Archive for the ‘“Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh”’ Category

20 March ― The Feast of Bahá THE FEAST OF NAW-RÚZ 174   Leave a comment

20 March ― The Feast of Bahá

THE FEAST OF NAW-RÚZ 174


MORNING:

Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Ruz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee.

Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 67-68

 

EVENING:

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.”

He Who is Thy Branch and all Thy company, O my Lord, have broken this day their fast, after having observed it within the precincts of Thy court, and in their eagerness to please Thee. Do Thou ordain for him, and for them, and for all such as have entered Thy presence in those days all the good Thou didst destine in Thy Book. Supply them, then, with that which will profit them, in both this life and in the life beyond.

Thou, in truth, art the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 68-69

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

O ye heralds of the Kingdom of God:

A FEW days ago an epistle was written to those divine believers, but because these days are the days of Naw-Rúz, you have come to my mind and I am sending you this greeting for this glorious feast. All the days are blessed, but this feast is the national fete of Persia. The Persians have been holding it for several thousand years past. In reality every day which man passes in the mention of God, the diffusion of the fragrances of God and calling the people to the Kingdom of God, that day is his feast. Praise be to God that you are occupied in the service of the Kingdom of God and are engaged in the promulgation of the religion of God by day and by night. Therefore all your days are feast days. There is no doubt that the assistance and the bestowal of God shall descend upon you.

Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 10

19 March ― 19 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

19 March ― 19 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 19

 

MORNING:

1B Newby 021The plants that have sprung forth, O my Lord, in the hearts of Thy loved ones have withered away. Send down upon them, from the clouds of Thy spirit, that which will cause the tender herbs of Thy knowledge and wisdom to grow within their breasts. Rejoice, then, their hearts with the proclamation of Thy Cause and the exaltation of Thy sovereignty.

Their eyes, O my Lord, are expectantly turned in the direction of Thy bounty, and their faces are set towards the horizon of Thy grace. Suffer them not, through Thy bounty, to be deprived of Thy grace. Potent art Thou, by Thy sovereign might, over all things. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 199-200

 

EVENING:

Make me ready, in all circumstances, O my Lord, to serve Thee and to set myself towards the adored sanctuary of Thy Revelation and of Thy Beauty. If it be Thy pleasure, make me to grow as a tender herb in the meadows of Thy grace, that the gentle winds of Thy will may stir me up and bend me into conformity with Thy pleasure, in such wise that my movement and my stillness may be wholly directed by Thee.

Thou art He, by Whose name the Hidden Secret was divulged, and the Well-Guarded Name was revealed, and the seals of the sealed-up Goblet were opened, shedding thereby its fragrance over all creation, whether of the past or of the future. He who was athirst, O my Lord, hath hasted to attain the living waters of Thy grace, and the wretched creature hath yearned to immerse himself beneath the ocean of Thy riches.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 240-241

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

Thank God that the evidence and the proof became clear and manifest to thee. He gave thee eyes to see therewith the lights of guidance; He gave thee ears to hear the divine call; He gave thee nostrils to sense the beautiful fragrance of the rose-garden of the Kingdom; He gave thee  taste to find the sweetness of the love of God; He gave thee a tongue to mention Him. Therefore, thou must thank Him night and day for having attained this bounty. Thus mayest thou become firm in trials and bear every difficulty and, like unto the mountains, hold thy feet firm and steadfast, so that thou mayest not be shaken by the adverse winds.

The bounty of the Lord of the Kingdom is great and His outpouring is glorious. His favors are boundless. I ask, through His bounty, to grant thee readiness and capacity, so that the rains of mercy may cultivate flowers of significances in the garden of the heart.

The essential thing is firmness and steadfastness. I hope that all the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful One may be strengthened and confirmed therein.

To pardon shortcomings is an attribute of the Lord of forgiveness. Thank God, thou art a dawning-point of kindness and the recipient of pardon and forgiveness.

Sacrifice thy life to the Lord of the Kingdom and seek only His will. Make thy meeting the house of ‘Abdul-Bahá and the rose-garden of the heavenly birds…

…Know thou the value of the day of the Lord and take a portion and a share of the bounty in this glorious cycle. If a tree doth not thrive and grow in this divine springtime, in what season will it bear fruit? I hope that, through the life-nurturing breeze of the rose-garden of the Kingdom, thou mayest become a tree full of blossoms and fruit.

