Archive for the ‘Love’ 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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26 January ― 8 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_8994

O SON OF BEING!

Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #5

 

 

IMG_3428EVENING:

O SON OF MY HANDMAID!

Didst thou behold immortal sovereignty, thou wouldst strive to pass from this fleeting world. But to conceal the one from thee and to reveal the other is a mystery which none but the pure in heart can comprehend.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #41

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

IMG_3388O ye who are the chosen ones of the Abhá Kingdom! Praise ye the Lord of Hosts for He, riding upon the clouds, hath come down to this world out of the heaven of the invisible realm, so that East and West were lit by the glory of the Sun of Truth, and the call of the Kingdom was raised, and the heralds of the realm above, with melodies of the Concourse on high, sang out the glad tidings of the Coming. Then the whole world of being did quiver for joy, and still the people, even as the Messiah saith, slept on: for the day of the Manifestation, when the Lord of Hosts descended, found them wrapped in the slumber of unknowing. As He saith in the Gospel, My coming is even as when the thief is in the house, and the goodman of the house watcheth not.

From amongst all mankind hath He chosen you, and your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life. Thank ye and praise ye God that the hand of infinite bestowals hath set upon your heads this gem-studded crown, this crown whose lustrous jewels will forever flash and sparkle down all the reaches of time.

To thank Him for this, make ye a mighty effort, and choose for yourselves a noble goal. Through the power of faith, obey ye the teachings of God, and let all your actions conform to His laws. Read ye The Hidden Words, ponder the inner meanings thereof, act in accord therewith.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 35

14 January ― 15 Sharaf   Leave a comment

“He does not feel that fear — for ourselves or for others — solves any problem, or enables us to better meet it if it ever does arise. We do not know what the future holds exactly, or how soon we may all pass through another ordeal worse than the last one. “But what we do know is that all we can do as Bahá’ís is to teach and to exemplify the Faith. We cannot bear the burden of suffering of others, and we should not try to. All men are in God’s hands, and even if they do get killed we know there is another life beyond this that can hold great hope and happiness for the soul.” “No matter what happens, nothing is as important as our feeling of trust in God, our inner peacefulness and faith that all, in the end, in spite of the severity of the ordeals we may pass through will come out as Bahá’u’lláh has promised. “He urges you to put these dark thoughts from your mind, and remember that God, the Creator of all men, can bear to see them suffer so, it is not for us to question His wisdom. He can compensate the innocent, in His own way, for the afflictions they bear.”

From letters written on behalf of the beloved Guardian,

Shoghi Effendi

Lights of Guidance, p. 237

MORNING:

Say: This is the Day of mutual deceit; whither do ye flee? The mountains have passed away, and the heavens have been folded together, and the whole earth is held within His grasp, could ye but understand it. Who is it that can protect you? None, by Him Who is the All-Merciful! None, except God, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Beneficent. Every woman that hath had a burden in her womb hath cast her burden. We see men drunken in this Day, the Day in which men and angels have been gathered together.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 45

 

 EVENING:

In these days, inasmuch as We have lifted not the veils that conceal the countenance of the Cause of God, nor disclosed unto men the fruits of these stations which We have been forbidden to describe, thou beholdest them drunk with heedlessness. Otherwise, were the glory of this station to be revealed unto men to an extent smaller than a needle’s eye, thou wouldst witness them gathering before the threshold of divine mercy and hastening from all sides to the court of nearness in the realms of divine glory. We have concealed it, however, as mentioned before, that those who believe may be distinguished from them that deny, and that those who turn unto God may be discerned from them that turn aside. I verily proclaim: “There is no power nor strength except in God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 74

 

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

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O my dear, intimate friend!

