Archive for the ‘Gold’ Category

12 August ― 12 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Ponder then in thine heart: Matters being such as thou dost witness, and as We also witness, where canst thou flee, and with whom shalt thou take refuge? Unto whom wilt thou turn thy gaze? In what land shalt thou dwell and upon what seat shalt thou abide? In what path shalt thou tread and at what hour wilt thou find repose? What shall become of thee in the end? Where shalt thou secure the cord of thy faith and fasten the tie of thine obedience? By Him Who revealeth Himself in His oneness and Whose own Self beareth witness to His unity!

Should there be ignited in thy heart the burning brand of the love of God, thou wouldst seek neither rest nor composure, neither laughter nor repose, but wouldst hasten to scale the highest summits in the realms of divine nearness, sanctity, and beauty. Thou wouldst lament as a soul bereaved and weep as a heart filled with longing. Nor wouldst thou repair to thy home and abode unless God would lay bare before thee His Cause.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 13

EVENING:

Yea, the seeker reacheth a station wherein that which hath been ordained for him knoweth no bounds. The fire of love so blazeth in his heart that it seizeth the reins of constraint from his grasp. At every moment his love for his Lord increaseth and draweth him nearer unto his Creator, in such wise that if his Lord be in the east of nearness, and he dwell in the west of remoteness and possess all that earth and heaven contain of rubies and gold, he would forsake it all and rush forth to the land of the Desired One. And shouldst thou find him to be otherwise, know assuredly that such a man is a lying impostor. We, verily, all belong unto Him Whom God shall make manifest in the latter Resurrection, and through Him shall we be raised again to life.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 75-76

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

There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter in the world than that of Universal Peace. Every just one bears witness to this and adores that esteemed Assembly because its aim is that this darkness may be changed into light, this bloodthirstiness into kindness, this torment into bliss, this hardship into ease and this enmity and hatred into fellowship and love. Therefore, the effort of those esteemed souls is worthy of praise and commendation.

But the wise souls who are aware of the essential relationships emanating from the realities of things consider that one single matter cannot, by itself, influence the human reality as it ought and should, for until the minds of men become united, no important matter can be accomplished. At present Universal Peace is a matter of great importance, but unity of conscience is essential, so that the foundation of this matter may become secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong.

Therefore His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, fifty years ago, expounded this question of Universal Peace at a time when he was confined in the fortress of ‘Akká and was wronged and imprisoned. He wrote about this important matter of Universal Peace to all the great sovereigns of the world, and established it among his friends in the Orient. The horizon of the East was in utter darkness, nations displayed the utmost hatred and enmity towards each other, religions thirsted for each other’s blood, and it was darkness upon darkness. At such a time His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh shone forth like the sun from the horizon of the East and illumined Persia with the lights of these teachings.

Tablet to the Hague, pp: 3-4

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15 January ―16 Sharaf   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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 Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

 

 EVENING:

48. O SON OF MAN!

For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.

49. O SON OF MAN!

The true lover yearneth for tribulation even as doth the rebel for forgiveness and the sinful for mercy.

50. O SON OF MAN!

If adversity befall thee not in My path, how canst thou walk in the ways of them that are content with My pleasure? If trials afflict thee not in thy longing to meet Me, how wilt thou attain the light in thy love for My beauty?

51. O SON OF MAN!

My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.

52. O SON OF MAN!

Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

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53. O SON OF BEING!

If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

54. O SON OF BEING!

If thine heart be set upon this eternal, imperishable dominion, and this ancient, everlasting life, forsake this mortal and fleeting sovereignty.

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 Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

 

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

 