Convey reverential greeting to the maid-servant of God, . . . .and say: “Happy is thy condition that thou art meek and humble and directed to the Kingdom of God and looking to God. I ask God that, day by day, thou mayest become more illumined and more spiritual…

Be in sympathy with . . . .and in the utmost of kindness. Close thine eyes to shortcomings and live according to the divine teachings. I hope that the breath of life may penetrate them. Thank God that in the world of vision thou art witnessing great signs.

In great tenderness blow the breath of life into . . . . . and . . . .and call them to God. Perchance, through divine bounty and providence, their hearts may become radiant and illumined and may remain firm and steadfast through trials.

To be far in body is of no account. To be near in spirit is essential. Seek that from God. When thou hast attained that, thou art always with me.. .

…The real light is the light of the love of God. Praise be to God! thy face is illumined by the radiance of the divine love and thy nostrils are perfumed through the fragrances of the garden of the Kingdom of Abhá, and thou art engaged, night and day, in service in this divine garden and art spreading the Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá. Wherefore, thank God that thou art assisted to such a service….

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 694-697

26 February ― 1 Ayyám-i-Há   Leave a comment

26 February ― 1 Ayyám-i-Há

MORNING:

My God, my Fire and my Light! The days which Thou hast named the Ayyám-i-Há (the Days of Há, Intercalary days) in Thy Book have begun, O Thou Who art the King of names, and the fast which Thy most exalted Pen hath enjoined unto all who are in the kingdom of Thy creation to observe is approaching. I entreat Thee, O my Lord, by these days and by all such as have during that period clung to the cord of Thy commandments, and laid hold on the handle of Thy precepts, to grant that unto every soul may be assigned a place within the precincts of Thy court, and a seat at the revelation of the splendors of the light of Thy countenance.

These, O my Lord, are Thy servants whom no corrupt inclination hath kept back from what Thou didst send down in Thy Book. They have bowed themselves before Thy Cause, and received Thy Book with such resolve as is born of Thee, and observed what Thou hadst prescribed unto them, and chosen to follow that which had been sent down by Thee.

Thou seest, O my Lord, how they have recognized and confessed whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Scriptures. Give them to drink, O my Lord, from the hands of Thy graciousness the waters of Thine eternity. Write down, then, for them the recompense ordained for him that hath immersed himself in the ocean of Thy presence, and attained unto the choice wine of Thy meeting

I implore Thee, O Thou the King of kings and the Pitier of the downtrodden, to ordain for them the good of this world and of the world to come. Write down for them, moreover, what none of Thy creatures hath discovered, and number them with those who have circled round Thee, and who move about Thy throne in every world of Thy worlds.

Thou, truly, art the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 65-67

EVENING:

27. Let the days in excess of the months be placed

before the month of fasting. # 16

 

The Badi’ calendar is based on the solar year of 365 days, 5

hours, and 50 odd minutes. The year consists of 19 months

of 19 days each (i.e. 361 days), with the addition of four

extra days (five in a leap year). The Báb did not specifically

define the place for the intercalary days in the new calendar.

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas resolves this question by assigning the

“excess” days a fixed position in the calendar immediately

preceding the month of ‘Ala’, the period of fasting. For

further details see the section on the Bahá’í calendar in The

Bahá’í World, volume XVIII.

 

28. We have ordained that these … shall be the

manifestations of the letter Há

Known as the Ayyám-i-Há (the Days of Há), the Intercalary

Days have the distinction of being associated with “the letter

Há”. The abjad numerical value of this Arabic letter is five,

which corresponds to the potential number of intercalary

days.

The letter “Ha” has been given several spiritual

meanings in the Holy Writings, among which is as a

symbol of the Essence of God.

