Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

30 March ― 10 Bahá   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Thou art He Who from everlasting was, through the potency of His might, supreme over all things, and, through the operation of His will, was able to ordain all things. Nothing whatsoever, whether in Thy heaven or on Thy earth, can frustrate Thy purpose. Have mercy, then, upon me, O my Lord, through Thy gracious providence and generosity, and incline mine ear to the sweet melodies of the birds that warble their praise of Thee, amidst the branches of the tree of Thy oneness.

Thou art the Great Giver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.

–His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 4-5

 

EVENING:

Thou art He Who changeth through His bidding abasement into glory, and weakness into strength, and powerlessness into might, and fear into calm, and doubt into certainty. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Beneficent.

 

 

Thou disappointest no one who hath sought Thee, nor dost Thou keep back from Thee any one who hath desired Thee. Ordain Thou for me what becometh the heaven of Thy generosity, and the ocean of Thy bounty. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.

–His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 249-250

 

 

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

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There is another and more significant aspect to this religious impulse and impetus. The children of Israel were in bondage and captivity in the land of Egypt four hundred years. They were in an extreme state of degradation and slavery under the tyranny and oppression of the Egyptians. While they were in the condition of abject poverty, in the lowest degree of abasement, ignorance and servility His Holiness Moses suddenly appeared among them. Although He was but a shepherd, such majesty, grandeur and efficiency became manifest in Him through the power of religion, that His influence continues to this day. His prophethood was established throughout the land and the law of His Word became the foundation of the laws of the nations. This unique personage, single and alone, rescued the children of Israel from bondage through the power of religious training and discipline. He led them to the Holy Land and founded there a great civilization which has become permanent and renowned and under which these people attained the highest degree of honor and glory. He freed them from bondage and captivity. He imbued them with qualities of progressiveness and capability. They proved to be a civilizing people with instincts toward education and scholastic attainment. Their philosophy became renowned; their industries were celebrated throughout the nations. In all lines of advancement which characterize a progressive people they achieved distinction. In the splendor of the reign of Solomon their sciences and arts advanced to such a degree that even the Greek philosophers journeyed to Jerusalem to sit at the feet of the Hebrew sages and acquire the basis of Israelitish law. According to eastern history this is an established fact. Even Socrates visited the Jewish doctors in the Holy Land, consorting with them and discussing the principles and basis of their religious belief. After his return to Greece he formulated his philosophical teaching of divine unity and advanced his belief in the immortality of the spirit beyond the dissolution of the body. Without doubt Socrates absorbed these verities from the wise men of the Jews with whom he came in contact. Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks likewise visited Palestine and acquired wisdom from the Jewish prophets, studying the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions which have made Greece famous.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 271-272

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4 September ― 16 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of Abdu’l-Bahá to Montréal, Québec, Canada   4 September 1912

 

One evening, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland Maxwell in Montreal, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá summed up in a few intensely poignant words both the crisis He saw engulfing humankind and the sole means of deliverance:

“Today the world of humanity is walking in darkness because it is out of touch with the world of God.  That is why we do not see the signs of God in the hearts of men….  When a divine spiritual illumination becomes manifest in the world of humanity, when divine instruction and guidance appear, then enlightenment follows, a new spirit is realized within, a new power descends, and a new life is given.  It is like the birth from the animal kingdom into the kingdom of man.  When man acquires these virtues, the oneness of the world of humanity will be revealed….  Then will the justice of God become manifest, all humanity will appear as the members of one family, and every member of that family will be consecrated to cooperation and mutual assistance.”

It is to this divine illumination that you have turned your hearts. It is the force of this spiritual enlightenment — sharply focused in the institute process — that is opening your minds even wider to the possibilities of the Cause of God.  And it is not surprising that, for those who are exposed to such influences, the experience does indeed seem like the birth from an old condition to an entirely new one.

With hearts filled with admiration for all that your community is accomplishing and with the brightest hopes for the contributions that you as youth will particularly bring to the great adventure ahead, we urge you to make a wholehearted commitment to this vision of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  Like the rest of the world, Canadian society stands in urgent need of moral transformation.  Such transformation, as amply evidenced by decades of contentious history, cannot be achieved through political passion, the conflict of vested interests, or technical recipes.  What is called for is a spiritual revival, as a prerequisite to the successful application of political, economic and technological instruments.  But there is a need for a catalyst.  Be assured that, in spite of your small numbers, you are the channels through which such a catalyst can be provided.

