Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

25 June – 3 Rahmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, p. 9

 

EVENING:

Sanctify your souls from whatsoever is not of God, and taste ye the sweetness of rest within the pale of His vast and mighty Revelation, and beneath the shadow of His supreme and infallible authority. Suffer not yourselves to be wrapt in the dense veils of your selfish desires, inasmuch as I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? If, in the Day when all the peoples of the earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: “Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self,” and if such a man should reply and say: “Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,” such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, p. 143

17 August ― 9 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_6778

And yet, is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 240

 IMG_6857

EVENING:

“Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate… So should be every one that claimeth to be a lover of the one true God. It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 339

IMG_5897FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Turn thy face unto the Kingdom of the Covenant, thy heart beating with the love of God, thy soul attracted to the fragrances of God, thy tongue speaking of the appearances of the Kingdom of God, thy insight rending veils asunder and disclosing the realities of things–and with a power which may move the heart of all in the world.
      This is a confirmation from the Lord of the effulgence, while all else save this shall never profit thee! This is that by reason of which thy face shall gleam, thy heart shall de dilated with joy, thy soul become pure, thy back strengthened, thy spirit rejoiced and thy identity quickened. Leave the people of suspicion behind thy back and adhere to the manifest signs.

Star of the West, IV, p. 10

26 September ― 19 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

It is a spiritual practice, to be kind, loving to all the people of the world, without discrimination. Like the sun. The sun never says, “I won’t shine on Vietnam because there is war, or on Africa because they are black.” No, it shines everywhere. The clouds rain everywhere. And Bahá’u’lláh says that the Bahá’ís should be like the sunshine and the clouds that rain over all and everywhere. Their love must be pure and radiant.

The Guardian emphasized, even not for the sake of teaching, love your contacts, but not for the sake that you will make him a Bahá’í. Just love him or her. If he doesn’t become a Bahá’í, don’t be angry with him, don’t change your love, don’t say he’s hopeless, because we cannot judge the soul of another man.

May I interrupt here to say something about teaching. I am extremely sorry that because of these material comforts and ease that exist in Europe and many other parts of the world, many of our Bahá’í friends have taken the same attitude in teaching. I will give you an example and then perhaps it will be illustrated what I have in mind. When you are in your apartment, you press a button and you go to the eightieth story of the building, you press another one, you come down. You take a taxi. You go to the travel agency, get a ticket and next morning you are in Paris having breakfast at the Folies Bergère. Of course, the Folies Bergère does not serve breakfast. All right, all these things are done within twenty-four hours in the quickest and speediest way. And we believe that when we have a contact sitting in front of us, his heart also has a button which we can press and push in the Book of Íqán and have the card in hand. This has happened. The Guardian says, love your contacts, be patient with them and be wise, and never change your action, because you can never judge the soul of man. You are dealing with the soul of man, not something material. The response of the soul of man is different in different people.

.

 

The Hidden Words:
Transcript of a talk by Hand of the Cause of God A. Q. Faizí

Wilmette Illinois,Conqueror of Hearts
1967-12-09

 

MORNING:

God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of teaching His Cause. Whoever ariseth to discharge this duty, must needs, ere he proclaimeth His Message, adorn himself with the ornament of an upright and praiseworthy character, so that his words may attract the hearts of such as are receptive to his call. Without it, he can never hope to influence his hearers.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 335

 

EVENING:

Let not the things they have perpetrated grieve thee. Truly they are even as dead, and not living. Leave them unto the dead, then turn thy face towards Him Who is the Life-Giver of the world. Beware lest the sayings of the heedless sadden thee. Be thou steadfast in the Cause, and teach the people with consummate wisdom. Thus enjoineth thee the Ruler of earth and heaven. He is in truth the Almighty, the Most Generous. Ere long will God exalt thy remembrance and will inscribe with the Pen of Glory that which thou didst utter for the sake of His love. He is in truth the Protector of the doers of good.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 15-16

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

An actor mentioned the drama, and its influence. “The drama is of the utmost importance.” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “It has been a great educational power in the past; it will be so again.” He described how as a young boy he witnessed the Mystery Play of ‘Ali’s Betrayal and Passion, and how it affected him so deeply that he wept and could not sleep for many nights.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London: Addresses and Notes of Conversations

Oakham: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1987, p. 93

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said…: “All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When this light shines through the mind of a musician, it manifests itself in beautiful harmonies. Again, shining through the mind of a poet, it is seen in fine poetry and poetic prose. When the Light of the Sun of Truth inspires the mind of a painter, he produces marvellous pictures. These gifts are fulfilling their highest purpose, when showing forth the praise of God.”