 

29. these days of giving that precede the season of

restraint [i.e. the Holy Fast Period]

 

Bahá’u’lláh enjoined upon His followers to devote these days

to feasting, rejoicing and charity. In a letter written on Shoghi Effendi’s behalf it is explained that “the intercalary days are specially set aside for hospitality, the giving of gifts, etc.”.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp: 178-179

5 January ― 6 Sharaf   Leave a comment

IMG_3704MORNING:

Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou, O my Beloved! I swear by Thy glory! I recognize this very moment that Thou hast granted all for which I have supplicated Thee, in this blessed night which, as decreed by Thee, calleth to remembrance Him Who was the Companion of Thy beauty and the Beholder of Thy face, ere I had been mentioned by Thee, or called into being within the court of Thy holiness. I perceive that Thou hast made all things to be the manifestations of Thy behest, and the revelations of Thy handiwork, and the repositories of Thy knowledge, and the treasuries of Thy wisdom. I recognize, moreover, that were any of the revelations of Thy names and Thine attributes to be withheld, though it be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, from whatsoever hath been created by Thy power and begotten by Thy might, the foundations of Thine everlasting handiwork would thereby be made incomplete, and the gems of Thy Divine wisdom would become imperfect. For the letters of negation, no matter how far they may be removed from the holy fragrances of Thy knowledge, and however forgetful they may become of the wondrous splendors of the dawning light of Thy beauty, which are shed from the heaven of Thy majesty, must needs exist in Thy realm, so that the words which affirm Thee may thereby be exalted.

Thy might beareth me witness, O my Well-Beloved! The entire creation hath been called into being to exalt Thy triumph and to establish Thine ascendancy, and all the bounds that have been set by Thee are but the signs of Thy sovereignty, and proclaim the power of Thy might. How great, how very great, are the revelations of Thy wondrous power in all things! They are such that the lowliest among Thy creatures hath been made by Thee a manifestation of Thy most august attribute, and the most contemptible token of Thy handiwork hath been chosen as a recipient of Thy most mighty name. Poverty, as decreed by Thee, hath been made the means for the revelation of Thy riches, and abasement a path leading to Thy glory, and sinfulness a cause for the exercise of Thy forgiveness. By them Thou hast demonstrated that to Thee belong Thy most excellent titles, and unto Thee pertain the wonders of Thy most exalted attributes.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 325-326

 

EVENING:

IMG_3711Since Thou hast purposed, O my God, to cause all created things to enter into the tabernacle of Thy transcendent grace and favor, and to waft over the entire creation the fragrances of the raiment of Thy glorious unity, and to look upon all things with the eyes of Thy bounty and Thy oneness, I beseech Thee, therefore, by Thy love, which Thou hast made to be the mainspring of the revelations of Thine eternal holiness, and the flame that gloweth within the hearts of such of Thy creatures as yearn towards Thee, to create, this very moment, for those of Thy people who are wholly devoted to Thee, and for such of Thy loved ones as love Thee, out of the essence of Thy bounty and Thy generosity, and from the inmost spirit of Thy grace and Thy glory, Thy Paradise of transcendent holiness, and to exalt it above everything except Thee, and to sanctify it from aught else save Thyself. Create, moreover, within it, O my God, out of the lights shed by Thy throne, handmaidens who will intone the melodies of Thy wondrous and most sweet invention, that they may magnify Thy name with such words as have not been heard by any of Thy creatures, be they the inmates of Thy heaven or the dwellers of Thine earth, nor been comprehended by any of Thy people. Unlock, then, the gates of this Paradise to the faces of Thy loved ones, that haply they may enter them in Thy name, and by the power of Thy sovereignty, that thereby the sovereign bounties vouchsafed by Thee unto Thy chosen ones and the transcendent gifts granted unto Thy trusted ones be perfected, that they may extol Thy virtues with such melodies as none can either intone or describe, and that none of Thy people may conceive the design of appearing in the guise of any of Thy chosen ones, or of emulating the example of Thy loved ones, and that none may fail to discern between Thy friends and Thine enemies, or to distinguish them that are devoted to Thee from such as stubbornly oppose Thee. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest, and powerful and supreme art Thou over all things.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 326-327

 

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

Spirit has influence; prayer has spiritual effect. Therefore, we pray, “O God! Heal this sick one!” Perchance God will answer. Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. He answers the prayer of this plant. The plant prays potentially, “O God! Send me rain!” God answers the prayer, and the plant grows. God will answer anyone. He answers prayers potentially. Before we were born into this world did we not pray, “O God! Give me a mother; give me two fountains of bright milk; purify the air for my breathing; grant me rest and comfort; prepare food for my sustenance and living”? Did we not pray potentially for these needed blessings before we were created? When we came into this world, did we not find our prayers answered? Did we not find mother, father, food, light, home and every other necessity and blessing, although we did not actually ask for them? Therefore, it is natural that God will give to us when we ask Him. His mercy is all-encircling.