Be not dismayed if your endeavours are dismissed as utopian by the voices that would oppose any suggestion of fundamental change.  Trust in the capacity of this generation to disentangle itself from the embroilments of a divided world.  To discharge your responsibilities, you will have to show forth courage, the courage of those who cling to standards of rectitude, who champion the cause of justice, whose lives are characterized by purity of thought and action, and whose purpose is directed by love and indomitable faith.

As one of the co-executors of the Divine Plan, your community’s mandate is not, of course, limited to Canada.  It is worldwide, and this global perspective must frame both your deliberations and your endeavours.  Be confident that, as you turn your hearts and minds to the challenge facing you, you will be surrounded by our ardent prayers at the Holy Threshold that Bahá’u’lláh will empower you to realize your highest aspirations.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice

2000 Jul 20, To Vancouver Youth Congress

 

MORNING:

Amongst the proofs demonstrating the truth of this Revelation is this, that in every age and Dispensation, whenever the invisible Essence was revealed in the person of His Manifestation, certain souls, obscure and detached from all worldly entanglements, would seek illumination from the Sun of Prophethood and Moon of Divine guidance, and would attain unto the Divine Presence. For this reason, the divines of the age and those possessed of wealth, would scorn and scoff at these people. Even as He hath revealed concerning them that erred: “Then said the chiefs of His people who believed not, ‘We see in Thee but a man like ourselves; and we see not any who have followed Thee except our meanest ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves: nay, we deem you liars.'” They caviled at those holy Manifestations, and protested saying: “None hath followed you except the abject amongst us, those who are worthy of no attention.” Their aim was to show that no one amongst the learned, the wealthy, and the renowned believed in them. By this and similar proofs they sought to demonstrate the falsity of Him that speaketh naught but the truth.

In this most resplendent Dispensation, however, this most mighty Sovereignty, a number of illumined divines, of men of consummate learning, of doctors of mature wisdom, have attained unto His Court, drunk the cup of His divine Presence, and been invested with the honor of His most excellent favor. They have renounced, for the sake of the Beloved, the world and all that is therein….

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 179-180

EVENING:

How many those who entered within the Abode of Paradise, the Seat wherein the throne of God had been established, and stood before their Lord, the Most Exalted, the Most Great, only to inquire about the four Gates or of some Imam of the Islamic Faith! Such was the state of these souls, if ye be of them that comprehend. It is even as ye witness in the present day: those who have disbelieved in God and joined partners with Him cling to a single one of Our Names, and are debarred from recognizing Him Who is the Creator of all Names. We testify that such men are of a truth amongst the people of the Fire. They ask the sun to expound the words of the shadow, and the True One to explain the utterances of His creatures, could ye but perceive it! Say: O people! The sun offereth naught save the effulgence of its own light and that which appeareth therefrom, whilst all else seek illumination from its rays. Fear God, and be not of the ignorant! Among them also were those who inquired of the darkness about the light. Say: Open thine eyes, that thou mayest behold the brightness which hath visibly enveloped the earth! This, verily, is a light which hath risen and shone forth above the horizon of the Dayspring of divine knowledge with manifest radiance. Would ye ask the Jews whether Jesus was the True One from God, or the idols if Muhammad was an Apostle of His Lord, or inquire from the people of the Qur’án as to Him Who was the Remembrance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great?