Lady Blomfield

The Chosen Highway

Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1954, p. 167

It is natural for the heart and spirit to take pleasure and enjoyment in all things that show forth symmetry, harmony, and perfection. For instance: a beautiful house, a well designed garden, a symmetrical line, a graceful motion, a well written book, pleasing garments — in fact, all things that have in themselves grace or beauty are pleasing to the heart and spirit — therefore, it is most certain that a true voice causes deep pleasure.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s words to Mrs. Mary L. Lucas

A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca

Chicago: Bahá’í Publishing Society, 1905, pp. 11-14

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

23 December ― 12 Masá’il   Leave a comment

I swear by the true Teacher that if ye will act in accord with the admonitions of God, as revealed in His luminous Tablets, this darksome dust will mirror forth the Kingdom of heaven, and this nether world the realm of the All-Glorious.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 11-12

 

IMG_4058MORNING:

Issue forth from your cities, O peoples of the West and aid God ere the Day when the Lord of mercy shall come down unto you in the shadow of the clouds with the angels circling around Him,* exalting His praise and seeking forgiveness for such as have truly believed in Our signs. Verily His decree hath been issued, and the command of God, as given in the Mother Book, hath indeed been revealed…

*Qur’án 2:206

Become as true brethren in the one and indivisible religion of God, free from distinction, for verily God desireth that your hearts should become mirrors unto your brethren in the Faith, so that ye find yourselves reflected in them, and they in you. This is the true Path of God, the Almighty, and He is indeed watchful over your actions.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 54

IMG_0592EVENING:

Were this “oppression”1 (which literally meaneth pressure) to be interpreted that the earth is to become contracted, or were men’s idle fancy to conceive similar calamities to befall mankind, it is clear and manifest that no such happenings can ever come to pass. They will assuredly protest that this pre-requisite of divine revelation hath not been made manifest. Such hath been and still is their contention. Whereas, by “oppression” is meant the want of capacity to acquire spiritual knowledge and apprehend the Word of God. By it is meant that when the Day-star of Truth hath set, and the mirrors that reflect His light have departed, mankind will become afflicted with “oppression” and hardship, knowing not whither to turn for guidance. Thus We instruct thee in the interpretation of the traditions, and reveal unto thee the mysteries of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest comprehend the meaning thereof, and be of them that have quaffed the cup of divine knowledge and understanding….

…That these divine Luminaries seem to be confined at times to specific designations and attributes, as you have observed and are now observing, is due solely to the imperfect and limited comprehension of certain minds. Otherwise, they have been at all times, and will through eternity continue to be, exalted above every praising name, and sanctified from every descriptive attribute. The quintessence of every name can hope for no access unto their court of holiness, and the highest and purest of all attributes can never approach their kingdom of glory. Immeasurably high are the Prophets of God exalted above the comprehension of men, who can never know them except by their own Selves. Far be it from His glory that His chosen Ones should be magnified by any other than their own persons. Glorified are they above the praise of men; exalted are they above human understanding!

1 A term used by the Christ concerning conditions that must indicate the Advent of the Second Coming

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 32-35

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_0768

I swear by the true Teacher that if ye will act in accord with the admonitions of God, as revealed in His luminous Tablets, this darksome dust will mirror forth the Kingdom of heaven, and this nether world the realm of the All-Glorious.

