Archive for the ‘The Son’ Category

17 December ― 6 Masá’il   Leave a comment

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Who is the Christ? When one sees the Christ qualities shining from another source, one must recognize that light. We see this flower is exquisite; we do not see that it is the only beautiful one, for beauty is of the divine effulgence that is universal and unlimited in its manifestations. The marvelous bestowals of God are continuous. Should the outpouring of light be suspended, we would be in darkness. But how could it be withheld? If the divine graces are suspended, then divinity itself would be interrupted. Even men ask for continuity.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Divine Philosophy, p. 33

 

IMG_1172MORNING:

Consider likewise, how numerous at this time are the monks who have secluded themselves in their churches, calling upon the Spirit, but when He appeared through the power of Truth, they failed to draw nigh unto Him and are numbered with those that have gone far astray. Happy are they that have abandoned them and set their faces towards Him Who is the Desire of all that are in the heavens and all that are on the earth.

They read the Evangel and yet refuse to acknowledge the All-Glorious Lord, notwithstanding that He hath come through the potency of His exalted, His mighty and gracious dominion. We, verily, have come for your sakes, and have borne the misfortunes of the world for your salvation. Flee ye the One Who hath sacrificed His life that ye may be quickened? Fear God, O followers of the Spirit, and walk not in the footsteps of every divine that hath gone far astray. Do ye imagine that He seeketh His own interests, when He hath, at all times, been threatened by the swords of the enemies; or that He seeketh the vanities of the world, after He hath been imprisoned in the most desolate of cities? Be fair in your judgement and follow not the footsteps of the unjust.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

IMG_1164EVENING:

Announce thou unto the priests: Lo! He Who is the Ruler is come. Step out from behind the veil in the name of thy Lord, He Who layeth low the necks of all men. Proclaim then unto all mankind the glad-tidings of this mighty, this glorious Revelation. Verily, He Who is the Spirit of Truth is come to guide you unto all truth. He speaketh not as prompted by His own self, but as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Say, this is the One Who hath glorified the Son and hath exalted His Cause. Cast away, O peoples of the earth, that which ye have and take fast hold of that which ye are bidden by the All-Powerful, He Who is the Bearer of the Trust of God. Purge ye your ears and set your hearts towards Him that ye may hearken to the most wondrous Call which hath been raised from Sinai, the habitation of your Lord, the Most Glorious. It will, in truth, draw you nigh unto the Spot wherein ye will perceive the splendour of the light of His countenance which shineth above this luminous Horizon.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 12-13

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

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Sincerity is the foundation-stone of faith. That is, a religious individual must disregard his personal desires and seek in whatever way he can wholeheartedly to serve the public interest; and it is impossible for a human being to turn aside from his own selfish advantages and sacrifice his own good for the good of the community except through true religious faith. For self-love is kneaded into the very clay of man, and it is not possible that, without any hope of a substantial reward, he should neglect his own present material good. That individual, however, who puts his faith in God and believes in the words of God — because he is promised and certain of a plentiful reward in the next life, and because worldly benefits as compared to the abiding joy and glory of future planes of existence are nothing to him — will for the sake of God abandon his own peace and profit and will freely consecrate his heart and soul to the common good. “A man, too, there is who selleth his very self out of desire to please God.”*

*Qur’án 2:203

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 96-97

FROM THE HOLY QU’RÁN:

And of old sent we Noah and Abraham, and on their seed conferred the

gift of prophecy, and the Book; and some of them we guided aright; but many

were evil doers.

Then we caused our apostles to follow in their footsteps; and we caused

Jesus the son of Mary to follow them; and we gave him the Evangel, and we put

into the hearts of those who followed him kindness and compassion: but as to

the monastic life, they invented it themselves. The desire only of pleasing

God did we prescribe to them, and this they observed not as it ought to have

been observed: but to such of them as believed gave we their reward, though

many of them were perverse.

O ye who believe! fear God and believe in his apostle: two portions of

his mercy will He give you. He will bestow on you light to walk in, and He

will forgive you: for God is Forgiving, Merciful;

That the people of the Book may know that they have no control over

aught of the favours of God, and that these gifts of grace are in the hands of

God, and that He vouchsafeth them to whom he will; for God is of immense

bounty.

Sura 15 Iron

[Rodwell translation]

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5 December ― 13 Qawl   Leave a comment

MORNING:

I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day. Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I, who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements. The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age. Scatter throughout the length and breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts, prepare the way for His coming. Heed not your weaknesses and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the Lord, your God, the Almighty.

