Sunday, January 31, 2016

Prayer for peace.

Photo from
Glenn Franco Simmons

O my Lord, my Defender, my Help in Peril! Lowly do I entreat Thee, ailing do I come unto Thee to be healed, humbly do I cry out to Thee with my tongue, my soul, my spirit:
 O God, my God! The gloom of night hath shrouded every region, and all the earth is shut away behind thick clouds. The peoples of the world are sunk in the black depths of vain illusions, while their tyrants wallow in cruelty and hate. I see nothing but the glare of searing fires that blaze upward from the nethermost abyss, I hear nothing save the thunderous roar that belloweth out from thousands upon thousands of fiery weapons of assault, while every land is crying aloud in its secret tongue: “My riches avail me nothing, and my sovereignty hath perished!”
 O my Lord, the lamps of guidance have gone out. The flames of passion are mounting high, and malevolence is ever gaining on the world. Malice and hate have overspread the face of the whole earth, and I find no souls except Thine own oppressed small band who are raising up this cry:
 Make haste to love!
 Make haste to trust!
 Make haste to give!
 To guidance come!
 Come ye for harmony! 
 To behold the Star of Day! Come here for kindliness, for ease! Come here for amity and peace!
Come and cast down your weapons of wrath, till unity is won!
Come and in the Lord's true path each one help each one.
 Verily, with exceeding joy, with heart and soul, do these oppressed of Thine offer themselves up for all mankind in every land. Thou seest them, O my Lord, weeping over the tears Thy people shed, mourning the grief of Thy children, condoling with humankind, suffering because of the calamities that beset all the denizens of the earth.
 O my Lord, wing them with victory that they may soar upward to salvation, strengthen their loins in service to Thy people, and their backs in servitude to Thy Threshold of Holiness. Verily Thou art the Generous, verily Thou art the Merciful! There is none other God save Thee, the Clement, the Pitiful, the Ancient of Days!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Oh! why will man, ...

We learn also that France conquered England; then was the English nation
victorious over France! These glorious conquests are so ephemeral! Why attach so great importance to them and to their fame, as to be willing to shed the blood of the people for their attainment? Is any victory worth the inevitable train of evils consequent upon human slaughter, the grief and sorrow and ruin which must overwhelm so many homes of both nations? For it is not possible that one country alone should suffer.
Oh! why will man, the disobedient child of God, who should be an example of the power of the spiritual law, turn his face away from the Divine Teaching and put all his effort into destruction and war?
My hope is that in this enlightened century the Divine Light of love will shed its radiance over the whole world, seeking out the responsive heart’s intelligence of every human being; that the light of the Sun of Truth will lead politicians to shake off all the claims of prejudice and superstition, and with freed minds to follow the Policy of God: for Divine Politics are mighty, man’s politics are feeble! God has created all the world, and bestows His Divine Bounty upon every creature.

`Abdu'l-Bahá,  Paris Talks, P. 151

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Who are we that we should judge?

All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.
Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?
Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices,  preferring others’ good to our own! Let us never say, ‘I am a believer but he is an infidel’, ‘I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast’. We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance.

`Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, P. 147


Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

يَا ابْنَ البَشَرِ
 إِنْ أَصَابَتْكَ نِعْمَةٌ لا تَفْرَحْ بِها، وَإِنْ تَمَسَّكَ ذِلَّةٌ لا تَحْزَنْ مِنْهَا، لأَنَّ كِلْتَيْهِما تَزُولانِ فِي حِين وَتَبِيدانِ فِي وَقْتٍ.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Members of the human race!

 "Members of the human race! Hold ye fast by the Cord which no man can sever.
This will, indeed, profit you all the days of your life, for its strength is of God, the Lord of all worlds. Cleave ye to justice and fairness, and turn away from the whisperings of the foolish, them that are estranged from God, that have decked their heads with the ornament of the learned, and have condemned to death Him Who is the Fountain of wisdom. My name hath uplifted them to lofty grades, and yet, no sooner did I reveal Myself to their eyes than they, with manifest injustice, pronounced the sentence of My death. Thus hath Our Pen revealed the truth, and yet the people are sunk in heedlessness."

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh P.343

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Idle fancies have debarred men ...

