Archive for the ‘Deeds’ Category

11 February ― 5 Mulk   Leave a comment

The dark horizon faced by a world which has failed to recognize the Promised One, the Source of its salvation, acutely affects the outlook of the younger generations; their distressing lack of hope and their indulgence in desperate but futile and even dangerous solutions make a direct claim on the remedial attention of Bahá’í youth, who, through their knowledge of that Source and the bright vision with which they have thus been endowed, cannot hesitate to impart to their despairing fellow youth the restorative joy, the constructive hope, the radiant assurances of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’í youth of the world, May 8, 1985

Lights of Guidance, p.638

MORNING:

The field is indeed so immense, the period so critical, the Cause so great, the workers so few, the time so short, the privilege so priceless, that no follower of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, worthy to bear His name, can afford a moment’s hesitation. That God-born Force, irresistible in its sweeping power, incalculable in its potency, unpredictable in its course, mysterious in its workings, and awe-inspiring in its manifestations — a Force which, as the Báb has written, “vibrates within the innermost being of all created things,” and which, according to Bahá’u’lláh, has through its “vibrating influence,” “upset the equilibrium of the world and revolutionized its ordered life” — such a Force, acting even as a two-edged sword, is, under our very eyes, sundering, on the one hand, the age-old ties which for centuries have held together the fabric of civilized society, and is unloosing, on the other, the bonds that still fetter the infant and as yet unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The undreamt-of opportunities offered through the operation of this Force — the American believers must now rise, and fully and courageously exploit them. “The holy realities of the Concourse on high,” writes ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “yearn, in this day, in the Most Exalted Paradise, to return unto this world, so that they may be aided to render some service to the threshold of the Abha Beauty, and arise to demonstrate their servitude to His sacred Threshold.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp: 46-47

EVENING:

I entreat Thee, O Lord of the Kingdom of eternity, by the shrill voice of the Pen of Glory, and by the Burning Fire which calleth aloud from the verdant Tree, and by the Ark which Thou hast specially chosen for the people of Bahá, to grant that I may remain steadfast in my love for Thee, be well pleased with whatsoever Thou hast prescribed for me in Thy Book and may stand firm in Thy service and in the service of Thy loved ones. Graciously assist then Thy servants, O my God, to do that which will serve to exalt Thy Cause and will enable them to observe whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Book.

Verily Thou art the Lord of Strength, Thou art potent to ordain whatsoever Thou willest and within Thy grasp Thou holdest the reins of all created things. No God is there but Thee, the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 116-117

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

… In the Bahá’í Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.

Paris Talks, pp: 176-177

 FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“…There is nothing that brings success in the Faith like service. Service is the magnet which draws the divine confirmations. Thus, when a person is active, they are blessed by the Holy Spirit. When they are inactive, the Holy Spirit cannot find a repository in their being, and thus they are deprived of its healing and quickening rays.”

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 12, 1952

“…An individual must center his whole heart and mind on service to the Cause, in accordance with the high standards set by Bahá’u’lláh. When this is done, the hosts of the Supreme Concourse will come to the assistance of the individual, and every difficulty and trial will gradually be overcome.”

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 6, 1954: Living the Life: pp: 18-19

Lights of Guidance, p. 118

 

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“The present requirements of a Faith whose responsibilities rapidly increase in relation to its rise from obscurity impose an inescapable duty on the youth to ensure that their lives reflect to a marked degree the transforming power of the new Revelation they have embraced. Otherwise, by what example are the claims of Bahá’u’lláh to be judged? How is His healing Message to be acknowledged by a skeptical humanity if it produces no noticeable effect upon the young, who are seen to be among the most energetic, the most pliable and promising elements in any society?

“The dark horizon faced by a world which has failed to recognize the Promised One, the Source of its salvation, acutely affects the outlook of the younger generations; their distressing lack of hope and their indulgence in desperate but futile and even dangerous solutions make a direct claim on the remedial attention of Bahá’í youth, who, through their knowledge of that Source and the bright vision with which they have thus been endowed, cannot hesitate to impart to their despairing fellow youth the restorative joy, the constructive hope, the radiant assurances of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation.

“The words, the deeds, the attitudes, the lack of prejudice, the nobility of character, the high sense of service to others–in a word, those qualities and actions which distinguish a Bahá’í–must unfailingly characterize their inner life and outer behaviour, and their interactions with friend or foe.”