—His Holiness The Báb

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Dawn-Breakers, pp:. 93-94

EVENING:

The river Jordan is joined to the Most Great Ocean, and the Son, in the holy vale, crieth out: ‘Here am I, here am I O Lord, my God!’, whilst Sinai circleth round the House, and the Burning Bush calleth aloud: ‘He Who is the Desired One is come in His transcendent majesty.’ Say, Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: ‘Ye cannot bear it now.’ And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God. Beware, O followers of the Son, that ye cast it not behind your backs. Take ye fast hold of it. Better is this for you than all that ye possess. Verily He is nigh unto them that do good. The Hour which We had concealed from the knowledge of the peoples of the earth and of the favoured angels hath come to pass. Say, verily, He hath testified of Me, and I do testify of Him. Indeed, He hath purposed no one other than Me. Unto this beareth witness every fair-minded and understanding soul.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

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

1 September 1912
Talk at Church of the Messiah
Montreal, Canada  From Stenographic Notes

God has created His servants in order that they may love and associate with each other. He has revealed the glorious splendor of His sun of love in the world of humanity. The cause of the creation of the phenomenal world is love. All the Prophets have promulgated the law of love. Man has opposed the will of God and acted in opposition to the plan of God. Therefore, from the beginning of history to the present time the world of humanity has had no lasting rest; warfare and strife have continuously prevailed, and hearts have manifested hatred toward each other. The cause of bloodshed and battle, strife and hatred throughout the past has been either religious, racial, patriotic or political prejudice. Therefore, the world of humanity has ever been in torment. These prejudices are more pronounced in the Orient, where freedom is restricted. In the nineteenth century the nations of the East were restless and in a state of inner commotion. The darkness of imitations and forms had enveloped religious belief. The people of religions were in constant warfare, filled with enmity, hatred and bitterness. In the midst of these conditions Bahá’u’lláh appeared. He proclaimed the oneness of the world of humanity and announced that all are the servants of God. He taught that all the religions are beneath the shadow and protection of the Almighty, that God is compassionate and loving to all, that the revelations of all the Prophets of the past have been in perfect unity and agreement, that the heavenly Books have confirmed each other; therefore, why should contention and strife exist among the people?

As all mankind have been created by the one God, we are sheep under the care and protection of one Shepherd. Therefore, as His sheep we must associate in accord and agreement. If one single lamb becomes separated from the flock, the thoughts and efforts of all the others must be to bring it back again. Consequently, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed that, inasmuch as God is the one heavenly Shepherd and all mankind are the sheep of His fold, the religion or guidance of God must be the means of love and fellowship in the world. If religion proves to be the source of hatred, enmity and contention, if it becomes the cause of warfare and strife and influences men to kill each other, its absence is preferable. For that which is productive of hatred amongst the people is rejected by God, and that which establishes fellowship is beloved and sanctioned by Him. Religion and divine teachings are like unto a remedy. A remedy must produce the condition of health. If it occasions sickness, it is wiser and better to have no remedy whatever. This is the significance of the statement that if religion becomes the cause of warfare and bloodshed, irreligion and the absence of religion are preferable among mankind.

Bahá’u’lláh has declared that religion must be in accord with science and reason. If it does not correspond with scientific principles and the processes of reason, it is superstition. For God has endowed us with faculties by which we may comprehend the realities of things, contemplate reality itself. If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 297-299

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF TH E CAUSE OF GOD, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Then will the coming of age of the entire human race be proclaimed and celebrated by all the peoples and nations of the earth. Then will the banner of the Most Great Peace be hoisted. Then will the worldwide sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh—the Establisher of the Kingdom of the Father foretold by the Son, and anticipated by the Prophets of God before Him and after Him—be recognized, acclaimed, and firmly established. Then will a world civilization be born, flourish, and perpetuate itself, a civilization with a fullness of life such as the world has never seen nor can as yet conceive. Then will the Everlasting Covenant be fulfilled in its completeness. Then will the promise enshrined in all the Books of God be redeemed, and all the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of old come to pass, and the vision of seers and poets be realized. Then will the planet, galvanized through the universal belief of its dwellers in one God, and their allegiance to one common Revelation, mirror, within the limitations imposed upon it, the effulgent glories of the sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh, shining in the plenitude of its splendor in the Abhá Paradise, and be made the footstool of His Throne on high, and acclaimed as the earthly heaven, capable of fulfilling that ineffable destiny fixed for it, from time immemorial, by the love and wisdom of its Creator.

