“…If a small number of people gather lovingly together, with absolute purity and sanctity, with their hearts free of the world, experiencing the emotions of the Kingdom and the powerful magnetic forces of the Divine, and being at one in their happy fellowship, that gathering will exert its influence over all the earth. The nature of that band of people, the words they speak, the deeds they do, will unleash the bestowals of Heaven, and provide a foretaste of eternal bliss. The hosts of the Company on high will defend them, and the angels of the Abhá Paradise, in continuous succession, will come down to their aid.”
(Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 81)
As to those souls who are preaching the Word of God, it behooveth them to shake the dust of every land which they have passed by off their shoes and to be with God and without need of the rich — although their bed is the soil, their light is the stars of the sky and their food is the herbs of the desert — because theirs is the wealth of the Kingdom, the honor of the realm of might and the bounty of the divine world; and they are not in want of this world and its cares. Their throne is the mat of humility, their honor is in suffering every lowliness in the path of the Loving Lord and their wealth is being empty-handed from the pomps of the world and its vanities and their provision is trusting in God and being severed from all that is on the earth and its wealth.
My highest wish and desire is that ye who are my children may be educated according to the teachings of Baha’u’llah and may receive a Baha’i training; that ye may each become a lighted candle in the world of humanity, may be devoted to the service of all mankind, may give up your rest and comfort, so that ye may become the cause of the tranquillity of the world of creation.
Such is my hope for you and I trust that ye may become the cause of my joy and gladness in the Kingdom of God.
— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p. 141-142
O army of God! Whensoever ye behold a person whose entire attention is directed toward the Cause of God;whose only aim is this, to make the Word of God to take effect; who, day and night, with pure intent, is rendering service to the Cause; from whose behaviour not the slightest trace of egotism or private motives is discerned — who, rather, wandereth distracted in the wilderness of the love of God, and drinketh only from the cup of the knowledge of God, and is utterly engrossed in spreading the sweet savours of God, and is enamoured of the holy verses of the Kingdom of God — know ye for a certainty that this individual will be supported and reinforced by heaven; that like unto the morning star, he will forever gleam brightly out of the skies of eternal grace. But if he show the slightest taint of selfish desires and self love, his efforts will lead to nothing and he will be destroyed and left hopeless at the last.
— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 71-72
It is quite apparent to the seeing mind that a man’s spirit is something very different from his physical body. The spirit is changeless, indestructible. The progress and development of the soul, the joy and sorrow of the soul, are independent of the physical body. If we are caused joy or pain by a friend, if a love prove true or false, it is the soul that is affected. If our dear ones are far from us — it is the soul that grieves, and the grief or trouble of the soul may react on the body. Thus, when the spirit is fed with holy virtues, then is the body joyous; if the soul falls into sin, the body is in torment!
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks)
Commit thyself to God; give up thy will and choose that of God; abandon thy desire and lay hold on that of God; that thou mayest be a holy, spiritual and heavenly example among the maid-servants of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 89-90)
Juliet Thompson has given us a sweet picture of the Master in ‘Akka: ‘He had sent for us that afternoon to meet Mr. Sprague and the Persian believers and, not being ready, I put on a dress I could slip into easily. As I passed the Master standing in His door: ‘I am afraid I am not dressed well enough,’ I said. He touched my arm, smiling with the utmost sweetness. ‘The Persian believers do not look at the dress, My child. They look at the heart.’
(Thompson, Diary, p. 85)