 IMG_2129

But we ask for things which the divine wisdom does not desire for us, and there is no answer to our prayer. His wisdom does not sanction what we wish. We pray, “O God! Make me wealthy!” If this prayer were universally answered, human affairs would be at a standstill. There would be none left to work in the streets, none to till the soil, none to build, none to run the trains. Therefore, it is evident that it would not be well for us if all prayers were answered. The affairs of the world would be interfered with, energies crippled and progress hindered. But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly!

For instance, a very feeble patient may ask the doctor to give him food which would be positively dangerous to his life and condition. He may beg for roast meat. The doctor is kind and wise. He knows it would be dangerous to his patient so he refuses to allow it. The doctor is merciful; the patient, ignorant. Through the doctor’s kindness the patient recovers; his life is saved. Yet the patient may cry out that the doctor is unkind, not good, because he refuses to answer his pleading.

God is merciful. In His mercy He answers the prayers of all His servants when according to His supreme wisdom it is necessary.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 246

 

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

At this grave and momentous period through which the Cause of God in conformity with the Divine Wisdom is passing, it is the sacred duty of every one of us to endeavor to realize the full significance of this Hour of Transition, and then to make a supreme resolve to arise steadfastly for the fulfilment of our sacred obligations.

IMG_3727Great as is the love and paternal care which our beloved Master is extending to us from on High, and unique as is the Spirit that animates today His servants in the world, yet a great deal will depend upon the character and efforts of His loved ones on whom now rests the responsibility of carrying on His work gloriously after Him. How great is the need at this moment when the promised outpourings of His grace are ready to be extended to every soul, for us all to form a broad vision of the mission of the Cause to mankind, and to do all in our power to spread it throughout the world! The eyes of the world, now that the sublime Personality of the Master has been removed from this visible plane, are turned with eager anticipation to us who are named after His name, and on whom rests primarily the responsibility to keep burning the torch that He has lit in this world. How keenly I feel at this challenging hour in the history of the Cause the need for a firm and definite determination to subordinate all our personal likings, our local interests, to the interests and requirements of the Cause of God! Now is the time to set aside, nay, to forget altogether, minor considerations regarding our internal relationships, and to present a solid united front to the world animated by no other desire but to serve and propagate His Cause.

Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932, pp. 17-18

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_3361     A believer cannot fulfil his true mission in life as a follower of the Blessed Perfection merely by living according to a set of rigid regulations, as you will recognize. It is neither possible nor desirable for the House of Justice to lay down a set of rules covering every situation. Rather is it the task of the individual believer to determine, according to his own prayerful understanding of the Writings, precisely what his course of conduct should be in relation to situations which he encounters in his daily life. He must continually study the sacred Writings and the instructions of the beloved Guardian, striving always to attain a new and better understanding of their import to him, and orient his life towards service to Bahá’u’lláh, praying fervently for divine guidance, wisdom and strength to do what is pleasing to God.

The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 413

Hand of the Cause of God, Mr. Ugo Giachery and Mrs. Giachery

FROM HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD, UGO GIACHERY:

Perseverance was one of Shoghi Effendi’s most noble qualities, and taught me many a lesson. I learned much from him in pursuing and accomplishing any given task. It is part of human nature to give up when attempts fail at the beginning; only a few persist in an endeavour when beset with obstacles of all sorts. His instructions to me, always to go or appeal to the highest authorities, to seek always the best, to accomplish things in the shortest time possible, and to persevere under all circumstances, became my second nature while I was privileged to work for the Cause under his personal guidance. In nearly every letter I received from him over a period of many years, the word ‘persevere’ is repeated. It had the power of a talisman for me, because such an exhortation was undoubtedly seconded by his love, well-wishing and prayers. How could anyone fail when he, ‘the Sign of God on earth’, was himself spiritually linked with the recipient of such a message?