Not ours, puny mortals that we are, to attempt, at so critical a stage in the long and checkered history of mankind, to arrive at a precise and satisfactory understanding of the steps which must successively lead a bleeding humanity, wretchedly oblivious of its God, and careless of Bahá’u’lláh, from its calvary to its ultimate resurrection. Not ours, the living witnesses of the all-subduing potency of His Faith, to question, for a moment, and however dark the misery that enshrouds the world, the ability of Bahá’u’lláh to forge, with the hammer of His Will, and through the fire of tribulation, upon the anvil of this travailing age, and in the particular shape His mind has envisioned, these scattered and mutually destructive fragments into which a perverse world has fallen, into one single unit, solid and indivisible, able to execute His design for the children of men.

Ours rather the duty, however confused the scene, however dismal the present outlook, however circumscribed the resources we dispose of, to labor serenely, confidently, and unremittingly to lend our share of assistance, in whichever way circumstances may enable us, to the operation of the forces which, as marshaled and directed by Bahá’u’lláh, are leading humanity out of the valley of misery and shame to the loftiest summits of power and glory.

Shoghi

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.
Haifa, Palestine
March 28, 1941

The Promised Day Is Come

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 revised edition, pp: 123-124

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

In contemplating the supreme importance of the task now challenging the entire world, we bow our heads in humility before the awesome majesty of the divine Creator, Who out of His infinite love has created all humanity from the same stock; exalted the gem-like reality of man; honoured it with intellect and wisdom, nobility and immortality; and conferred upon man the “unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him”, a capacity that “must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.”

We hold firmly the conviction that all human beings have been created “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization”; that “to act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man”; that the virtues that befit human dignity are trustworthiness, forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all peoples. We reaffirm the belief that the “potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of God.” These are the motivations for our unshakeable faith that unity and peace are the attainable goal towards which humanity is striving.

At this writing, the expectant voices of Bahá’ís can be heard despite the persecution they still endure in the land in which their Faith was born. By their example of steadfast hope, they bear witness to the belief that the imminent realization of this age-old dream of peace is now, by virtue of the transforming effects of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation, invested with the force of divine authority. Thus we convey to you not only a vision in words: we summon the power of deeds of faith and sacrifice; we convey the anxious plea of our co-religionists everywhere for peace and unity. We join with all who are the victims of aggression, all who yearn for an end to conflict and contention, all whose devotion to principles of peace and world order promotes the ennobling purposes for which humanity was called into being by an all-loving Creator.

In the earnestness of our desire to impart to you the fervour of our hope and the depth of our confidence, we cite the emphatic promise of Bahá’u’lláh: “These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come.”

 The Promise of World Peace, pp:14-15

Edward Granville Brown in Easter dress

FROM EDWARD GRANVILLE BROWN* [1862 – 1926]:

…Bahá’u’lláh received at Bahji one of the few Westerners to meet Him, and the only one to leave a written account of the experience. The visitor was Edward Granville Browne, a rising young orientalist from Cambridge University, whose attention had originally been attracted by the dramatic history of the Báb and His heroic band of followers. Of his meeting with Bahá’u’lláh, Browne wrote:

     Though I dimly suspected whither I was going and whom I was to behold

     (for no distinct intimation had been given to me), a second or two elapsed

     ere, with a throb of wonder and awe, I became definitely conscious that

     the room was not untenanted.  In the corner where the divan met the wall

     sat a wondrous and venerable figure…  The face of him on whom I gazed

     I can never forget, though I cannot describe it.  Those piercing eyes

     seemed to read one’s very soul; power and authority sat on that ample

     brow…  No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself

     before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might

     envy and emperors sigh for in vain!  A mild dignified voice bade me be

     seated, and then continued: — “Praise be to God that thou hast

     attained!…Thou hast come to see a prisoner and an exile…We desire

     but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; yet they

     deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and

     banishment…That all nations should become one in faith and all men

     as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of

     men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and

     differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in this?…Yet so

     it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away,

     and the ‘Most great Peace’ shall come…”

* Edward G. Browne, A Traveller’s Narrative (New York:  Baha’i

      Publishing Committee, 1930), pp. xxxix-xl

Room in which Browne was received by the Blessed Perfection