 IMG_0716

O holy Lord! O Lord of loving-kindness! We stray about Thy dwelling, longing to behold Thy beauty, and loving all Thy ways. We are hapless, lowly, and of small account. We are paupers: show us mercy, give us bounty; look not upon our failings, hide Thou our endless sins. Whatever we are, still are we Thine, and what we speak and hear is praise of Thee, and it is Thy face we seek, Thy path we follow. Thou art the Lord of loving-kindness, we are sinners and astray and far from home. Wherefore, O Cloud of Mercy, grant us some drops of rain. O Flowering Bed of grace, send forth a fragrant breeze. O Sea of all bestowals, roll towards us a great wave. O Sun of Bounty, send down a shaft of light. Grant us pity, grant us grace. By Thy beauty, we come with no provision but our sins, with no good deeds to tell of, only hopes. Unless Thy concealing veil doth cover us, and Thy protection shield and cradle us, what power have these helpless souls to rise and serve Thee, what substance have these wretched ones to make a brave display? Thou Who art the Mighty, the All-Powerful, help us, favour us; withered as we are, revive us with showers from Thy clouds of grace; lowly as we are, illumine us with bright rays from the Day-Star of Thy oneness. Cast Thou these thirsty fish into the ocean of Thy mercy, guide Thou this lost caravan to the shelter of Thy singleness; to the wellspring of guidance lead Thou the ones who have wandered far astray, and grant to those who have missed the path a haven within the precincts of Thy might. Lift Thou to these parched lips the bounteous and soft-flowing waters of heaven, raise up these dead to everlasting life. Grant Thou to the blind eyes that will see. Make Thou the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak. Set Thou the dispirited ablaze, make Thou the heedless mindful, warn Thou the proud, awaken those who sleep.

Thou art the Mighty, Thou art the Bestower, Thou art the Loving. Verily Thou art the Beneficent, the Most Exalted.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 6-7

11 October ― 15 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

O SON OF BEING!

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

 

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?

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #’s 55-56

 

MORNING:

The mysteries of Resurrection and the events of the Last Hour are openly manifest, but the people are sunk in heedlessness and have suffered themselves to be wrapt in veils. ‘And when the seas shall boil… And when the Scriptures shall be unrolled.’1 By the righteousness of God! The Dawn hath truly brightened and the light hath shone forth and the night hath receded. Happy are they that comprehend. Happy are they that have attained thereunto.

1 Qur’án 81:6, 10

Glorified be God! The Pen is perplexed what to write and the Tongue wondereth what to utter. Despite unprecedented hardships and after enduring years of imprisonment, captivity and woeful trials, We now perceive that veils thicker than the ones We have already torn asunder have intervened, obstructing the vision and causing the light of understanding to be obscured. Moreover We observe that the fresh calumnies which are now rife are far more malicious than those of former days….

 

…Fear ye the merciful Lord. Consider the people of former times. What were their deeds and what fruit did they gather? Every thing they uttered was but imposture and whatever they wrought hath proved worthless, except for those whom God hath graciously protected through His power.

 

I swear by the life of Him Who is the Desire of the world! Were a man to ponder in his heart he would, free of all attachment to the world, hasten unto the Most Great Light and would purge and purify himself from the dust of vain imaginings and the smoke of idle fancy. What could have prompted the people of the past to err and by whom were they misled? They still reject the truth and have turned towards their own selfish desires. This Wronged One calleth aloud for the sake of God. Whosoever wisheth, let him turn thereunto; whosoever wisheth, let him turn away. Verily God can well afford to dispense with all things, whether of the past or of the future. .

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 40-41

 

EVENING:

He is the true servant of God who, in this day, were he to pass through cities of silver and gold, would not deign to look upon them, and whose heart would remain pure and undefiled from whatever things can be seen in this world, be they its goods or its treasures. I swear by the Sun of Truth! The breath of such a man is endowed with potency, and his words with attraction ….

 

Cited by Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1984), p. 23

 

Say: O bearer of My Name! Upon thee be My glory and My loving-kindness. Thou hast ever been adorned with the fair robe of trustworthiness and piety. These twin qualities are as two companions for thee in whom thou mayest find solace. They are as two sentinels who shall stand watch over thee, and two guardians that shall, by God’s leave, keep thee from harm.

From a Tablet – translated from the Persian

The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 331

21 September ― 14 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_4300Describing the people of Bahá, the Most Sublime Pen hath sent down these words: “These, verily, are men who if they come to cities of pure gold will consider them not; and if they meet the fairest and most comely of women will turn aside.” Thus hath it been sent down by the Most Sublime Pen for the people of Bahá, on the part of Him Who is the Counsellor, the Omniscient. In the concluding passages of the Tablet to His Majesty the Emperor of Paris* these exalted words have been revealed: “Exultest thou over the treasures thou dost possess, knowing they shall perish? Rejoicest thou in that thou rulest a span of earth, when the whole world, in the estimation of the people of Bahá, is worth as much as the black in the eye of a dead ant? Abandon it unto such as have set their affections upon it, and turn thou unto Him Who is the Desire of the world.” 