From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’í youth of the world, May 8, 1985

Lights of Guidance, p.638

2 October ― 6 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

“The humanitarian and spiritual principles enunciated decades ago in the darkest East by Bahá’u’lláh and moulded by Him into a coherent scheme are one after the other being taken by a world unconscious of their source as the marks of progressive civilization. And the sense that mankind has broken with the past and that the old guidance will not carry it through the emergencies of the present has filled with uncertainty and dismay all thoughtful men save those who have learned to find in the story of Bahá’u’lláh the meaning of all the prodigies and portents of our time.”  Shoghi Effendi

The towering grandeur and the tender beauty of the life of a Manifestation of God cannot be comprehended by events usually associated with a saintly life. The immensity of such a life presents itself in that mysterious influence which it exerts over countless lives, an influence which functions not through social status and prestige, wealth, secular power or worldly dominion; indeed not even through a medium of mere superior knowledge and intellectual achievement.

The Manifestation of God is the Archetype, and His life is the supreme pattern. His vision, not arrested by time and space, encompasses the future as well as the past. He is the only and the necessary link between one period of social evolution and another. Without Him history is meaningless and coordination is impossible. Furthermore, the Manifestation of God releases deep reservoirs of spiritual power and quickens the forces latent in humanity. By Him, and by Him alone, can Man attain “second birth”.

.

Hand of the Cause of God Hasan M. Balyuzi

Bahá’u’lláh, A Brief Life:
The Word Made Flesh

MORNING:

“Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by ‘turning back,’ He may ‘change you for another people,’ who ‘shall not be your like,’ and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God. The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him.”

His Holiness The Báb

Quoted by Nabil [approved by Shoghi Effendi]

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92

 

EVENING:

Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I, who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements. The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age. Scatter throughout the length and breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts, prepare the way for His coming. Heed not your weaknesses and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the Lord, your God, the Almighty.

His Holiness The Báb

Quoted by Nabil [approved by Shoghi Effendi]

The Dawn-Breakers, pp: 93-94

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

The great and fundamental teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are the oneness of God and unity of mankind. This is the bond of union among Bahá’ís all over the world. They become united among themselves, then unite others. It is impossible to unite unless united. Christ said, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” This proves there were dissensions and lack of unity among His followers. Hence His admonition to unity of action.

 

Now must we, likewise, bind ourselves together in the utmost unity, be kind and loving to each other, sacrificing all our possessions, our honor, yea, even our lives for each other. Then will it be proved that we have acted according to the teachings of God, that we have been real believers in the oneness of God and unity of mankind.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 156

 

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

” … This is the theme we must pursue in our efforts to deepen in the Cause. What is Bahá’u’lláh’s purpose for the human race? For what ends did He submit to the appalling cruelties and indignities heaped upon Him? What does He mean by a ‘new race of men’? What are the profound changes which He will bring about? The answers are to be found in the Sacred Writings of our Faith and in their interpretation by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and our beloved Guardian. Let the friends immerse themselves in this ocean, let them organize regular study classes for its constant consideration, and as reinforcements of daily prayers and reading of the Word of God enjoined upon all Bahá’ís by Bahá’u’lláh.”

Message of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the World, Riḍván 1967

Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 114-115

FROM FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE [1844–1900]

Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: “It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves’ footsteps guide the world.

O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost.”—

And I answered: “I am ashamed.”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “Thou must yet become a child, and be without shame.

The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become young: but he who would become a child must surmount even his youth.”—

And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say what I had said at first. “I will not.”

Thus Spake Zarathustra  [Part III], P. 162

3 September ― 15 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2051O servant of God! Turn thou away from the stranger, that thou mayest recognize the Friend. He indeed is a stranger who leadeth you away from the Friend. This is not the day whereon the high priests can command and exercise their authority. In your Book it is stated that the high priests will, on that day, lead men far astray, and will prevent them from drawing nigh unto Him. He indeed is a high priest who hath seen the light and hastened unto the way leading to the Beloved. Such a man is a benevolent priest and a source of illumination to the whole world.

O servant of God! Any priest who leadeth thee away from this Fire, which is the reality of the Light and the mystery of divine Revelation, is indeed thine enemy. Suffer not the words of the foe to hold thee back from the Friend or the insinuations of the enemy to cause thee to forsake the Beloved.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, pp: 72-73

EVENING:

IMG_2053O servant of God! The day of deeds hath come: Now is not the time for words. The Messenger of God hath appeared: Now is not the hour for hesitation. Open thou thine inner eye that thou mayest behold the face of the Beloved, and hearken thou with thine inner ear that thou mayest hear the sweet murmur of His celestial voice.