O ye loved ones of the Lord! Praise be to Him, the unseen, welling bounties of the Sun of Truth encompass you on every side, and from every direction the portals of His mercy stand ajar. Now is the time to take advantage of these bestowals, and benefit therefrom. Know ye the value of this time, let not this chance escape you. Stay ye entirely clear of this dark world’s concerns, and become ye known by the attributes of those essences that make their home in the Kingdom. Then shall ye see how intense is the glory of the heavenly Day-Star, and how blinding bright are the tokens of bounty coming out of the invisible realm.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 11-12

15 November ― 12 Qudrat   Leave a comment

From

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

NINTH PRINCIPLE — THE NON-INTERFERENCE OF RELIGION WITH POLITICS
4 Avenue de Camoens, Paris

49.1
In the conduct of life, man is actuated by two main motives: “The Hope for Reward” and “The Fear of Punishment.”

49.2
This hope and this fear must consequently be greatly taken into account by those in authority who have important posts under Government. Their business in life is to consult together for the framing of laws, and to provide for their just administration.

49.3
The tent of the order of the world is raised and established on the two pillars of “Reward and Retribution.”

49.4
In despotic Governments carried on by men without Divine faith, where no fear of spiritual retribution exists, the execution of the laws is tyrannical and unjust.

49.5
There is no greater prevention of oppression than these two sentiments, hope and fear. They have both political and spiritual consequences.

49.6
If administrators of the law would take into consideration  158  the spiritual consequences of their decisions, and follow the guidance of religion, “They would be Divine agents in the world of action, the representatives of God for those who are on earth, and they would defend, for the love of God, the interests of His servants as they would defend their own.” If a governor realizes his responsibility, and fears to defy the Divine Law, his judgments will be just. Above all, if he believes that the consequences of his actions will follow him beyond his earthly life, and that “as he sows so must he reap”, such a man will surely avoid injustice and tyranny.

49.7
Should an official, on the contrary, think that all responsibility for his actions must end with his earthly life, knowing and believing nothing of Divine favours and a spiritual kingdom of joy, he will lack the incentive to just dealing, and the inspiration to destroy oppression and unrighteousness.

49.8
When a ruler knows that his judgments will be weighed in a balance by the Divine Judge, and that if he be not found wanting he will come into the Celestial Kingdom and that the light of the Heavenly Bounty will shine upon him, then will he surely act with justice and equity. Behold how important it is that Ministers of State should be enlightened by religion!

49.9
With political questions the clergy, however, have nothing to do! Religious matters should not be confused with politics in the present state of the world (for their interests are not identical).

49.10
Religion concerns matters of the heart, of the spirit, and of morals.  

49.11
Politics are occupied with the material things of life. Religious teachers should not invade the realm of politics; they should concern themselves with the spiritual education of the people; they should ever give good counsel to men, trying to serve God and human kind; they should endeavour to awaken spiritual aspiration, and strive to enlarge the understanding and knowledge of humanity, to improve morals, and to increase the love for justice.

49.12
This is in accordance with the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh. In the Gospel also it is written, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s.”

49.13
In Persia there are some amongst the important Ministers of State who are religious, who are exemplary, who worship God, and who fear to disobey His Laws, who judge justly and rule their people with Equity. Other Governors there are in this land who have no fear of God before their eyes, who think not of the consequences of their actions, working for their own desires, and these have brought Persia into great trouble and difficulty.

49.14
Oh, friends of God, be living examples of justice! So that by the Mercy of God, the world may see in your actions that you manifest the attributes of justice and mercy.

49.15
Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality. Its operation must be carried out in all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all the people must be considered. Desire for others only that which you desire for yourselves. Then shall we rejoice in the Sun of Justice, which shines from the Horizon of God.

49.16
Each man has been placed in a post of honour, which he must not desert. A humble workman who commits an injustice is as much to blame as a renowned tyrant. Thus we all have our choice between justice and injustice.

49.17
I hope that each one of you will become just, and direct your thoughts towards the unity of mankind; that you will never harm your neighbours nor speak ill of any one; that you will respect the rights of all men, and be more concerned for the interests of others than for your own. Thus will you become torches of Divine justice, acting in accordance with the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, who, during His life, bore innumerable trials and persecutions in order to show forth to the world of mankind the virtues of the World of Divinity, making it possible for you to realize the supremacy of the spirit, and to rejoice in the Justice of God.

