Mar 22, 2018

Turning to the Kingdom of Abha

 O thou maid-servant of God! Whenever thou art intending to deliver a speech, turn thy face toward the Kingdom of Abha and, with a heart detached, begin to talk. The breaths of the Holy Spirit will assist thee. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá  (‘Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha, vol. 2)

Mar 21, 2018

Naw-Ruz: “a festival unto those who have observed the fast”

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. 
- Baha'u'llah  (‘Prayers and Meditations)

Mar 20, 2018

Not to seek preference or distinction

Ever since the seeking of preference and distinction came into play, the world has been laid waste. It hath become desolate ... Indeed, man is noble, inasmuch as each one is a repository of the sign of God. Nevertheless, to regard oneself as superior in knowledge, in learning or virtue, or to exalt oneself or seek preference, is a grievous transgression. 
- Baha’u’llah  (Cited in a letter of the Universal House of Justice dated 27 March 1978, included in an article titled: ‘Human Rights Discourses: A Baha’i Perspective’, by Matthew Weinberg; ‘The Baha’i World 1996-1997’)

Mar 19, 2018

To mingle “with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love”

Illumine and hallow your hearts; let them not be profaned by the thorns of hate or the thistles of malice. Ye dwell in one world, and have been created through the operation of one Will. Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh’)

Mar 18, 2018

Human spirit

The human spirit, which distinguishes man from the animal, is the rational soul, and these two terms—the human spirit and the rational soul—designate one and the same thing. This spirit, which in the terminology of the philosophers is called the rational soul, encompasses all things and as far as human capacity permits, discovers their realities and becomes aware of the properties and effects, the characteristics and conditions of earthly things. But the human spirit, unless it be assisted by the spirit of faith, cannot become acquainted with the divine mysteries and the heavenly realities. It is like a mirror which, although clear, bright, and polished, is still in need of light. Not until a sunbeam falls upon it can it discover the divine mysteries. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

Mar 17, 2018

The mind

As for the mind, it is the power of the human spirit. The spirit is as the lamp, and the mind as the light that shines from it. The spirit is as the tree, and the mind as the fruit. The mind is the perfection of the spirit and a necessary attribute thereof, even as the rays of the sun are an essential requirement of the sun itself. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

Mar 16, 2018

To show forth magnanimity

...the believers of God must become self-sacrificing and like unto the candles of guidance become ignited... Should they show forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they will obtain universal divine confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a most great victory will be obtained.... 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From the "Tablets of the Divine Plan Revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the North American Bahá'ís"; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

Mar 15, 2018

Enrollment of remaining Letters of the Living commenced forty days after Mulla Husayn’s

With this historic Declaration the dawn of an Age that signalizes the consummation of all ages had broken. The first impulse of a momentous Revelation had been communicated to the one “but for whom,” according to the testimony of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, “God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory.” Not until forty days had elapsed, however, did the enrollment of the seventeen remaining Letters of the Living commence. Gradually, spontaneously, some in sleep, others while awake, some through fasting and prayer, others through dreams and visions, they discovered the Object of their quest, and were enlisted under the banner of the new-born Faith. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

Mar 14, 2018

Architect of the Edifice of the New World Order

The Edifice of this New World Order, which the Báb has heralded, which the mind of Bahá’u’lláh has envisioned, and whose features ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, its Architect, has delineated, we, whatever our capacities, opportunities or position, are now, at so precarious a period in the world’s history, summoned to found and erect. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated May 22, 1939; ‘Messages to America’)

Mar 13, 2018

“the consciousness of the Oneness of Mankind”

In every Dispensation the light of Divine Guidance has been focussed upon one central theme.... In this wondrous Revelation, this glorious century, the foundation of the Faith of God and the distinguishing feature of His Law is the consciousness of the Oneness of Mankind. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Quoted by Shoghi Effendi in ‘The World Order of Baha'u'llah’)

Mar 12, 2018

To appreciate the divine cycle in which we exist

Do ye know in what cycle ye are created and in what age ye exist? This is the age of the Blessed Perfection and this is the time of the Greatest Name! This is the century of the Manifestation, the age of the Sun of the Horizons and the beautiful springtime of His Holiness the Eternal One!

The earth is in motion and growth… the gifts are successive; the favors consecutive; and the refreshing breeze is blowing, wafting the fragrant perfume of the blossoms. Boundless treasure is in the hand of the King of Kings! Lift the hem of thy garment in order to receive it.