"By the righteousness of God! Idle fancies have debarred men from the Horizon of Certitude, and vain imaginings withheld them from the Choice Sealed Wine.
In truth I say, and for the sake of God I declare: This Servant, this Wronged One, is abashed to claim for Himself any existence whatever, how much more those exalted grades of being! Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men.
There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory. Whatever hath been said hath come from God. Unto this, He, verily, hath borne, and beareth now, witness, and He, in truth, is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed."

Bahá'u'lláh,  Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. P.45

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Captivity of Man

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:
“Luxuries cut off the freedom of communication. One who is imprisoned by desires is always unhappy; the children of the Kingdom have unchained themselves from their desires. Break all fetters and seek for spiritual joy and enlightenment; then, though you walk on this earth, you will perceive yourselves to be within the divine horizon. To man alone is this possible. When we look about us we see every other creature captive to his environment. “The bird is a captive in the air and the fish a captive in the sea. Man alone stands apart and says to the elements, I will make you my servants! I can govern you! He takes electricity, and through his ingenuity imprisons it and makes of it a wonderful power for lighting, and a means of communication to a distance of thousands of miles. But man himself may become a captive to the things he has invented. His true second birth occurs when he is freed from all material things:  for he only is free who is not a captive to his desires. He has then as Jesus has said, become captive to the Holy Spirit.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grieve not, O House of God, ..

The House of Baha’u'llah in Baghdad, a Baha’i sacred site.
Haji Mirza Musay-i-Javahiri was entitled the Harf-i-Baqa (Letter of Eternity). His father, Haji Mirza Hadi was a Persian vazir (a nobleman) and highly revered. He was a man of great wealth and influence and moved to Baghdad. Towards the latter part of his life he became attracted to Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar (the Purest Branch – Mirza Mihdi, the son of Bahá’u’lláh) and became a Bahá’í. Despite his wealth and position he would often enter Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar’s presence and sit at His feet in humility and self-effacement.
 Haji Mirza Musay-i-Javahiri provided the house in which Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar lived in Baghdad. Actually there’s more to it which is important to mention. After Haji Mirza Musay-i-Javahari died in 1881, his son, Haji Mirza Musa inherited a portion of the estate. He owned the house where Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar lived and was extremely happy to present it to Him as a gift. However, Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar refused and due to Haji Mirza Musa’s continuous pleas, Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar only then gave instructions that the house be purchased from him at a fair price. As a result this house became a property of the Faith. This building called the House of God or Most Great House which was to be a site for pilgrimage was sadly destroyed in June 2013. The precise circumstances surrounding the demolition are not yet clear. In some of His Tablets, Ghusnu’lláhu’l-Athar has extolled the holiness and glory of this sacred spot, has foretold its fate and the abasement to which it would be subjected, and has prophesied its ultimate exaltation and grandeur in days to come. In one Tablet Bahá’u’lláh has revealed the following:

 “Grieve not, O House of God, if the veil of thy sanctity be rent asunder by the infidels. God hath, in the world of creation, adorned thee with the jewel of His remembrance. Such an ornament no man can, at any time, profane. Towards thee the eyes of thy Lord shall, under all conditions, remain directed…In the fullness of time the Lord shall, by the power of truth, exalt it in the eyes of all men. He shall cause it to become the Standard of His Kingdom, the Shrine round which will circle the concourse of the faithful.”

Bahá’u’lláh opens the Tablet of Subhána-Rabbíya’l-A’lá (Praise to the Exalted Lord) with words of encouragement to Mírzá Músá, the Harf-i-Baqá, calling on him to detach himself from this world and everything in it, to enable him to soar in the realms of spirit and partake of the melodies of the Kingdom.

Haji Mirza Musay-i-Javahari

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Jerusalem

Abdu'l-Bahá, in Paris
"We are told in the Holy Scripture that the New Jerusalem shall appear on earth. Now it is evident that this celestial city is not built of material stones and mortar, but that it is a city not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.This is a prophetic symbol, meaning the com he Holy City of the New Jerusalem has come again to the world, it has appeared anew under an Eastern sky; from the horizon of Persia has its effulgence arisen to be a light to lighten the whole world. We see in these days the fulfilment of the Divine Prophecy. Jerusalem had disappeared. The heavenly city was destroyed, now it is rebuilt; it was razed to the ground, but now its walls and pinnacles have been restored, and are towering aloft in their renewed and glorious beauty.

In the Western world material prosperity has triumphed, whilst in the East the spiritual sun has shone forth.
I am very glad to see such an assembly as this in Paris, where spiritual and material progress are met together in unity."

Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks. P85