Verily, I address thee with such an appellation whereby the hearts of those who are endowed with intelligence, are dilated with joy; because, verily, this is from my heart which is overflowing with the love of God — and an appellation that proceeds from love will certainly be as a spirit for the souls, as a light to the eyes, as a life to bodies and as a dressing for the hearts and bodies which are wounded and lacerated by the afflictions of this world. Then be consoled by the praise of thy Lord, whenever thou art attacked by grief and sorrow.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 129

20 December ― 9 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2109The world is continually proclaiming these words: Beware, I am evanescent, and so are all my outward appearances and colours. Take ye heed of the changes and chances contrived within me and be ye roused from your slumber. Nevertheless there is no discerning eye to see, nor is there a hearing ear to hearken.

In this Day the inner ear exclaimeth and saith: Indeed well is it with me, today is my day, inasmuch as the Voice of God is calling aloud. And the essence of vision crieth out: Blessed am I, this is my day, for the Ancient Beauty is shining resplendent from the most exalted Horizon.

It behoveth the people of Bahá to invoke and entreat the Lord of Names that perchance the people of the world may not be deprived of the effusions of grace in His days.

In the past the divines were perplexed over this question, a question which He Who is the Sovereign Truth hath, during the early years of His life, Himself heard them ask repeatedly: ‘What is that Word which the Qá’im will pronounce whereby the leaders of religion are put to flight?’ Say, that Word is now made manifest and ye have fled ere ye heard it uttered, although ye perceive it not. And that blessed, that hidden, that concealed and treasured Word is this: ‘”HE” hath now appeared in the raiment of “I”. He Who was hidden from mortal eyes exclaimeth: Lo! I am the All-Manifest.’ This is the Word which hath caused the limbs of disbelievers to quake. Glorified be God! All the heavenly Scriptures of the past attest to the greatness of this Day, the greatness of this Manifestation, the greatness of His signs, the greatness of His Word, the greatness of His constancy, the greatness of His pre-eminent station. Yet despite all this the people have remained heedless and are shut out as by a veil. Indeed all the Prophets have yearned to attain this Day.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 257-259

EVENING:

IMG_2354It is clear to thine Eminence that all the variations which the wayfarer in the stages of his journey beholdeth in the realms of being, proceed from his own vision. We shall give an example of this, that its meaning may become fully clear: Consider the visible sun; although it shineth with one radiance upon all things, and at the behest of the King of Manifestation bestoweth light on all creation, yet in each place it becometh manifest and sheddeth its bounty according to the potentialities of that place. For instance, in a mirror it reflecteth its own disk and shape, and this is due to the sensitivity of the mirror; in a crystal it maketh fire to appear, and in other things it showeth only the effect of its shining, but not its full disk. And yet, through that effect, by the command of the Creator, it traineth each thing according to the quality of that thing, as thou observest.

In like manner, colors become visible in every object according to the nature of that object. For instance, in a yellow globe, the rays shine yellow; in a white the rays are white; and in a red, the red rays are manifest. Then these variations are from the object, not from the shining light. And if a place be shut away from the light, as by walls or a roof, it will be entirely bereft of the splendor of the light, nor will the sun shine thereon.

Thus it is that certain invalid souls have confined the lands of knowledge within the wall of self and passion, and clouded them with ignorance and blindness, and have been veiled from the light of the mystic sun and the mysteries of the Eternal Beloved; they have strayed afar from the jewelled wisdom of the lucid Faith of the Lord of Messengers, have been shut out of the sanctuary of the All-Beauteous One, and banished from the Ka’bih* of splendor. Such is the worth of the people of this age!

* The holy Sanctuary at Mecca. Here the word means”goal.”

And if a nightingale* soar upward from the clay of self and dwell in the rose bower of the heart, and in Arabian melodies and sweet Iranian songs recount the mysteries of God — a single word of which quickeneth to fresh, new life the bodies of the dead, and bestoweth the Holy Spirit upon the moldering bones of this existence — thou wilt behold a thousand claws of envy, a myriad beaks of rancor hunting after Him and with all their power intent upon His death.

* This refers to Bahá’u’lláh’s own Manifestation.]