  

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition, pp: 124-125

EVENING:

IMG_6135Among others, these perspicuous verses have, in answer to certain individuals, been sent down from the Kingdom of Divine knowledge: “O thou who hast set thy face towards the splendors of My Countenance! Vague fancies have encompassed the dwellers of the earth and debarred them from turning towards the Horizon of Certitude, and its brightness, and its manifestations and its lights. Vain imaginings have withheld them from Him Who is the Self-Subsisting. They speak as prompted by their own caprices, and understand not. Among them are those who have said: ‘Have the verses been sent down?’ Say: ‘Yea, by Him Who is the Lord of the heavens!’ ‘Hath the Hour come?’ ‘Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of clear tokens! Verily, the Inevitable is come, and He, the True One, hath appeared with proof and testimony. The Plain is disclosed, and mankind is sore vexed and fearful. Earthquakes have broken loose, and the tribes have lamented, for fear of God, the Lord of Strength, the All-Compelling.’ Say: ‘The stunning trumpet blast hath been loudly raised, and the Day is God’s, the One, the Unconstrained.’

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition, pp: 131-132

From The Bahá’í International Community at the instruction of

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSICE:

IMG_8796The tasks entailed in the development of a global society call for levels of capacity far beyond anything the human race has so far been able to muster. Reaching these levels will require an enormous expansion in access to knowledge, on the part of individuals and social organizations alike. Universal education will be an indispensable contributor to this process of capacity building, but the effort will succeed only as human affairs are so reorganized as to enable both individuals and groups in every sector of society to acquire knowledge and apply it to the shaping of human affairs.

Throughout recorded history, human consciousness has depended upon two basic knowledge systems through which its potentialities have progressively been expressed: science and religion. Through these two agencies, the race’s experience has been organized, its environment interpreted, its latent powers explored, and its moral and intellectual life disciplined. They have acted as the real progenitors of civilization. With the benefit of hindsight, it is evident, moreover, that the effectiveness of this dual structure has been greatest during those periods when, each in its own sphere, religion and science were able to work in concert.

Given the almost universal respect in which science is currently held, its credentials need no elaboration. In the context of a strategy of social and economic development, the issue rather is how scientific and technological activity is to be organized. If the work involved is viewed chiefly as the preserve of established elites living in a small number of nations, it is obvious that the enormous gap which such an arrangement has already created between the world’s rich and poor will only continue to widen, with the disastrous consequences for the world’s economy already noted. Indeed, if most of humankind continue to be regarded mainly as users of products of science and technology created elsewhere, then programs ostensibly designed to serve their needs cannot properly be termed “development”.

A central challenge, therefore—and an enormous one—is the expansion of scientific and technological activity. Instruments of social and economic change so powerful must cease to be the patrimony of advantaged segments of society, and must be so organized as to permit people everywhere to participate in such activity on the basis of capacity. Apart from the creation of programs that make the required education available to all who are able to benefit from it, such reorganization will require the establishment of viable centers of learning throughout the world, institutions that will enhance the capability of the world’s peoples to participate in the generation and application of knowledge. Development strategy, while acknowledging the wide differences of individual capacity, must take as a major goal the task of making it possible for all of the earth’s inhabitants to approach on an equal basis the processes of science and technology which are their common birthright. Familiar arguments for maintaining the status quo grow daily less compelling as the accelerating revolution in communication technologies now brings information and training within reach of vast numbers of people around the globe, wherever they may be, whatever their cultural backgrounds.

The Prosperity of Humankind

Bahá’í International Community, pp: 8-9

From The Universal House of Justice letter of 23 January 1995

To the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís throughout the world:

IMG_9498In view of the intensive attention being given to the issues of social and economic development since the Earth Summit in Brazil, we requested the Bahá’í International Community’s Office of Public Information to prepare a statement on the concept of global prosperity in the context of the Bahá’í Teachings. This statement is now ready for distribution. We are therefore very pleased to send each of you herewith a copy of “The Prosperity of Humankind” and to commend it to your use as you pursue activities that enable you to interact with governments, organizations, and people everywhere. Our confident hope is that the statement will assist you to foster understanding of this important topic among the members of your communities and thus vitalize their contribution to the constructive social processes at work throughout the planet.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,
[The Universal House of Justice]

27 August ― 8 Asmá’   2 comments

This human world is an ocean of varying opinions. If reason is the perfect standard and criterion of knowledge, why are opinions at variance and why do philosophers disagree so completely with each other? This is a clear proof that human reason is not to be relied upon as an infallible criterion.


