Archive for the ‘Concourse on High’ Category

22 May – 6 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_7269

A good character is, verily, the best mantle for men from God. With it He adorneth the temples of His loved ones. By My life! The light of a good character surpasseth the light of the sun and the radiance thereof. Whoso attaineth unto it is accounted as a jewel among men. The glory and the upliftment of the world must needs depend upon it. A goodly character is a means whereby men are guided to the Straight Path and are led to the Great Announcement. Well is it with him who is adorned with the saintly attributes and character of the Concourse on High.

It beseemeth you to fix your gaze under all conditions upon justice and fairness. In The Hidden Words this exalted utterance hath been revealed from Our Most August Pen:

‘O Son of Spirit! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbour. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behoveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.’

They that are just and fair-minded in their judgement occupy a sublime station and hold an exalted rank. The light of piety and uprightness shineth resplendent from these souls. We earnestly hope that the peoples and countries of the world may not be deprived of the splendours of these two luminaries.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:36-37

…a facimile of a prayer by Bahá’u’lláh written in His own handwriting…

EVENING:

In one of the Tablets these words have been revealed: O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed  upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Bahá! This, verily, is the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 93-

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Some souls imagine that there is a cessation to the bounties of God, as if at one time the divine bestowals are poured out, at another time withheld from mankind and ceasing. If we carefully reflect upon this matter, we find that such a statement is in fact a denial of Divinity, for the reality of Divinity is evidenced by virtue of its outpourings or bestowals. The cessation of the bestowals of God at any time would be equivalent to the cessation of the sovereignty of God. The sun is the sun because of its ray and heat; it is the sun because of its bestowal; but if at any time its effulgence, splendor and radiance should cease to emanate, it would no longer be the sun. Consequently, it is inconceivable that the bounties of Divinity should cease, for the attributes of Divinity are everexistent. God has ever been divine; He hath ever exercised His sovereignty and still possesses everlasting divinity and sovereignty. He is like the sun, which has ever had its splendor, heat and radiance and will continue to possess these bounties and attributes. If at any time its splendor and heat should cease, it would no longer be pronounced the sun. Therefore, the sound reasoning mind concludes that the bounties of the Holy Spirit are continuous and that holy souls are ever the recipients of these divine emanations. The potency of the Holy Spirit is everlasting, not temporary; for the sanctity of the Holy Spirit is its power and efficacy manifest in the spirits it quickens. We pray that all of us may become recipients of its bestowals, that we may be illumined by the lights of heaven, edified through the teachings of God and imbued with the virtues of divine character, as mirrors reflecting the light of the sun. Unless the mirror reflects the sunlight, it is only dark, inanimate matter. Likewise, the hearts and spirits of mankind, when deprived and without their portion of the bounties of the Holy Spirit, linger in the abyss of darkness and ignorance.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 313

FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI, BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

Facsimile of letter from Shoghi Effendi-1 April 1922

“Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching – no matter how world-wide and elaborate in its character – not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and skeptical age the supreme claim of the Abhá Revelation. One thing, and only one thing, will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.”

Star of the West, September 1925, Vol. 16 No. 6, page 538

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18 March ― 18 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

18 March ― 18 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 18

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“In one of His Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, after stating that fasting consists of abstinence from food and drink, categorically says that smoking is a form of ‘drink’. (In Arabic the verb ‘drink’ applies equally to smoking.) “In the East, therefore, the friends abstain from smoking during the hours of fasting, and friends from the East living in the West do likewise. But, as stated in our letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand, this application of the Divine Law has not been extended to the friends in the West for the present, and therefore it should not be made an issue.”
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 15, 1972
Lights of Guidance, p. 235

MORNING:

Look not upon the creatures of God except with the eye of kindliness and of mercy, for Our loving providence hath pervaded all created things, and Our grace encompassed the earth and the heavens. This is the Day whereon the true servants of God partake of the life-giving waters of reunion, the Day whereon those that are nigh unto Him are able to drink of the soft-flowing river of immortality, and they who believe in His unity, the wine of His Presence, through their recognition of Him Who is the Highest and Last End of all, in Whom the Tongue of Majesty and Glory voiceth the call: “The Kingdom is Mine. I, Myself, am, of Mine own right, its Ruler.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 32

 

EVENING:

O Son of Justice! In the night season the beauty of the immortal Being hath repaired from the emerald height of fidelity unto the Sadratu’l-Muntahá, and wept with such a weeping that the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the realms above wailed at His lamenting. Whereupon there was asked, Why the wailing and weeping? He made reply: As bidden I waited expectant upon the hill of faithfulness, yet inhaled not from them that dwell on earth the fragrance of fidelity. Then summoned to return I beheld, and lo! certain doves of holiness were sore tried within the claws of the dogs of earth. Thereupon the Maid of Heaven hastened forth unveiled and resplendent from Her mystic mansion, and asked of their names, and all were told but one. And when urged, the first letter thereof was uttered, whereupon the dwellers of the celestial chambers rushed forth out of their habitation of glory. And whilst the second letter was pronounced they fell down, one and all, upon the dust. At that moment a voice was heard from the inmost shrine: “Thus far and no farther.” Verily, We bear witness unto that which they have done, and now are doing.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp 91-92

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

O thou faithful and confident!

 

Thanks be to God that thou hast obtained that which was sought by all prophets and holy souls; namely, the knowledge of God and the love of God. First, the knowledge; and, second, His unfathomable love. Also the different members of thy family, who followed thee and who obtained that which thou didst obtain.

This is a great gift from God and hath no equal; although in this physical world its greatness is not perceivable, nor its nature clearly known, yet in the spiritual world it shineth like the sun.