Yea, to the beetle a sweet fragrance seemeth foul, and to the man sick of a rheum a pleasant perfume is as naught. Wherefore, it hath been said for the guidance of the ignorant:

Cleanse thou the rheum from out thine head

And breathe the breath of God instead. *

* Jalalu’d-Din Rumi (1207-1273 A.D.); The Mathnavi. Jalalu’d-Din, called Mawlana (“our Master”), is the greatest of all Persian Sufi poets, and founder of the Mawlavi “whirling” dervish order

In sum, the differences in objects have now been made plain. Thus when the wayfarer gazeth only upon the place of appearance — that is, when he seeth only the many-colored globes — he beholdeth yellow and red and white; hence it is that conflict hath prevailed among the creatures, and a darksome dust from limited souls hath hid the world. And some do gaze upon the effulgence of the light; and some have drunk of the wine of oneness and these see nothing but the sun itself.

Thus, for that they move on these three differing planes, the understanding and the words of the wayfarers have differed; and hence the sign of conflict doth continually appear on earth. For some there are who dwell upon the plane of oneness and speak of that world, and some inhabit the realms of limitation, and some the grades of self, while others are completely veiled. Thus do the ignorant people of the day, who have no portion of the radiance of Divine Beauty, make certain claims, and in every age and cycle inflict on the people of the sea of oneness what they themselves deserve. “Should God punish men for their perverse doings, He would not leave on earth a moving thing! But to an appointed term doth He respite them….” *

* Qur’án 16:33

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, pp: 18-21

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

IMG_8763First of all, be ready to sacrifice your lives for one another, to prefer the general well-being to your personal well-being. Create relationships that nothing can shake; form an assembly that nothing can break up; have a mind that never ceases acquiring riches that nothing can destroy. If love did not exist, what of reality would remain? It is the fire of the love of God which renders man superior to the animal. Strengthen this superior force through which is attained all the progress in the world.

May the light of divine advancement shine upon you. This is the glory and progress of man. This is eternal life.

Brotherhood and sisterhood that is founded on a universal love is precious. It is not like the material kind which is soon forgotten and, perhaps, changed to hatred before this life is over. Material brothers and sisters seldom have lasting affection for each other, but this divine relationship is eternal. In the world of God it will become more clear and manifest.

Here we comprehend according to environment and adaptation. This world is not much of a place for the realization of truth. This world is but the womb of the world of reality. Twins  in the matrix may even embrace each other without knowing what they do. They are in darkness and cannot know their relationship to their mother who nourishes them, or their father who cares for them and provides for them. However, when they are born out of the world of darkness and live in this world, they realize each other and become assured that they have a father and a mother. So will you become assured when you enter the world of light and then you will realize how great is my fatherhood for you.

Divine Philosophy, pp: 112-113

5 September ― 17 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:

The children of men are all brothers, and the prerequisites of brotherhood are manifold. Among them is that one should wish for one’s brother that which one wisheth for oneself. Therefore, it behoveth him who is the recipient of an inward or outward gift or who partaketh of the bread of heaven to inform and invite his friends with the utmost love and kindness. If they respond favourably, his object is attained; otherwise he should leave them to themselves without contending with them or uttering a word that would cause the least sadness. This is the undoubted truth, and aught else is unworthy and unbecoming.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 41

EVENING:

It behoveth him who expoundeth the Word of God to deliver it with the utmost good-will, kindness, and compassion. As to him that embraceth the truth and is honoured with recognizing Him, his name shall be recorded in the Crimson Book among the inmates of the all-highest Paradise. Should a soul fail, however, to accept the truth, it is in no wise permissible to contend with him. In another connection He saith: “Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth.” Likewise He saith: “The people of Bahá should soar high above the peoples of the world.” In matters of religion every form of fanaticism, hatred, dissension and strife is strictly forbidden.