O servant of God! The robe of divine bestowal hath been sewn and readied. Take hold of it and attire thyself therewith. Renounce and forsake the people of the world. O wise one! Shouldst thou heed the counsel of thy Lord, thou wouldst be released from the bondage of His servants and behold thyself exalted above all men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 73

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

IMG_8557O friend! Be set aglow with the fire of the love of God, so that the hearts of the people will become enlightened by the light of thy love.

Supplicate to God, pray to Him and invoke Him at midnight and at dawn. Be humble and submissive to God and chant the verses of thanksgiving at morn and eve, for that He guided thee unto the Manifest Light and showed to thee the straight Path and destined to thee the station of nearness in His wonderful Kingdom. Verily I ask God to augment for thee, every day, the light of guidance and His gift of virtue, comfort and ease. Thus thou mayest set a good example in that region; that He may lift up the veil from before the eyes of thy mother and father, so that they may witness the lights of the Kingdom of God, which have encompassed all regions.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 359-360

1 September ― 13 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_3075

I beg Thee to forgive me, O my Lord, for every mention but the mention of Thee, and for every praise but the praise of Thee, and for every delight but delight in Thy nearness, and for every pleasure but the pleasure of communion with Thee, and for every joy but the joy of Thy love and of Thy good-pleasure, and for all things pertaining unto me which bear no relationship unto Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of lords, He Who provideth the means and unlocketh the doors.


—His Holiness The Báb

Bahá’í Prayers, p. 79

O servants! Ye are even as saplings in a garden, which are near to perishing for want of water. Wherefore, revive your souls with the heavenly water that is raining down from the clouds of divine bounty. Words must be followed by deeds. Whoso accepteth the words of the Friend is in truth a man of deeds; otherwise a dead carcass is verily of greater worth.

O servants! Pleasant is the utterance of the Friend: Where is the soul who will taste its sweetness, and where is the ear that will hearken unto it? Well is it with him who, in this day, communeth with the Friend and in His path renounceth and forsaketh all save Him, that he may behold a new world and gain admittance to the everlasting paradise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 69-70

EVENING:

The Lord of the world saith: O servants! Forsake your own desires and seek that which I have desired for you. Walk ye not without one to guide you on the way, and accept ye not the words of every guide. How numerous the guides who have gone astray and failed to discover the straight Path! He alone is a guide who is free from the bondage of this world and whom nothing whatsoever can deter from speaking the truth.

O servants! Follow the path of truthfulness and turn not away from the needy. Make mention of Me before the great ones of the earth and fear not.

O servants! Be pure in your deeds, and conduct yourselves in accordance with the words of God. Such are the counsels of the incomparable Lord.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 70

3 December ― 11 Qawl   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2225O My beloved friends! You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day. You have been chosen as the repositories of His mystery. It behoves each one of you to manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power and glory. The very members of your body must bear witness to the loftiness of your purpose, the integrity of your life, the reality of your faith, and the exalted character of your devotion.

—His Holiness The Báb

quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92

EVENING:

IMG_2227Purge your hearts of worldly desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning. Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by ‘turning back,’ He may “change you for another people,”who “shall not be your like,” and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God. The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him.

—His Holiness The Báb

quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92

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

IMG_2578The utmost favor is shown toward thee and the divine bounties are thy guide. Endeavor thou, as far as thou canst, in order that thou mayest be like unto a chaste and clear mirror, cleansed and purified from every dust, so that the outpouring of the rays of the Sun of Truth may descend and thou mayest illumine those who are around thee. This is my counsel to thee. I pray always in thy behalf and supplicate for thy confirmation and assistance, in order that thou mayest become a sign of the Most Great Bounty and be the cause of the guidance of many souls. If thou art mindful, seek thou the favor everlasting and the illumination eternal.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 303

10 October ― 14 Mashíyyat   1 comment

MORNING:IMG_9488

They that have forsaken their country for the purpose of teaching Our Cause — these shall the Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power. A company of Our chosen angels shall go forth with them, as bidden by Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Wise. How great the blessedness that awaiteth him that hath attained the honor of serving the Almighty! By My life! No act, however great, can compare with it, except such deeds as have been ordained by God, the All-Powerful, the Most Mighty. Such a service is, indeed, the prince of all goodly deeds, and the ornament of every goodly act. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Sovereign Revealer, the Ancient of Days.