So long as the pearl remaineth hidden at the bottom of the sea, its value is not known nor its brilliancy and fineness seen, it is only when in the hands of the expert jeweler that its great beauty becomes revealed.

Thou shouldst be at the utmost height of joy and satisfaction, for thou art surrounded by the bounties of the Merciful and hast become the object of the appearance of divine guidance.

In order to give thanks for this great and glorious gift, thou shouldst do all thou canst to guide His creatures, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf; life to the dead, and endeavor to turn those who are still attached to material things in the way which leads to spiritual heights; to help them to travel in the way of the Kingdom and to walk in the path that leads to the King of Kings.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, pp: 415-416

28 August ― 9 Asmá’   Leave a comment

Briefly, the point is that in the human material world of phenomena these four are the only existing criteria or avenues of knowledge, and all of them are faulty and unreliable. What then remains? How shall we attain the reality of knowledge? By the breaths and promptings of the Holy Spirit, which is light and knowledge itself. Through it the human mind is quickened and fortified into true conclusions and perfect knowledge. This is conclusive argument showing that all available human criteria are erroneous and defective, but the divine standard of knowledge is infallible. Therefore, man is not justified in saying, “I know because I perceive through my senses,” or “I know because it is proved through my faculty of reason,” or “I know because it is according to tradition and interpretation of the Holy Book,” or “I know because I am inspired.” All human standards of judgment are faulty, finite

His Holiness Abdu’l-Bahá

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 22

 

 

MORNING:

Know thou that he is truly learned who hath acknowledged My Revelation, and drunk from the Ocean of My knowledge, and soared in the atmosphere of My love, and cast away all else besides Me, and taken firm hold on that which hath been sent down from the Kingdom of My wondrous utterance. He, verily, is even as an eye unto mankind, and as the spirit of life unto the body of all creation. Glorified be the All-Merciful Who hath enlightened him, and caused him to arise and serve His great and mighty Cause. Verily, such a man is blessed by the Concourse on high, and by them who dwell within the Tabernacle of Grandeur, who have quaffed My sealed Wine in My Name, the Omnipotent, the All-Powerful.

His Holiness Baha’u’llah

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 207-208

EVENING:

The more grievous their woes, the greater waxed the love of the people of Baha. Unto their sincerity hath borne witness what the All-Merciful hath sent down in the Qur’án. He saith: ‘Wish ye, then, for death, if ye are sincere.’† Who is to be preferred, he that hath sheltered himself behind curtains, or he that hath offered himself in the path of God? Judge thou fairly, and be not of them that rove distraught in the wilderness of falsehood. So carried away have they been by the living waters of the love of the Most Merciful, that neither the arms of the world nor the swords of the nations have deterred them from setting their faces towards the ocean of the bounty of their Lord, the Giver, the Generous.

†Qur’án 2:88

By God! Troubles have failed to unnerve Me, and the repudiation of the divines hath been powerless to weaken Me. I have spoken, and still speak forth before the face of men: ‘The door of grace hath been unlocked and He Who is the Dayspring of Justice is come with perspicuous signs and evident testimonies, from God, the Lord of strength and of might!’

His Holiness Baha’u’llah

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 209-210

2 September ― 14 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_4920THE BEGINNING OF EVERY ACCOUNT IS THE NAME OF GOD

O friends of God! Incline your inner ears to the voice of the peerless and self-subsisting Lord, that He may deliver you from the bonds of entanglement and the depths of darkness and enable you to attain the eternal light. Ascent and descent, stillness and motion, have come into being through the will of the Lord of all that hath been and shall be. The cause of ascent is lightness, and the cause of lightness is heat. Thus hath it been decreed by God. The cause of stillness is weight and density, which in turn are caused by coldness. Thus hath it been decreed by God.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 71

EVENING:

IMG_4919 And since He hath ordained heat to be the source of motion and ascent and the cause of attainment to the desired goal, He hath therefore kindled with the mystic hand that Fire that dieth not and sent it forth into the world, that this divine Fire might, by the heat of the love of God, guide and attract all mankind to the abode of the incomparable Friend. This is the mystery enshrined in your Book that was sent down aforetime, a mystery which hath until now remained concealed from the eyes and hearts of men. That primal Fire hath in this Day appeared with a new radiance and with immeasurable heat. This divine Fire burneth of itself, with neither fuel nor fume, that it might draw away such excess moisture and cold as are the cause of torpor and weariness, of lethargy and despondency, and lead the entire creation to the court of the presence of the All-Merciful. Whoso hath approached this Fire hath been set aflame and attained the desired goal, and whoso hath removed himself therefrom hath remained deprived.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, pp: 71-72

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_1209O God, my God! Praise be unto Thee for kindling the fire of divine love in the Holy Tree on the summit of the loftiest mount: that Tree which is ‘neither of the east nor of the west,’* that fire which blazed out till the flame of it soared upward to the Concourse on high, and from it those realities caught the light of guidance, and cried out: ‘Verily have we perceived a fire on the slope of Mount Sinai.’**

 * Qur’án 24:35

** Qur’án 28:29

O God, my God! Increase Thou this fire, as day followeth day, till the blast of it setteth in motion all the earth. O Thou, my Lord! Kindle the light of Thy love in every heart, breathe into men’s souls the spirit of Thy knowledge, gladden their breasts with the verses of Thy oneness. Call Thou to life those who dwell in their tombs, warn Thou the prideful, make happiness world-wide, send down Thy crystal waters, and in the assemblage of manifest splendours, pass round that cup which is ‘tempered at the camphor fountain.’*

* Qur’án 76:5

Verily art Thou the Giving, the Forgiving, the Ever-Bestowing. Verily art Thou the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 254-255