In this day a Luminary hath dawned above the horizon of divine providence, upon whose brow the Pen of Glory hath inscribed these exalted words: “We have called you into being to show forth love and fidelity, not animosity and hatred”. Likewise, on another occasion, He—exalted and glorified be His name—hath revealed the following words in the Persian tongue, words through which the hearts of the well-favoured and the sincere amongst His servants are consumed, the manifold pursuits of men are harmonized, and mankind is illumined by the light of divine unity and enabled to turn towards the Dayspring of divine knowledge: “The incomparable Friend saith: The path to freedom hath been outstretched; hasten ye thereunto. The wellspring of wisdom is overflowing; quaff ye therefrom. Say: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, pp: 39-40

27 December ― 16 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2451O peoples of the world! Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good. Strive to be shining examples unto all mankind, and true reminders of the virtues of God amidst men. He that riseth to serve My Cause should manifest My wisdom, and bend every effort to banish ignorance from the earth. Be united in counsel, be one in thought. Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low. Beware lest ye sow tares of dissension among men or plant thorns of doubt in pure and radiant hearts.

O ye beloved of the Lord! Commit not that which defileth the limpid stream of love or destroyeth the sweet fragrance of friendship. By the righteousness of the Lord! Ye were created to show love one to another and not perversity and rancour. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind. Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful and your heart enlightened. Abase not the station of the learned in Bahá and belittle not the rank of such rulers as administer justice amidst you. Set your reliance on the army of justice, put on the armour of wisdom, let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy and that which cheereth the hearts of the well-favoured of God.

         

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 138-139

Unlocking the Power of Action

EVENING:

IMG_2520It is Our wish and desire that every one of you may become a source of all goodness unto men, and an example of uprightness to mankind. Beware lest ye prefer yourselves above your neighbors. Fix your gaze upon Him Who is the Temple of God amongst men. He, in truth, hath offered up His life as a ransom for the redemption of the world. He, verily, is the All-Bountiful, the Gracious, the Most High. If any differences arise amongst you, behold Me standing before your face, and overlook the faults of one another for My name’s sake and as a token of your love for My manifest and resplendent Cause. We love to see you at all times consorting in amity and concord within the paradise of My good-pleasure, and to inhale from your acts the fragrance of friendliness and unity, of loving-kindness and fellowship.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 315

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

IMG_7750Strive ye by day and night to cultivate your unity to the fullest degree. Let your thoughts dwell on your own spiritual development, and close your eyes to the deficiencies of other souls. Act ye in such wise, showing forth pure and goodly deeds, and modesty and humility, that ye will cause others to be awakened. Never is it the wish of `Abdu’l-Bahá to see any being hurt, nor will He make anyone to grieve; for man can receive no greater gift than this, that he rejoice another’s heart. I beg of God that ye will be bringers of joy, even as are the angels in Heaven.

Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 203-204

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

IMG_9840Not by merely imitating the excesses and laxity of the extravagant age they live in; not by the idle neglect of the sacred responsibilities it is their privilege to shoulder; not by the silent compromise of the principles dearly cherished by `Abdu’l-Bahá; not by their fear or unpopularity or their dread of censure can they hope to rouse society from its spiritual lethargy, and serve as a model to a civilization the foundations of which the corrosion of prejudice has well-nigh undermined. By the sublimity of their principles, the warmth of their love, the spotless purity of their character, and the depth of their devoutness and piety, let them demonstrate to their fellow-countrymen the ennobling reality of a power that shall weld a disrupted world. We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair’s breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá’u’lláh.

12 April 1927

Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932, pp. 131-32

Shoghi Effendi would like you also to make all your effort to increase among the friends the spirit of unity and co-operation and to encourage the young believers to come into closer contact with the older generation of friends, so that through this harmonious co-operation the Cause may be given a further chance to develop and expand. The Faith needs both the experiences and the wisdom of age as well as the enthusiasm and the energy of youth. When all these qualities are harmoniously combined great results will be achieved.

