Aug 18, 2017

Connecting our hearts to Baha’u’llah

When Bahá’u’lláh was twenty-two years old, His father died, and the Government wished Him to succeed to His father’s position in the Ministry, as was customary in Persia, but Bahá’u’lláh did not accept the offer. Then the Prime Minister said: “Leave him to himself. Such a position is unworthy of him. He has some higher aim in view. I cannot understand him, but I am convinced that he is destined for some lofty career. His thoughts are not like ours. Let him alone.” 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Quoted in ‘Baha'u'llah and the New Era’, by Dr. J.E. Esslemont)

Aug 17, 2017

Baha’u’llah’s stupendous Revelation

Centuries, nay ages, must pass away ere the Day-Star of Truth shineth again in its mid-summer splendor, or appeareth once more in the radiance of its vernal glory... How thankful must we be for having been made in this Day the recipients of so overwhelming a favor! Would that we had ten thousand lives that we might lay them down in thanksgiving for so rare a privilege, so high an attainment, so priceless a bounty! 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Quoted by Shoghi Effendi in a letter dated February 8, 1934; ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’)

Aug 16, 2017

How to vindicate the truth of this Cause

…unless some illustrious souls step forth into the arena of service and shine out resplendent in the assemblage of men, the task of vindicating the truth of this Cause before the eyes of enlightened people would be formidable indeed. However, if the friends become embodiments of virtue and good character, words and arguments will be superfluous. Their very deeds will well serve as eloquent testimony, and their noble conduct will ensure the preservation, integrity and glory of the Cause of God. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 15, 2017

The effect of “genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives”

One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them... It is primarily through the potency of noble deeds and character, rather than by the power of exposition and proofs, that the friends of God should demonstrate to the world that what has been promised by God is bound to happen, that it is already taking place and that the divine glad-tidings are clear, evident and complete. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 14, 2017

Need for “divine bestowals and confirmation” for “any enterprise to prosper and develop”

…the friends must observe the specific times for the remembrance of God, meditation, devotion and prayer, as it is highly unlikely, nay impossible, for any enterprise to prosper and develop when deprived of divine bestowals and confirmation. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 13, 2017

Purity of heart and abstaining from hypocrisy and blind imitation

First and foremost, one should use every possible means to purge one's heart and motives, otherwise, engaging in any form of enterprise would be futile. It is also essential to abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation, inasmuch as their foul odour is soon detected by every man of understanding and wisdom. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 12, 2017

Attributes to work on

Notice the extent to which the friends have been required in the Sacred Epistles and Tablets, as well as in our Beloved's Testament, to be righteous, well-wishing, forbearing, sanctified, pure, detached from all else save God, severed from the trappings of this world and adorned with the mantle of a goodly character and godly attributes. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 11, 2017

Sacrifice

Of old, all have been exhorted to loyalty and fidelity, compassion and love; in this supreme Dispensation, the people of Bahá are called upon to sacrifice their very lives. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 10, 2017

In “in all matters… should act in accordance with the divine Teachings”

The wish of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, that which attracts His good pleasure and, indeed, His binding command, is that Bahá'ís, in all matters, even in small daily transactions and dealings with others, should act in accordance with the divine Teachings. He has commanded us not to be content with lowliness, humility and meekness, but rather to become manifestations of selflessness and utter nothingness. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

Aug 9, 2017

What would happen if one were to immerse oneself in the Writings

Praise be to God that the spirit of the Holy Writings and tablets which have been revealed in this wondrous Dispensation concerning matters of major or minor importance, whether essential or otherwise, related to the sciences and the arts, to natural philosophy, literature, politics or economics, have so permeated the world that since the inception of the world in the course of past Dispensations and bygone ages nothing like it has ever been seen or heard. Indeed if an avowed follower of Bahá'u'lláh were to immerse himself in, and fathom the depths of, the ocean of these heavenly teachings, and with utmost care and attention deduce from each of them the subtle mysteries and consummate wisdom that lie enshrined therein, such a person's life, materially, intellectually and spiritually, will be safe from toil and trouble, unaffected by setbacks and perils, or any sadness or despondency. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 13 January 1923 to the friends in Adhirbáyján; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith)

Aug 8, 2017

Each human being is a “lamp” of God

O Son of Being! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah’)