His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Baha’i World Faith, pp: 252-253

MORNING:

O My Name! The Day-Star of utterance, shining resplendent from the dayspring of divine Revelation, hath so illumined the Scrolls and Tablets that the kingdom of utterance and the exalted dominion of understanding vibrate with joy and ecstasy and shine forth with the splendour of His light, yet the generality of mankind comprehend not.

The reason why the subject of aid and assistance hath time and again streamed and will continue to stream from the Pen of Providence is to warn the friends of God lest they engage in activities that would give rise to strife and turmoil. It is incumbent upon them, one and all, to diligently seek ways to help the Cause of God in such manner as We have explained. This is but a token of His grace especially conferred upon His loved ones that every one of them may attain the station characterized by the words: ‘Whoso quickeneth a soul hath verily quickened all mankind.’

Temporal ascendancy hath been and will continue to be under the shadow of this station. Its appointed hour is pre-ordained in the Book of God. He is truly cognizant thereof and it will be manifested through the potency of His might. Verily He is the Powerful, the All-Subduing, the Omnipotent, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

His Holiness Baha’u’llah

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 199

EVENING:

O My Name! Hearken thou unto My Voice coming from the direction of My Throne. He wisheth to make mention of thy name at all times inasmuch as thou hast proved thyself steadfast in extolling His virtues amongst men. Indeed thy Lord loveth fidelity as found in the realm of creation, and He hath given it precedence over most of the praiseworthy qualities. Verily, He is Potent and Powerful.

Know thou moreover that We have heard the praise thou hast uttered in thy communion with God, thy Lord, the Exalted, the Gracious. Great indeed is the blessedness awaiting thee, inasmuch as thou hast curtailed thine own affairs in favour of this inviolable, this mighty and enlightened Cause. We entreat God to make thy call a magnet which will attract the embodiments of names in the world of existence that all beings may spontaneously hasten to heed it. No God is there besides Him, the Exalted, the Pre-Eminent, the Ever-Blessed, the Sublime, the Most August, the Most Glorious, the Most Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

His Holiness Baha’u’llah

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 200-201

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

 

Thy letter was received and its contents noted. In truth, thou hast been thrown amid dire ordeals, enduring agonizing afflictions. These trials were according to the consummate wisdom, therefore they were for the best. It is good for man to endure (in such moments).

Reflect upon his holiness Job: What trials, calamities and perplexities did he not endure! But these tests were like unto the fire and his holiness Job was like unto pure gold. Assuredly gold is purified by being submitted to the fire and if it contain any alloy or imperfection, it will disappear. That is the reason why violent tests become the cause of the everlasting glory of the righteous and are conducive to the destruction and disappearance of the unrighteous.

The wisdom of all these tribulations that poured successively upon thee was this, that thou shouldst be prepared and made ready for this Cause, that thou mightest expect the attainment to the greatest guidance, for all these trials were but a preparation for thine entrance into the Most Exalted Paradise and the beginning of obtaining this most great benefit.

Unless the season of winter appear, thunder roll, lightning flash, snow and rain fall, hail and frost descend and the intensity of cold execute its command, the season of the soul-refreshing spring would not come, the fragrant breeze would not waft, the moderation of temperature would not be realized, the roses and hyacinths would not grow, the surface of the earth would not become a delectable paradise, the trees would not bloom, neither would they bring forth fruits and leaves. That fierce inclemency of cold, snow, frost and tempest was the beginning of the manifestation of these roses, hyacinths, buds, blossoms and fruits.

Therefore, be not distressed on account of those adversities which fell upon thee; nay, rather, arise and render thanks that the ultimate goal is the attainment to this eminent bounty and the enjoyment of this highest gift of the Almighty God. Consequently gird up the loins of thine endeavor, that thereby some results might be produced, some fruits gathered, the lamp of everlasting life ignited and the gifts of the Lord of the Kingdom be manifest, so that thou mayest accomplish again, with great yearning and exaltation, the worship of the Lord of Hosts.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp:654-656

11 August ― 11 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Who is there among you, O people, who will renounce the world, and draw nigh unto God, the Lord of all names? Where is he to be found who, through the power of My name that transcendeth all created things, will cast away the things that men possess, and cling, with all his might, to the things which God, the Knower of the unseen and of the seen, hath bidden him observe? Thus hath His bounty been sent down unto men, His testimony fulfilled, and His proof shone forth above the Horizon of mercy. Rich is the prize that shall be won by him who hath believed and exclaimed: “Lauded art Thou, O Beloved of all worlds! Magnified be Thy name, O Thou the Desire of every understanding heart!”