His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple,

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 41-42

14 December ― 3 Masá’il   Leave a comment

IMG_1074MORNING:

Thou art He through Whom the ensign “Praiseworthy art Thou in Thy works” hath been lifted up, and the standard “Obeyed art Thou in Thy behest” hath been unfurled. Make known this Thy station, O my God, unto Thy servants, that they may be made aware that the excellence of all things is dependent upon Thy bidding and Thy word, and the virtue of every act is conditioned by Thy leave and the good-pleasure of Thy will, and may recognize that the reins of men’s doings are within the grasp of Thine acceptance and Thy commandment. Make this known unto them, that nothing whatsoever may shut them out from Thy Beauty, in these days whereon the Christ exclaimeth: “All dominion is Thine, O Thou the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)”; and Thy Friend (Muhammad) crieth out: “Glory be to Thee, O Thou the Best-Beloved, for that Thou hast uncovered Thy Beauty, and written down for Thy chosen ones what will cause them to attain unto the seat of the revelation of Thy Most Great Name, through which all the peoples have lamented except such as have detached themselves from all else except Thee, and set themselves towards Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Manifestation of Thine attributes.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 68

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IMG_8986EVENING:

O Jews! If ye be intent on crucifying once again Jesus, the Spirit of God, put Me to death, for He hath once more, in My person, been made manifest unto you. Deal with Me as ye wish, for I have vowed to lay down My life in the path of God. I will fear no one, though the powers of earth and heaven be leagued against Me. Followers of the Gospel! If ye cherish the desire to slay Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, seize Me and put an end to My life, for I am He, and My Self is His Self. Do unto Me as ye like, for the deepest longing of Mine heart is to attain the presence of My Best-Beloved in His Kingdom of Glory. Such is the Divine decree, if ye know it. Followers of Muḥammad! If it be your wish to riddle with your shafts the breast of Him Who hath caused His Book the Bayán to be sent down unto you, lay hands on Me and persecute Me, for I am His Well-Beloved, the revelation of His own Self, though My name be not His name. I have come in the shadows of the clouds of glory, and am invested by God with invincible sovereignty. He, verily, is the Truth, the Knower of things unseen. I, verily, anticipate from you the treatment ye have accorded unto Him that came before Me. To this all things, verily, witness, if ye be of those who hearken.  O people of the Bayán! If ye have resolved to shed the blood of Him Whose coming the Báb hath proclaimed, Whose advent Muḥammad hath prophesied, and Whose Revelation Jesus Christ Himself hath announced, behold Me standing, ready and defenseless, before you. Deal with Me after your own desires.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 101-102

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 

A Cause which all the governments and peoples of the world, with all their powers and armies, cannot promulgate and spread, one Holy Soul can promote without help or support! Can this be done by human power? No, in the name of God! For example, Christ, alone and solitary, upraised the standard of peace and righteousness, a work which all the victorious governments with all their hosts are unable to accomplish. Consider what was the fate of so many and diverse empires and peoples: the Roman Empire, France, Germany, Russia, England, etc.; all were gathered together under the same tent — that is to say, the appearance of Christ brought about a union among these diverse nations, some of whom, under the influence of Christianity, became so united that they sacrificed their lives and property for one another. After the time of Constantine, who was the protagonist of Christianity, divisions broke out among them. The point is this, that Christ united these nations but after a while governments became the cause of discord. What I mean is that Christ sustained a Cause that all the kings of the earth could not establish! He united the various religions and modified ancient customs. Consider what great differences existed between Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Israelites and other peoples of Europe. Christ removed these differences and became the cause of love between these communities. Although after some time governments destroyed this union, the work of Christ was accomplished

 

Some Answered Questions, p. 10)

FROM THE HOLY QU’RÁN

…Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny

part? But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in

this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most

cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.

 

2:80 These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which

is to come; their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.

 

Moreover, to Moses gave we “the Book,” and we raised up apostles after

him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and

strengthened him by the Holy Spirit. So oft then as an apostle cometh to you

with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as

impostors, and slay others?

Sura   2 – The Cow

[Rodwell translation]

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION [1604-1611] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT JOHN*:

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16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

 

16:23 And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask Bahá’u’lláh* in My Name, He will give it you.

 

16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

 

16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of Bahá’u’lláh.

 

16:26 At that day ye shall ask in My Name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray to Bahá’u’lláh for you: 16:27 For Bahá’u’lláh himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.

 

16:28 I came forth from Bahá’u’lláh, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to Bahá’u’lláh.

 

16:29 His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

 

16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

 

16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because Bahá’u’lláh is with Me.

 

16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 

*Bahá’ís know from the written and oral statements of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that in the New Testament, any reference to “the Father” significs or means specifically Bahá’u’lláh.