Aug 7, 2017

Most noticeable objectives to be attained by each local Spiritual Assembly in “its process of development to full maturity”

Among the more salient objectives to be attained by the local Spiritual Assembly in its process of development to full maturity are to act as a loving shepherd to the Bahá'í flock, promote unity and concord among the friends, direct the teaching work, protect the Cause of God, arrange for Feasts, Anniversaries and regular meetings of the community, familiarize the Bahá'ís with its plans, invite the community to offer its recommendations, promote the welfare of youth and children, and participate, as circumstances permit, in humanitarian activities. In its relationship to the individual believer, the Assembly should continuously invite and encourage him to study the Faith, to deliver its glorious message, to live in accordance with its teachings, to contribute freely and regularly to the Fund, to participate in community activities, and to seek refuge in the Assembly for advice and help, when needed. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated July 30, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, July 30, 1972; compilation: 'Lights of Guidance')

Aug 6, 2017

"Charter of the New World Order"

The Guardian would advise that in their studies of the Will and Testament the young believers should use the "Dispensation", which will undoubtedly help them considerably to grasp the full implications of that sacred and historic Document which he has described as the "Charter of the New World Order". 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 9 January 1939 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; Compilation by the Universal House of Justice: ‘The Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith’)

Aug 5, 2017

Local Spiritual Assemblies – “embryos of the majestic institutions”

Local Spiritual Assemblies are at the present newly-born institutions, struggling for the most part to establish themselves both in the Bahá'í community and in the world. They are as yet only embryos of the majestic institutions ordained by Bahá'u'lláh in His Writings This is also true of National Spiritual Assemblies. In the following passage written by the Secretary of the Guardian on his behalf this point is elucidated:

“The Bahá'í Administration is only the first shaping of what in future will come to be the social life and laws of community living. As yet the believers are only just beginning to grasp and practise it properly. So we must have patience if at times it seems a little self-conscious and rigid in its workings. It is because we are learning something very difficult but very wonderful -- how to live together as a community of Bahá'ís, according to the glorious teachings." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated July 30, 1972 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, July 30, 1972; compilation: 'Lights of Guidance')

Aug 4, 2017

The “spirit of Baha’i consultation”

It is important to realize that the spirit of Baha'i consultation is very different from that current in the decision-making processes of non-Baha'i bodies.

The ideal of Baha'i consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. When this is not possible a vote must be taken. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 6 March 1970; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

Aug 3, 2017

Baha’i attitude towards minorities

As followers of God's Holy Faith it is our obligation to protect the just interests of any minority element within the Baha'i community. In fact in the administration of our Baha'i affairs, representatives of minority groups are not only enabled to enjoy equal rights and privileges, but they are even favoured and accorded priority. Baha'is should be careful never to deviate from this noble standard, even if the course of events or public opinion should bring pressure to bear upon them. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 8 February 1970 to National Spiritual Assemblies in Africa; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

Aug 2, 2017

The “watchword” of the “world-wide Law of Baha'u'llah”

Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Baha'u'llah. ... It does not ignore nor does it attempt to suppress the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is unity in diversity ..." 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 28 November 28, 1931, published in ‘The World Order of Baha’u’llah’)

Aug 1, 2017

A Baha’i’s loyalty to humanity

As Baha'is we are attached to our tribes and clans, just as we are to our families and, on a larger scale, to our nations, but we do not allow this attachment to conflict with our wider loyalty to humanity. The followers of the Faith, the Guardian has clearly stated, “will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the overriding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole, and that no lasting result can be achieved by any of the component parts if the general interests of the entity itself are neglected." 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 8 February 1970 to National Spiritual Assemblies in Africa; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)

Jul 31, 2017

Goals to strive for - for youth

…O ye illumined youth, strive by night and by day to unravel the mysteries of the mind and spirit, and to grasp the secrets of the Day of God. Inform yourselves of the evidences that the Most Great Name hath dawned. Open your lips in praise. Adduce convincing arguments and proofs. Lead those who thirst to the fountain of life; grant ye true health to the ailing. Be ye apprentices of God; be ye physicians directed by God, and heal ye the sick among humankind. Bring those who have been excluded into the circle of intimate friends. Make the despairing to be filled with hope. Waken them that slumber; make the heedless mindful.

Such are the fruits of this earthly life. Such is the station of resplendent glory. Upon you be Baha'u'l-Abha. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, Youth)