Archive for the ‘Devotions’ Category

7 June – 3 Núr   Leave a comment

 

The Bahá’í World Centre, Centre for the Study of the Texts

MORNING: 

My glory and My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, ere long, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the well-being of the miserable and the downtrodden. Gird up the loins of thine endeavour, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany, was completed in 1964.

EVENING:

 Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.

Say: Glorified art Thou, O my God! I implore Thee by the Dawning-Place of Thy signs and by the Revealer of Thy clear tokens to grant that I may, under all conditions, hold fast the cord of Thy loving providence and cling tenaciously to the hem of Thy generosity. Reckon me then with those whom the changes and chances of the world have failed to deter from serving Thee and from bearing allegiance unto Thee, whom the onslaught of the people hath been powerless to hinder from magnifying Thy Name and celebrating Thy praise. Graciously assist me, O my Lord, to do whatever Thou lovest and desirest. Enable me then to fulfil that which will exalt Thy Name and will set ablaze the fire of Thy love.

Thou art, in truth, the Forgiving, the Bountiful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 234

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AT GREEN ACRE, MAINE, 1912

FROM THE EXEMPLAR ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 Senses and faculties have been bestowed upon us, to be devoted to the service of the general good; so that we, distinguished above all other forms of life for perceptiveness and reason, should labor at all times and along all lines, whether the occasion be great or small, ordinary or extraordinary, until all mankind are safely gathered into the impregnable stronghold of knowledge. We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfil his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice. “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”*

* Qur’án 41:53

And this is man’s uttermost wretchedness: that he should live inert, apathetic, dull, involved only with his own base appetites. When he is thus, he has his being in the deepest ignorance and savagery, sinking lower than the brute beasts. “They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray… For the vilest beasts in God’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand not.”*

* Qur’án 7:178; 8:22

We must now highly resolve to arise and lay hold of all those instrumentalities that promote the peace and well-being and happiness, the knowledge, culture and industry, the dignity, value and station, of the entire human race.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 3-4

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

The spiritual growth generated by individual devotions is reinforced by loving association among the friends in every locality, by worship as a

View of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice from the colonnade of the Centre for the Study of the Texts

community and by service to the Faith and to one’s fellowhuman beings. These communal aspects of the godly life relate to the law of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár which appears in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Although the time has not come for the building of local Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, the holding of regular meetings for worship open to all and the involvement of Bahá’í communities in projects of humanitarian service are expressions of this element of Bahá’í life and a further step in the implementation of the Law of God. Bahá’u’lláh has written: “We have adorned the heaven of utterance with the stars of divine wisdom and holy ordinances as a bounty on Our part. Verily, We are the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. O friends of God throughout the regions! Know ye the value of these days and cling unto whatsoever hath been sent down from God, the Most Great, the Most Exalted. Verily, He remembereth you in the Most Great Prison, and instructeth you in that which will cause you to draw nigh unto a station that delighteth the eyes of the pure in heart. Glory rest upon you and upon those who have attained unto that living fountain which floweth forth from My wondrous Pen.” It is our prayer at the Sacred Threshold that the greater attention to the spiritual heart of the Teachings which these laws express will enhance the devotion of the friends to the Source of all bounties and attract to the Cause the receptive souls among His spiritually famished children.

[SIGNED: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE]

Laws and Ordinances : 1999 Dec 28 UHJ Obligatory Prayer and Fasting

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20 June ― 16 Núr   Leave a comment

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

O thou bird of pleasing tones!

Thy little book of poems, which were very sweet, was read. It was a source of joy, for it was a spiritual anthem and a melody of the love of God.

Continue as long as thou canst this melody in the gatherings of the beloved; thus may the minds find rest and joy and become in tune with the love of God. When eloquence of expression, beauty of sense and sweetness of composition unite with new melodies the effect is ever great, especially if it be the anthem of the verses of oneness and the songs of praise to the Lord of Glory.

Endeavor your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 59

MORNING:

Who is there that hath cried after Thee, and whose prayer hath remained unanswered? Where is he to be found who hath reached forth towards Thee, and whom Thou hast failed to approach? Who is he that can claim to have fixed his gaze upon Thee, and toward whom the eye of Thy loving-kindness hath not been directed? I bear witness that Thou hadst turned toward Thy servants ere they had turned toward Thee, and hadst remembered them ere they had remembered Thee. All grace is Thine, O Thou in Whose hand is the kingdom of Divine gifts and the source of every irrevocable decree.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 253

IMG_6564EVENING:

Peruse My verses with joy and radiance. Verily they will attract you unto God and will enable you to detach yourselves from aught else save Him. Thus have ye been admonished in God’s Holy Writ and in this resplendent Tablet.

From a Tablet- translated from the Arabic

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 188

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá walking in front of Helen Goodall’s home in Oakland, California, October 12, 1912

O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked about the wisdom of obligatory prayer. Know thou that such prayer is mandatory and binding. Man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from observing the prayer unless he is incapable of performing it or some great obstacle interveneth. The wisdom of obligatory prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because at that time man with all his heart and soul turneth his face towards the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and companionship. For a lover, there is no greater pleasure than to converse with his beloved, and for a seeker, there is no greater bounty than intimacy with the object of his desire. It is the greatest longing of every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God to find time to turn with entire devotion to his Beloved, so as to seek His bounty and blessing and immerse himself in the ocean of communion, entreaty and supplication.

The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting, #VII