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 33-34

EVENING:

Consider the doubts which they who have joined partners with God have instilled into the hearts of the people of this land. “Is it ever possible,” they ask, “for copper to be transmuted into gold?” Say, Yes, by my Lord, it is possible. Its secret, however, lieth hidden in Our Knowledge. We will reveal it unto whom We will. Whoso doubteth Our power, let him ask the Lord his God, that He may disclose unto him the secret, and assure him of its truth. That copper can be turned into gold is in itself sufficient proof that gold can, in like manner, be transmuted into copper, if they be of them that can apprehend this truth. Every mineral can be made to acquire the density, form, and substance of each and every other mineral. The knowledge thereof is with Us in the Hidden Book.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 197-198

 

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

Thy letter was received. I ask from God, supplicating and entreating in the Threshold of Oneness, that thy utmost desire may become realized. The desire of the sanctified souls is always for sacrifice in the path of God, attraction by the merciful fragrances, the vivification of souls, the proclamation of universal peace, the establishment of the oneness of humanity and the enkindlement of the fire of the love of God in the hearts of men. It is my hope that the desire of the friends of God be as such, so that they may be released from the influence of the ephemeral word, shine in the Kingdom of eternity, be exhilarated by the wine of the love of God and, like unto the tempestuous sea, rage and roar with the ardor of the love of God. I desire this station for thee.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp. 703-704

24 July ― 12 Kalimát   Leave a comment

Earthrise from the Moon

MORNING:IMG_2298

O SON OF MAN!

Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

O SON OF BEING!

If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

O SON OF BEING!

If thine heart be set upon this eternal, imperishable dominion, and this ancient, everlasting life, forsake this mortal and fleeting sovereignty.

IMG_4300O SON OF BEING!

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

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?

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 Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #’s 52-57

EVENING:

Say, O beloved of God!  Fear none and let nothing grieve thee;  be steadfast in the Cause.  By God, those who have drunk of the love of God, the glorious, the Effulgent, have not fear of anyone, and show patience in calamity, like unto the patience of the lover toward the good-pleasure of the beloved.  With them affliction ranketh greater than that which the lovers perceive in the countenance of the beloved….*

…Blessed are the steadfastly enduring, they that are patient under ills and hardships, who lament not over anything that befalleth them, and who tread the path of resignation…**

…He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience….***

…The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness,purity of heart while communining with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation,and complete reliance inall circumstances, upon Him.  These rank,according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts.****

*quoted by Hand of the Cause of God Mr. H.M. Balyuzi, Eminent Bahá’ís in the Time of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22

**Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 129

***Ibid.

**** Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 290

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

[All of the above…Fire and Gold, pp. 199-200]

First photograph of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá taken after World War I

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

For any soul who walketh in the path of guidance, there is no doubt he shall endure hardships. Consider thou their Highness the Apostles; likewise the Assembly of Christians, who were sanctified souls; what calamities and persecutions hailed them in the Cause during the first and second century and even up to the third century!

Look thou around the world of existence: A little worldly transaction cannot be brought about except through surmounting many an obstacle. How much more important are the objects of the Supreme World! Certainly there existeth troubles, trials, afflictions, persecution, censure and contempt. When thou didst occupy thy time in the past to give out religious exhortations and advices, thou experienced some persecutions and trouble. But thou canst not realize in this present moment what great ordeals are in store and what unbearable calamities, affliction and adversity exist, and that to give up life is the easiest of all those calamities. But the end of all these is bliss, overflowing joy, everlasting exultation, happiness and supreme contentment. It is eternal life, never ending glory, a lordly gift and divine sovereignty!

In brief, thou hast asked concerning my desire for thee: I wish, if thou art worldly, to become heavenly; if thou art of the world of possession, become thou celestial; if thou art of the material sphere, become an inhabitant of the realm of Light; hasten from the world of darkness to the world of illumination and become the manifestor of the exhortations, advices and instructions of the Blessed Perfection. This is my greatest desire for thee.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp. 547-548