8 August 1933, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

Unlocking the Power of Action

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_9599The main sequence of courses is organized so as to set the individual, whether Baha’i or not, on a path being defined by the accumulating experience of the community in its endeavour to open before humanity the vision of Baha’u’llah’s World Order.  The very notion of a path is, itself, indicative of the nature and purpose of the courses, for a path invites participation, it beckons to new horizons, it demands effort and movement, it accommodates different paces and strides, it is structured and defined.  A path can be experienced and known, not only by one or two but by scores upon scores; it belongs to the community.  To walk a path is a concept equally expressive.  It requires of the individual volition and choice; it calls for a set of skills and abilities but also elicits certain qualities and attitudes; it may seem easy at the outset but becomes more challenging further along.  And crucially, one walks the path in the company of others.

Letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies of 12 December 2011, p. 2, ¶4

21 December ― 10 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

The fifth Glad-Tidings

IMG_9576In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days.

It is binding and incumbent upon the peoples of the world, one and all, to extend aid unto this momentous Cause which is come from the heaven of the Will of the ever-abiding God, that perchance the fire of animosity which blazeth in the hearts of some of the peoples of the earth may, through the living waters of divine wisdom and by virtue of heavenly counsels and exhortations, be quenched, and the light of unity and concord may shine forth and shed its radiance upon the world.

We cherish the hope that through the earnest endeavours of such as are the exponents of the power of God — exalted be His glory — the weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the midst of men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 22-23

 

 

 EVENING:

IMG_9591It is incumbent upon every man, in this Day, to hold fast unto whatsoever will promote the interests, and exalt the station, of all nations and just governments. Through each and every one of the verses which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed, the doors of love and unity have been unlocked and flung open to the face of men. We have erewhile declared — and Our Word is the truth — : ‘Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.’ Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished. From the heaven of God’s Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole human race. The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God. Of old it hath been revealed: ‘Love of one’s country is an element of the Faith of God.’ The Tongue of Grandeur hath, however, in the day of His manifestation proclaimed: ‘It is not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the world.’ Through the power released by these exalted words He hath lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction to the birds of men’s hearts, and hath obliterated every trace of restriction and limitation from God’s holy Book.

This Wronged One hath forbidden the people of God to engage in contention or conflict and hath exhorted them to righteous deeds and praiseworthy character. In this day the hosts that can ensure the victory of the Cause are those of goodly conduct and saintly character. Blessed are they who firmly adhere unto them and woe betide such as turn away therefrom.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 87-88

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

IMG_5230

Unity is love. It cannot be established without love. Therefore try, as far as possible, to be filled with love. Love is perpetual life, the most perfect vitality. Consider how love has gathered us together from the East and the West! If there were no love between us our friendship would have been concluded with salutations, such as “Good morning” and “Good evening.” Love draws us in friendship to the people of every race and religion. He is a Baha’i, of the people of Baha, from whom we breathe the fragrance of this love again. …

The highest love is independent of any personal advantages which we may draw from the love of the friend. If you love truly, your love for your friend will continue, even if he treats you ill. A man who really loves God, will love Him whether he be ill, or sad, or unfortunate. He does not love God because He has created him — his life may be full of disassociations and miseries. He does not love God because He has given him health or wealth, because these may disappear at any moment. He does not love Him because He has given him the strength of youth, because old age will surely come upon him. The reason for his love is not because he is grateful for certain mercies and benefits. No! The lover of God desires and adores Him because He is perfection and because of His perfections. Love should be the very essence of love, and not dependent on outward manifestations.

A moth loves the light, though his wings are burnt. Though his wings are singed, he throws himself against the flame. He does not love the light because it has conferred some benefit upon him. Therefore he hovers round the light, though he sacrifices his wings.

This is the highest degree of love. Without this abandonment, this ecstasy love is imperfect.

The lover of God loves Him for Himself, not for his own sake.
Words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quoted in Fortnightly Review, June, 1911; Star of the West, vol. VIII, no. 9, August 20, 1917