Whoso ariseth to teach Our Cause must needs detach himself from all earthly things, and regard, at all times, the triumph of Our Faith as his supreme objective. This hath, verily, been decreed in the Guarded Tablet. And when he determineth to leave his home, for the sake of the Cause of his Lord, let him put his whole trust in God, as the best provision for his journey, and array himself with the robe of virtue. Thus hath it been decreed by God, the Almighty, the All-Praised.

If he be kindled with the fire of His love, if he forgoeth all created things, the words he uttereth shall set on fire them that hear him. Verily, thy Lord is the Omniscient, the All-Informed. Happy is the man that hath heard Our voice, and answered Our call. He, in truth, is of them that shall be brought nigh unto Us.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 334-335

EVENING:

Say: Teach ye the Cause of God, O people of Bahá, for God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the most meritorious of all deeds. Such a deed is acceptable only when he that teacheth the Cause is already a firm believer in God, the Supreme Protector, the Gracious, the Almighty. He hath, moreover, ordained that His Cause be taught through the power of men’s utterance, and not through resort to violence. Thus hath His ordinance been sent down from the Kingdom of Him Who is the Most Exalted, the All-Wise.  Beware lest ye contend with any one, nay, strive to make him aware of the truth with kindly manner and most convincing exhortation. If your hearer respond, he will have responded to his own behoof, and if not, turn ye away from him, and set your faces towards God’s sacred Court, the seat of resplendent holiness.

Dispute not with any one concerning the things of this world and its affairs, for God hath abandoned them to such as have set their affection upon them. Out of the whole world He hath chosen for Himself the hearts of men — hearts which the hosts of revelation and of utterance can subdue. Thus hath it been ordained by the Fingers of Bahá, upon the Tablet of God’s irrevocable decree, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 278-279

FROM THE EXEMPLAR OF THE CAUSE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O ye that stand fast in the Covenant! When the hour cometh that this wronged and broken-winged bird will have taken its flight into the Celestial Concourse, when it will have hastened to the Realm of the Unseen and its mortal frame will have been either lost or hidden neath the dust, it is incumbent upon the Afnán, that are steadfast in the Covenant of God and have branched from the Tree of Holiness; the Hands, (pillars) of the Cause of God (the glory of the Lord rest upon them), and all the friends and loved ones, one and all to bestir themselves and arise with heart and soul and in one accord, to diffuse the sweet savors of God, to teach His Cause and to promote His Faith. It behooveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime, and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred, without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the triumphal cry “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!” (O Thou the Glory of Glories), must achieve renown in the world wherever they go, must burn brightly even as a candle in every meeting and must kindle the flame of Divine love in every assembly; that the light of truth may rise resplendent in the midmost heart of the world, that throughout the East and throughout the West a vast concourse may gather under the shadow of the Word of God, that the sweet savors of holiness may be diffused, that faces may shine radiantly, hearts be filled with the Divine spirit and souls be made heavenly.

In these days, the most important of all things is the guidance of the nations and peoples of the world. Teaching the Cause is of utmost importance for it is the head corner-stone of the foundation itself. This wronged servant has spent his days and nights in promoting the Cause and urging the peoples to service. He rested not a moment, till the fame of the Cause of God was noised abroad in the world and the celestial strains from the Abhá Kingdom roused the East and the West. The beloved of God must also follow the same example. This is the secret of faithfulness, this is the requirement of servitude to the Threshold of Bahá!

The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the peoples of the world to the divine guidance; till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their last hour proved self-sacrificing in the pathway of that beloved One of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps!

The Will and Testament, pp: 10-11

FROM THE BAHÁ’Í LIBRARY ONLINE

Conversation with the Guardian by Mrs. Rollins and Mrs. McCormick

There is not a Bahá’í in the world that can be hurt if they follow a very simple rule. They can stand all the unwisdom of their sisters and brothers, the slights and the slanders, if they will do one thing only (three times he struck his hand, the back of it, into the palm of the other while he said)

“Say the Greatest Name instantly,
Say the Greatest Name instantly,
Say the Greatest Name instantly.”

The Guardian’s other statement was this: “Every Bahá’í in the world could be a teacher and a speaker. How? Like this:

Every Bahá’í should memorize Bahá’í Prayers. Every Bahá’í should memorize Bahá’í Principles. Every Bahá’í should memorize some of the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, some of the writings of Bahá’u’lláh (short passages), also some of the other writings. Then, he said, these are the tools that you put into the subconscious mind; and you can stand before any audience and never be struck for something to say.

Even if you start out with a prayer in a sincere and humble manner, the Supreme Concourse on high will assist you and you will never be at a loss for words.