If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look? 
- ‘Abdu'l-Baha  ('Baha'i World Faith)

Mar 11, 2018

How a human being can become “the gem of gems, the light of lights, and the spirit of spirits”

…man is said to be the greatest sign of God—that is, he is the Book of Creation—for all the mysteries of the universe are found in him. Should he come under the shadow of the true Educator and be rightly trained, he becomes the gem of gems, the light of lights, and the spirit of spirits; he becomes the focal centre of divine blessings, the wellspring of spiritual attributes, the dawning-place of heavenly lights, and the recipient of divine inspirations. Should he, however, be deprived of this education, he becomes the embodiment of satanic attributes, the epitome of animal vices, and the source of all that is oppressive and dark

This is the wisdom of the appearance of the Prophets: to educate humanity… 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

Mar 10, 2018

Baha’i fasting period: “essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation”

The fasting period, which lasts nineteen days starting as a rule from the second of March every year and ending on the twentieth of the same month, involves complete abstention from food and drink from sunrise till sunset. It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.  
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, January 10, 1936; Lights of Guidance)

Mar 9, 2018

The “deliberations of Assemblies must be secret and confidential”

The Guardian regrets that, in the light of the Master's statement that the deliberations of Assemblies must be secret and confidential, it is not possible to have a non-Assembly member in the National Spiritual Assembly meeting. You must always remember that, in matters of principle, there can be no deviation; in America it may be possible for you to find a wholly trustworthy believer; but if your Assembly is permitted to have non-Assembly secretaries present, then the same privilege must be accorded oriental and Latin American Assemblies; and can these other countries be assured of finding people of the calibre you have found? Highly personal subjects, damaging to the honour and happiness of others, are often taken up by National Assemblies, and the danger that confidence will be betrayed is already great enough with the 9 chosen representatives of the whole Community, let alone introducing non-Assembly members. You will just have to make your minutes a little more compact and sacrifice, if necessary, a certain amount of efficiency in order to follow this very important principle. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 5 July 1950 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Consultation)

Mar 8, 2018

Baha’i “Fasting is a symbol”

Fasting is a symbol. Fasting signifies abstinence from lust. Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires. But mere abstention from food has no effect on the spirit. It is only a symbol, a reminder. Otherwise it is of no importance. Fasting for this purpose does not mean entire abstinence from food. The golden rule as to food is, do not take too much or too little. Moderation is necessary. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, quoted by Miss E. S. Stevens in Fortnightly Review, June 1911; included in ‘Baha'u'llah and the New Era', by Dr. J.E. Esslemont; Star of the West, vol. 3, no. 6, June 24, 1917) 

Mar 7, 2018

“The Summer School is a high occasion for teaching the Message”

He hopes your Committee will continue to endeavour in raising the standard, both intellectual and spiritual, of the school, and make it an attractive centre not only to the believers but especially to non-Bahá'ís. It is, indeed, the teaching value of the school which you should particularly emphasize. The courses, lectures and general activities conducted by the friends should be arranged in such a way as to attract the attention of the outside public to the Cause. The Summer School is a high occasion for teaching the Message.

Through daily association with the believers, non-Bahá'ís will come to see the Cause functioning as an active and living community entirely dedicated to the service of what is best and highest in the world. The lectures will familiarize them with the principles underlying the New World Order, while their participation in the social life of the believers will enable them to see the way in which these very same principles are put into operation. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 14 October 1936 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Centers of Baha’i Learning)

Mar 6, 2018

Assistance from the “invisible hosts of the Kingdom”

The invisible hosts of the Kingdom are ready to extend to you all the assistance you need, and through them you will no doubt succeed in removing every obstacle in your way, and in fulfilling this most cherished desire of your heart. Bahá'u'lláh has given us [a] promise that should we persevere in our efforts and repose all our confidence in Him the doors of success will be widely open before us.... 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 22 September 1936 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, The Power of Divine Assistance)

Mar 5, 2018

Among the responsibilities of Spiritual Assemblies…

A third requisite [for them that take counsel together] is the promulgation of the divine commandments among the friends, such as the Obligatory Prayers, Fasting, Pilgrimage, Huqúqu'lláh and all the other ordinances. 
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá  (From a previously untranslated Tablet; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Huququ’llah)

Mar 4, 2018

The “love of the beauty of the All-Merciful impelleth one to the worship of Almighty God”

Through worship man becometh spiritual, his heart is attracted, and his soul and inner being attain such tenderness and exhilaration that the Obligatory Prayer instilleth new life in him. This is why in the Tablet of Visitation it hath been revealed: "I beseech God, by Thee and by them whose faces have been illumined with the splendours of the light of Thy countenance, and who, for love of Thee, have observed all whereunto they were bidden." It is clear then that love of the beauty of the All-Merciful impelleth one to the worship of Almighty God.  
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Compilation ‘The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting’, compiled by Research Department of the Universal House of Justice; published in The American Baha'i, September 2000)