Daily Reflection -14 Kamál (Perfection)

Regarding the criticism of the Assemblies:

“At such a time when the political world is chaotic and society seems to be on the verge of death, as a result of the activities of societies that contain only half-truths, the friends of God should be united and act as one single organism. The greater their unity the surer they can be of winning the day. And this unity cannot be achieved save through obedience to the Assemblies. It is true that these are still immature and may at times act unwisely. But supporting them will help more their advance toward an administration that is truly representative of the Cause, than by criticizing them and ignoring their advice. Bahá’u’lláh has not only advocated certain principles, but has also provided a mechanism whereby that ideal can be established and perpetuated. Both of these phases are essential for the realization of His goal of world unity.” (February 27, 1933)

The need of the friends to sacrifice their personalities for the sake of unity:

“The Guardian believes that a great deal of the difficulties from which the believers … feel themselves to be suffering are caused by their neither correctly understanding nor putting into practice the administration. They seem – many of them – to be prone to continually challenging and criticizing the decisions of their Assemblies. If the Bahá’ís undermine the very bodies which are, however immaturely, seeking to co-ordinate Bahá’í activities and administer Bahá’í affairs, if they continually criticize their acts and challenge or belittle their decisions, they not only prevent any real rapid progress in the Faith’s development from taking place, but they repel outsiders who quite rightly may ask how we ever expect to unite the whole world when we are so disunited among ourselves!

“There is only one remedy for this: to study the administration, to obey the Assemblies, and each believer seek to perfect his own character as a Bahá’í. We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weaknesses of others; if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage, others will do likewise, and we can really help the Cause through our example and spiritual strength. The Bahá’ís everywhere, when the administration is first established, find it very difficult to adjust themselves. They have to learn to obey, even when the Assembly may be wrong, for the sake of unity. They have to sacrifice their personalities, to a certain extent, in order that the community life may grow and develop as a whole. These things are difficult – but we must realize that they will lead us to a very much greater, more perfect, way of life when the Faith is properly established according to the administration.” (October 26, 1943)

Daily Reflection -13 Kamál (Perfection)

“Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names” 

Regarding the meaning thereof:

“The members of the Universal House of Justice, designated by Bahá’u’lláh “the Men of
Justice”, “the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names”, “the Trustees
of God amongst His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries”, shall in the
discharge of their responsibilities ever bear in mind the following standards set forth by Shoghi
Effendi, the Guardian of the Cause of God…”
(“The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice” (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1972), page 6) [7]

While there are many references in the Writings to the “Ark of the Cause”, these refer to the entire Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, Who writes of His followers as “the dwellers in the Crimson Ark”.

A more restricted meaning appears in the Tablet of Carmel:³

“Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.”

“This passage is referred to by Shoghi Effendi, who identifies it as the Ark of God’s Laws,
whose occupants are the members of the Universal House of Justice. In other words this
passage is an allusion to the establishment of the Universal House of Justice on Mount Carmel.”
(From a letter dated 13 December 1994, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

Download: compilation_book_names_carmel.pdf. 

Notes: 
³ “Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas” (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust,
1988), page 5

Daily Reflection – 12 Kamál (Perfection)

What is the wisdom of this:

since Christ possessed all essential perfection, why did He need baptism?

Answer:

“The principle of baptism is purification by repentance. John admonished and exhorted the people, and caused them to repent; then he baptized them.

Therefore, it is apparent that this baptism is a symbol of repentance from all sin:  its meaning is expressed in these words:

“O God! as my body has become purified and cleansed from physical impurities, in the same way purify and sanctify my spirit from the impurities of the world of nature, which are not worthy of the Threshold of Thy Unity!”

Repentance is the return from disobedience to obedience.

Man, after remoteness and deprivation from God, repents and undergoes purification:  and this is a symbol signifying “O God! make my heart good and pure, freed and sanctified from all save Thy love.”

(‘Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 91)

 

 

 

 

Daily Reflection -11 Kamál (Perfection)

How important is trustworthiness and truthfulness to you?  Share an example of things you do to demonstrate these virtues in your life.  

I work very hard to deliver on what I say, therefore I make no promises…LOL…just kidding friends.  Honestly, I work very hard to be honest and trustworthy.  I am from a very small town in Wisconsin and all you have is your word and your name. If any member of your family is found to be dishonest or unreliable your whole family lives with that dark mark.  Yes, unfair to bear the sins of another, but that is a small town. So, these qualities are extremely important for me and for those in my life to possess.  My expectations are often a bit high but without trust and honesty we don’t have a family let alone a friendship. 

We human beings, as social creatures, are drawn to trustworthy people.

“Trustworthiness binds people together, while deceitfulness alienates people. When mutual deceit replaces mutual trust, criticism overwhelms cooperation. Anarchical behavior then rears its ugly head, the fires of which no man-made control system can extinguish.” – Barron Harper

“Truthfulness and trustworthiness involve much more than not telling lies; they embody the overarching capacity to discern, value, and uphold truth itself. Without these spiritual qualities, neither individual nor social progress is possible.” bahai.org

“Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquility and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light.”
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Tarázát

“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also be acquired.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in The Advent of Divine Justice

“Without an expectation of truthfulness, without any trust, other virtues or good
behaviors become meaningless. What good is a kind, considerate, and helpful
associate who may cheat us tomorrow? Or a charming, charismatic business
partner who lies? Or a good listener who then backbites us later? Also, the most
vulnerable; once trust is broken, the other virtues are also lost. Trustworthiness
requires integrity and honesty…”  Dorothy Marcic, Managing with the Wisdom of Love, p. 48.

“Trustworthiness is in truth the best of vestures for your temples and the most glorious crown for your heads”. – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 38.

Daily Reflection – 10 Kamál (Perfection)


In the fifth chapter of Matthew beginning with the thirty-seventh verse He counsels:

“Resist not evil and injury with its like; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

And further, from the forty-third verse:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and thou shalt not vex thine enemy with enmity.’

But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:

for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth down the rain of His mercy on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?

Do not even the publicans the same?”

Many were the counsels of this kind that were uttered by that Dayspring of Divine wisdom, and souls who have become characterized with such attributes of holiness are the distilled essence of creation and the sources of true civilization.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 81-82)

 

Daily Reflection – 9 Kamál (Perfection)

O beloved of God!

Know ye that the world is like unto a mirage which the thirsty one thinks to be water;

its water is a vapor;

its mercy a difficulty;

its repose hardship and ordeal;

leave it to its people and turn unto the Kingdom of your Lord the Merciful.

Thus the lights of mercy and beneficence may shine upon you, the heavenly table descend for you, your Lord may bestow upon you the greatest gifts and favors, whereby your breasts may become dilated, your hearts gladdened, your souls purified, and your eyes enlightened.

O beloved of God!

Is there any giver save God?

He chooseth for His mercy whomsoever He desireth.

He shall open unto you the doors of His knowledge, fill your hearts with His love, rejoice your spirits by the wafting of His holy fragrances, illumine your faces by the Manifest Light and elevate your names among the people.
— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 386