Were I to relate all the difficulties, some nearly insurmountable, that I met during the years of supervising production of the carved marble and other material needed to construct the Báb’s Shrine and the International Archives, I should have to write at much greater length. In nearly every case I did not trouble the Guardian with these obstacles. Clad with the armour of perseverance, in the certainty that his prayers were following me, and that in God’s ledger the assent had been granted, I knew that the impossible could be accomplished. And it was, thus bringing him infinite joy.

Had the friends the world over well understood his plight, and the meaning and power of that exhortation, much more would have been accomplished and every goal would have been fulfilled. Like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he offered up his soul, his life and his possessions in the path of God, devoting every moment of activity during thirty-six years of his stewardship in order to bring forward, as early as possible, the knowledge of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation to all mankind. It was through his wisdom, initiative, directives, courage, example, dynamism and perseverance that, when his noble soul left this world on that fateful 4 November 1957, the map he had completed only the day before was able to record, like a graphic summary of his life’s activities, the amazing development accomplished in less than five years – years which implemented and fulfilled all the activities of the previous thirty one years of his Guardianship. That map, as was the case with some previous ones, was drafted by his own hand, and embodied his analytic talent and geographical acumen. It will perpetuate throughout Bahá’í history the memory of his fruitful, precious and distinguished existence.

Shoghi Effendi – Recollections, p. 25

21 December ― 10 Masá’il   Leave a comment

O Divine Providence! Lift to Thy lovers’ lips a cup brimful of anguish. To the yearners on Thy pathway, make sweetness but a sting, and poison honey-sweet. Set Thou our heads for ornaments on the points of spears. Make Thou our hearts the targets for pitiless arrows and darts. Raise Thou this withered soul to life on the martyr’s field, make Thou his faded heart to drink the draught of tyranny, and thus grow fresh and fair once more. Make him to be drunk with the wine of Thine Eternal Covenant, make him a reveller holding high his cup. Help him to fling away his life; grant that for Thy sake, he be offered up.

Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful. Thou art the Knower, the Seer, the Hearer.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

IMG_9114

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 226

 

IMG_1263MORNING:

Magnified be Thy name, O God, the Lord of heaven! Attire my head with the crown of martyrdom, even as Thou didst attire my body with the ornament of tribulation before all that dwell in Thy land. Grant, moreover, that they whose hearts yearn over Thee may draw nigh unto the horizon of Thy grace, above which the Day-Star of Thy beauty sheddeth its radiance. Ordain, also, for them what will make them rich enough to dispense with aught else except Thee, and rid them of all attachment to such as have repudiated Thy signs.

There is none other God but Thee, the Guardian, the Self-Subsisting.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 20

IMG_1252EVENING:

Praised be Thou, O my God! How can I thank Thee for having singled me out and chosen me above all Thy servants to reveal Thee, at a time when all had turned away from Thy beauty! I testify, O my God, that if I were given a thousand lives by Thee, and offered them up all in Thy path, I would still have failed to repay the least of the gifts which, by Thy grace, Thou hast bestowed upon me.

I lay asleep on the bed of self when lo, Thou didst waken me with the divine accents of Thy voice, and didst unveil to me Thy beauty, and didst enable me to listen to Thine utterances, and to recognize Thy Self, and to speak forth Thy praise, and to extol Thy virtues, and to be steadfast in Thy love. Finally I fell a captive into the hands of the wayward among Thy servants.

Thou beholdest, therefore, the exile which I suffer in Thy days, and art aware of my vehement longing to look upon Thy face, and of mine irrepressible yearnings to enter the court of Thy glory, and of the stirrings of my heart under the influences of the winds of Thy mercy.

I entreat Thee, O Thou Who art the Ruler of the kingdoms of creation and the Author of all names, to write down my name with the names of them who, from eternity, have circled round the Tabernacle of Thy majesty, and clung to the hem of Thy loving-kindness, and held fast the cord of Thy tender mercy.

Thou art, in truth, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 20-21

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_1270

At every daybreak, triple darkness. At eventide, stone-hearted tyranny. And never a moment’s peace, and never any balm for the spear’s red wounds. From moment to moment, word would come of my exile to the Fezzan sands; from hour to hour, I was to be cast into the endless sea. Now they would say that these homeless wanderers were ruined at last; again that the cross would soon be put to use. This wasted frame of mine was to be made the target for bullet or arrow; or again, this failing body was to be cut to ribbons by the sword.