From a recently unearthed pilgrim note found in the Barstow Collection;
typed by “Thellie” Lovejoy and proofread by Rob Stauffer, 1999.
It has been suggested that “Mrs. McCormick” is Temple McCormick, from Washington


[year and first names unknown]

NOTE: About this document:   As explained by the Universal House of Justice, no policy other than the exercise of wisdom currently governs the appearance of such notes on the internet. A brief Compilation on Pilgrims’ Notes can also be consulted. Other pilgrims’ notes can also be found in some of the older Notable Talks and some historical documents.

The motive for presenting these notes online is perhaps best summarized in the following quotation from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

“While these notes taken down by the pilgrims do not constitute as official pronouncements made by the Guardian, and therefore should not be imposed on the friends, those who wish to share them with the members of the Community should, under no circumstances, be prevented from doing so. Though not strictly official, and in some instances inaccurate and misleading, these notes, as experience has shown, can be of tremendous help, guidance and inspiration to many individual believers, and their value as such should therefore be readily admitted.”

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 28, 1939.

Classified in collection Pilgrims’ Notes.
No copyright; document is in public domain. Note: This is a “Pilgrim’s note,” an individual’s recollection of statements and actions of the Central figures. They are subjective and not authoritative.

16 August ― 16 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_2806

Living in seclusion or practising asceticism is not acceptable in the presence of God. It behoveth them that are endued with insight and understanding to observe that which will cause joy and radiance. Such practices as are sprung from the loins of idle fancy or are begotten of the womb of superstition ill beseem men of knowledge. In former times and more recently some people have been taking up their abodes in the caves of the mountains while others have repaired to graveyards at night. Say, give ear unto the counsels of this Wronged One. Abandon the things current amongst you and adopt that which the faithful Counsellor biddeth you. Deprive not yourselves of the bounties which have been created for your sake.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 70

EVENING:

 

Man is like unto a tree. If he be adorned with fruit, he hath been and will ever be worthy of praise and commendation. Otherwise a fruitless tree is but fit for fire. The fruits of the human tree are exquisite, highly desired and dearly cherished. Among them are upright character, virtuous deeds and a goodly utterance. The springtime for earthly trees occurreth once every year, while the one for human trees appeareth in the Days of God — exalted be His glory. Were the trees of men’s lives to be adorned in this divine Springtime with the fruits that have been mentioned, the effulgence of the light of Justice would, of a certainty, illumine all the dwellers of the earth and everyone would abide in tranquillity and contentment beneath the sheltering shadow of Him Who is the Object of all mankind. The Water for these trees is the living water of the sacred Words uttered by the Beloved of the world. In one instant are such trees planted and in the next their branches shall, through the outpourings of the showers of divine mercy, have reached the skies. A dried-up tree, however, hath never been nor will be worthy of any mention.

Happy is the faithful one who is attired with the vesture of high endeavour and hath arisen to serve this Cause. Such a soul hath truly attained the desired Goal and hath apprehended the Object for which it hath been created. But a myriad times alas for the wayward who are like unto dried-up leaves fallen upon the dust. Ere long mortal blasts shall carry them away to the place ordained for them. Ignorant did they arrive, ignorant did they linger and ignorant did they retire to their abodes.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 257-258

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

 

O ye respected souls! From the continual imitation of ancient and worn-out ways, the world had grown dark as darksome night. The fundamentals of the divine Teachings had passed from memory; their pith and heart had been totally forgotten, and the people were holding on to husks. The nations had, like tattered garments long outworn, fallen into a pitiful condition.

Out of this pitch blackness there dawned the morning splendour of the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. He hath dressed the world with a garment new and fair, and that new garment is the principles which have come down from God.

Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries in science, and there are new inventions; even the details of human affairs, such as dress and personal effects — even weapons — all these have likewise been renewed. The laws and procedures of every government have been revised. Renewal is the order of the day.

And all this newness hath its source in the fresh outpourings of wondrous grace and favour from the Lord of the Kingdom, which have renewed the world. The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age.

Unless these Teachings are effectively spread among the people, until the old ways, the old concepts, are gone and forgotten, this world of being will find no peace, nor will it reflect the perfections of the Heavenly Kingdom. Strive ye with all your hearts to make the heedless conscious, to waken those who sleep, to bring knowledge to the ignorant, to make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restore the dead to life.

It behoveth you to show forth such power, such endurance, as to astonish all beholders. The confirmations of the Kingdom are with you. Upon you be the glory of the All-Glorious.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 252-253