implications, wrote in 1941:   

“A tempest, unprecedented in its violence, unpredictable in its course, catastrophic in its immediate effects, unimaginably glorious in its ultimate consequences, is at present sweeping the face of the earth. Its driving power is remorselessly gaining in range and momentum. Its cleansing force, however much undetected, is increasing with every passing day. Humanity, gripped in the clutches of its devastating power, is smitten by the evidences of its resistless fury. It can neither perceive its origin, nor probe its significance, nor discern its outcome. Bewildered, agonized and helpless, it watches this great and mighty wind of God invading the remotest and fairest regions of the earth, rocking its foundations, deranging its equilibrium, sundering its nations, disrupting the homes of its peoples, wasting its cities, driving into exile its kings, pulling down its bulwarks, uprooting its institutions, dimming its light, and harrowing up the souls of its inhabitants.”

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Century of Light, 1.1-1.2

MORNING:

55. O SON OF BEING!

Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.

56. O SON OF MAN!

Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

57. O SON OF MAN!

Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.

 His Holiness Baháú’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, 55-57

EVENING:

63. O SON OF MAN!

The light hath shone on thee from the horizon of the sacred Mount and the spirit of enlightenment hath breathed in the Sinai of thy heart. Wherefore, free thyself from the veils of idle fancies and enter into My court, that thou mayest be fit for everlasting life and worthy to meet Me. Thus may death not come upon thee, neither weariness nor trouble.

64. O SON OF MAN!

My eternity is My creation, I have created it for thee. Make it the garment of thy temple. My unity is My handiwork; I have wrought it for thee; clothe thyself therewith, that thou mayest be to all eternity the revelation of My everlasting being.

65. O SON OF MAN! My majesty is My gift to thee, and My grandeur the token of My mercy unto thee. That which beseemeth Me none shall understand, nor can anyone recount. Verily, I have preserved it in My hidden storehouses and in the treasuries of My command, as a sign of My loving-kindness unto My servants and My mercy unto My people.

66. O CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE AND INVISIBLE ESSENCE!

Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me.

67. O SON OF BEAUTY!

By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.

 His Holiness Baháú’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, 63-67

 

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Bahá’u’lláh taught the Oneness of humanity; that is to say, all the children of men are under the mercy of the Great God. They are the sons of one God; they are trained by God. He has placed the crown of humanity on the head of every one of the servants of God. Therefore all nations and peoples must consider themselves brethren. They are all descendants from Adam. They are the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits of One Tree. They are pearls from one shell. But the children of men are in need of education and civilization, and they require to be polished, till they become bright and shining.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 28