Our alien acquaintances could not contain themselves for joy, and our treacherous friends exulted. ‘Praise be to God,’ one would exclaim, ‘Here is our dream come true.’ And another, ‘God be thanked, our spear-head found the heart.’

Affliction beat upon this captive like the heavy rains of spring, and the victories of the malevolent swept down in a relentless flood, and still ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remained happy and serene, and relied on the grace of the All-Merciful. That pain, that anguish, was a paradise of all delights; those chains were the necklace of a king on a throne in heaven. Content with God’s will, utterly resigned, my heart surrendered to whatever fate had in store, I was happy. For a boon companion, I had great joy.

Finally a time came when the friends turned inconsolable, and abandoned all hope. It was then the morning dawned, and flooded all with unending light. The towering clouds were scattered, the dismal shadows fled. In that instant the fetters fell away, the chains were lifted off the neck of this homeless one and hung round the neck of the foe. Those dire straits were changed to ease, and on the horizon of God’s bounties the sun of hope rose up. All this was out of God’s grace and His bestowals.

And yet, from one point of view, this wanderer was saddened and despondent. For what pain, in the time to come, could I seek comfort? At the news of what granted wish could I rejoice? There was no more tyranny, no more affliction, no tragical events, no tribulations. My only joy in this swiftly-passing world was to tread the stony path of God and to endure hard tests and all material griefs. For

otherwise, this earthly life would prove barren and vain, and better would be death. The tree of being would produce no fruit; the sown field of this existence would yield no harvest. Thus it is my hope that once again some circumstance will make my cup of anguish to brim over, and that beauteous Love, that Slayer of souls, will dazzle the beholders again. Then will this heart be blissful, this soul be blessed.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 225-227

22 November ― 19 Qudrat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

As these tribulations, however, were sustained in Thy path and for love of Thee, they who were afflicted by them render thanks, under all conditions, unto Thee, and say: “O Thou Who art the Delight of our hearts and the Object of our adoration! Were the clouds of Thy decree to rain down upon us the darts of affliction, we would, in our love for Thee, refuse to be impatient. We would yield Thee praise and thanksgiving, for we have recognized and are persuaded that Thou hast ordained only that which will be best for us. If our bodies be, at times, weighed down by our troubles, yet our souls rejoice with exceeding gladness. We swear by Thy might, O Thou Who art the Desire of our hearts and the Exultation of our souls! Every trouble that toucheth us in our love for Thee is an evidence of Thy tender mercy, every fiery ordeal a sign of the brightness of Thy light, every woeful tribulation a cooling draught, every toil a blissful repose, every anguish a fountain of gladness.”

Whosoever, O my Lord, is impatient in the tribulations befalling him in Thy path, hath not drunk of the cup of Thy love nor tasted of the sweetness of Thy remembrance. I implore Thee, by Him Who is the King of all names and their Sovereign, Who is the Revealer of all attributes and their Creator, and by them who have soared aloft and drawn nigh unto Thee and winged their flight into the atmosphere of Thy presence, and have endured the galling of chains for Thy sake, to grant that all Thy people may be graciously aided to recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thine own Self, Who, because He summoned mankind unto Thee, hath been exiled and cast into prison.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 135-136

EVENING:

For all these things I offer thanksgiving unto Thee, O my Lord! I implore Thee to assist me and them that love me to magnify Thy Word, and to endow us with such strength that the ills of this world and its tribulations will be powerless to hinder us from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues. Powerful art Thou to do all things; resplendent art Thou above all things.

Every conqueror is but a serf whom Thy hand hath subjected, and the richest of the rich is as destitute before the immensity of Thy wealth. The noblest of nobles is humbled when faced with the manifestations of Thy glory, and the mightiest of potentates is a mere abject one when confronted with the compelling evidences of Thine authority. 