49.18
By His Mercy, the Divine Bounty will be showered upon you, and for this I pray!

50

 Paris Talks, p. 157

MORNING:

Magnify My Cause and promulgate My teachings and commandments, for none other course beside this shall beseem you, and no other path shall ever lead unto Him. Would that ye might heed Our counsel!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 37

EVENING:

IMG_2461Say: We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance. Beware lest ye dispute idly with anyone. Whoso ariseth wholly for the sake of his Lord to teach His Cause, the Holy Spirit shall strengthen him and inspire him with that which will illumine the heart of the world, how much more the hearts of those who seek Him. O people of Baha! Subdue the citadels of men’s hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer then with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward.

If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin. He, verily, is the Concealer, the Lord of grace abounding. O ye rich ones on earth! If ye encounter one who is poor, treat him not disdainfully. Reflect upon that whereof ye were created. Every one of you was created of a sorry germ. It behoveth you to observe truthfulness, whereby your temples shall be adorned, your names uplifted, your stations exalted amidst men, and a mighty recompense assured for you before God.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 78-79

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Know that, verily, this day is the day of teaching, this day is the day of diffusing the fragrances of God, being severed from aught else save God, attracted to the Word of God, and clinging to the Covenant of God. There is no work greater than this. Be ye entirely spiritual, purely brilliant, cut your dependence from any other mention, thought or purpose, and confine your mentions, thoughts and occupations to spreading the fragrances of God, and devote your attention to this great work. By God, the True One, verily, the Sun of Truth will cast forth its lights in your assemblies and will make you shining lamps, glittering stars, brilliant signs, and as souls attracted to the Holy Spirit. This is the great prosperity! This is the manifest light!

Upon you be greeting and Praise!

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 28

30 October ― 15 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

We have absolved you from the requirement of
performing the Prayer of the Signs. On the appearance
of fearful natural events call ye to mind the might and
majesty of your Lord, He Who heareth and seeth all,
and say “Dominion is God’s, the Lord of the seen and
the unseen, the Lord of creation”.

IMG_3188

His Holiness Baha’u’llah

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶11, p. 23

 

MORNING:

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.’ ‘Hath the Catastrophe come to pass?’ Say: ‘Yea, by the Lord of Lords!’ ‘Is the Resurrection come?’ ‘Nay, more; He Who is the Self-Subsisting hath appeared with the Kingdom of His signs.’

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 132-133

IMG_3191EVENING:

‘Seest thou men laid low?’ ‘Yea, by my Lord, the Exalted, the Most High!’ ‘Have the tree-stumps been uprooted?’ ‘Yea, more; the mountains have been scattered in dust; by Him the Lord of attributes!’ They say: ‘Where is Paradise, and where is Hell?’ Say: ‘The one is reunion with Me; the other thine own self, O thou who dost associate a partner with God and doubtest.’ They say: ‘We see not the Balance.’ Say: ‘Surely, by my Lord, the God of Mercy! None can see it except such as are endued with insight.’

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 131

FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“It is understandable that Bahá’ís who witness the miserable conditions under which so many human beings have to live, or who hear of a sudden disaster that has struck a certain area of the world, are moved to do something practical to ameliorate those conditions and to help their suffering fellow-mortals.

 

“There are many ways in which help can be rendered. Every Bahá’í has the duty to acquire a trade or profession through which he will earn that wherewith he can support himself and his family; in the choice of such work he can seek those activities which are of benefit to his fellow-men and not merely those which promote his personal interests, still less those whose effects are actually harmful.

 

“There are also the situations in which an individual Bahá’í or a Spiritual Assembly is confronted with an urgent need which neither justice nor compassion could allow to go unheeded and unhelped. How many are the stories told of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in such situations, when He would even take off a garment He was wearing and give it to a shivering man in rags.

 

“But in our concern for such immediate obvious calls upon our succour we must not allow ourselves to forget the continuing, appalling burden of suffering under which millions of human beings are always groaning — a burden which they have bourne for century upon century and which it is the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh to lift at last. the principal cause of this suffering, which one can witness wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred, untrustworthiness, selfishness and tyranny among men. It is not merely material well- being that people need. What they desperately need is to know how to live their lives — they need to know who they are’, to what purpose they exist, and how they should act towards one another; and, once they know the answers to these questions they need to be helped to gradually apply these answers to every-day behavior. It is to the solution of this basic problem of mankind that the greater part of all our energy and resources should be directed…”

From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, November 19, 1974

Lights of Guidance, p. 122