Tear asunder, O my God, the veil of vain imaginings that hath obscured the vision of Thy people, that all may haste towards Thee, may tread the path of Thy pleasure, and walk in the ways of Thy Faith. We are, O my God, Thy servants and Thy bondsmen. Thou art sufficient unto us so that we can dispense with the world and all that is therein. We are wholly satisfied with all that hath befallen us in Thy path, and exclaim: “Praised be Thou, in Whose hand are the realms of revelation and of creation, and all the kingdoms of earth and heaven!”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 101-102

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

Later on a general reception was held, ninety people coming to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá who spoke to them with impressive earnestness.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You are very welcome. I have come far to see you. I praise God that after forty years of waiting I am permitted at last to come and bring my message. This is an assembly full of spirituality. Those who are present have turned their hearts towards God. They are looking and longing for glad tidings. We have gathered here by the power of the Spirit, therefore our hearts are stirred with thanksgiving. ‘Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth O God: Let them lead us to the Holy Mountains!’ May we be refreshed by the holy springs that are renewing the life of the world! As day follows night, and after sunset comes the dawn, so Jesus Christ appeared on the horizon of this world like a Sun of Truth; even so when the people — after forgetting the teachings of Christ and His example of love to all humanity — had again grown tired of material things, a heavenly Star shone once more in Persia, a new illumination appeared and now a great light is spreading throughout all lands.

“Men keep their possessions for their own enjoyment and do not share sufficiently with others the bounty received from God. Spring is thus changed into the winter of selfishness and egotism. Jesus Christ said ‘Ye must be born again’ so that divine Life may spring anew within you. Be kind to all around and serve one another; love to be just and true in all your dealings; pray always and so live your life that sorrow cannot touch you. Look upon the people of your own race and those of other races as members of one organism; sons of the same Father; let it be known by your behaviour that you are indeed the people of God. Then wars and disputes shall cease and over the world will spread the Most Great Peace.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp: 82-83

‘Abdu’l-Bahá boarding a train…

13 November ― 10 Qudrat   Leave a comment

TIMG_0525he most vital duty, in this day, is to purify your characters, to correct your manners, and improve your conduct. The beloved of the Merciful must show forth such character and conduct among His creatures, that the fragrance of their holiness may be shed upon the whole world, and may quicken the dead, inasmuch as the purpose of the Manifestation of God and the dawning of the limitless lights of the Invisible is to educate the souls of men, and refine the character of every living man — so that blessed individuals, who have freed themselves from the murk of the animal world, shall rise up with those qualities which are the adornings of the reality of man. The purpose is that earthlings should turn into the people of Heaven, and those who walk in darkness should come into the light, and those who are excluded should join the inner circle of the Kingdom, and those who are as nothing should become intimates of the everlasting Glory. It is that the portionless should gain their share of the boundless sea, and the ignorant drink their fill from the living fount of knowledge; that those who thirst for blood should forsake their savagery, and those who are barbed of claw should turn gentle and forbearing, and those who love war should seek instead for true conciliation; it is that the brutal, their talons razor-sharp, should enjoy the benefits of lasting peace; that the foul should learn that there is a realm of purity, and the tainted find their way to the rivers of holiness.

Unless these divine bestowals be revealed from the inner self of humankind, the bounty of the Manifestation will prove barren, and the dazzling rays of the Sun of Truth will have no effect whatever.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 10)

MORNING:

Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God! I swear by Thy might! Successive afflictions have withheld the pen of the Most High from laying bare that which is hidden from the eyes of Thy creatures, and incessant trials have hindered the tongue of the Divine Ordainer from proclaiming the wonders of Thy glorification and praise. With a stammering tongue, therefore, I call upon Thee, O my God, and with this my afflicted pen I occupy myself in remembrance of Thy name.

His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Baháú’lláh, p. 8

EVENING:

Is there any man of insight, O my God, that can behold Thee with Thine own eye, and where is the thirsty one who can direct his face towards the living waters of Thy love? I am the one, O my God, who hath blotted out from his heart the remembrance of all except Thee, and hath graven upon it the mysteries of Thy love. Thine own might beareth me witness! But for tribulations, how could the assured be distinguished from the doubters among Thy servants? They who have been inebriated with the wine of Thy knowledge, these, verily, hasten to meet every manner of adversity in their longing to pass into Thy presence. I implore Thee, O Beloved of my heart and the Object of my soul’s adoration, to shield them that love me from the faintest trace of evil and corrupt desires. Supply them, then, with the good of this world and of the next.

Thou art, verily, He Whose grace hath guided them aright, He Who hath declared Himself to be the All-Merciful. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Supreme Helper.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Baháú’lláh, pp: 8-9