Daily Reflection – 6 Bahá (Splendor)

by hanjuthai.com

“Baha’u’llah has said that religion is dying out in every land. One of the most striking evidences of the truth of that statement is the abdication of responsibility for one’s own life on the part of an ever increasing number of people.To be no longer in charge of determining one’s destiny is to adopt a passive attitude towards life an attitude devoid of self discipline, initiative, volition, and attainment. The inevitable consequence is a yielding to the pressures of the old order and conformity to behavior patterns which hasten its downfall.

“Religion dies out when man forgets God’s purpose for him. Without a sense of that purpose, there can be no vision of spiritual destiny, no motivation to live in the present in ways that guarantee a spiritual life in the future, no reason to resist the corrupting temptations of a collapsing civilization. The rebirth of religion, therefore, means an infusion of God’s purpose for man into the affairs of men. Fundamentally, this is what the Baha’i Faith does as it spreads throughout the world; it provides the means through which each individual follower of Baha’u’llah can gain knowledge of God’s purpose for man in this day and, in collaboration with all of the Baha’is throughout the world, translate that purpose into action which will ultimately lead us to the Most Great Peace.

“If we are serious about becoming true Baha’is, if this is one of our most important objectives, then we must have knowledge of God’s purpose for man, the will to plan our lives around it, and the capacity to act. Without knowledge, volition, and action, no spiritual transformation can occur.”
(Daniel Jordan, ‘Baha’i Comprehensive Deepening Program: Knowledge – Volition – Action’)

Daily Reflection – 5 Bahá (Splendor)

“Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared.God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquility of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.”
Baha’u’llah, Gleanings, pp. 79-80

Daily Reflection – 16 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Portrait de jeune femme dans le jardin de roses

“Therefore, let your faces be more radiant with hope and heavenly determination to serve the Cause of God, to spread the pure fragrances of the divine rose garden of unity, to awaken spiritual susceptibilities in the hearts of mankind, to kindle anew the spirit of humanity with divine fires and to reflect the glory of heaven to this gloomy world of materialism. When you possess these divine susceptibilities, you will be able to awaken and develop them in others. We cannot give of our wealth to the poor unless we possess it. How can the poor give to the poor? How can the soul that is deprived of the heavenly bounties develop in other souls capacity to receive those bounties?”

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 7

Daily Reflection – 16 Sultan (Sovereignty)

If you are mass teaching or a member of a teaching team, look happy but avoid unnecessary joking and games, learn from the mistakes and good qualities of others and consult together on what you are going to do each day.

“For whatever convulsions the waywardness of a godless and materialistic age may yet precipitate in the world, however grievous may be the effects of the rolling up of the present order on the plans and efforts of the community of the Most Great Name, we must seize the opportunities of the hour and go forward confident that all things are within His mighty grasp and that, if we but play our part, total and unconditional victory will inevitably be ours.”

–Wellspring of Guidance, p. 27

Daily Reflection – 15 Sultan (Sovereignty)

If a man is successful in his business, art, or profession he is thereby enabled to increase his physical wellbeing and to give his body the amount of ease and comfort in which it delights. All around us today we see how man surrounds himself with every modern convenience and luxury, and denies nothing to the physical and material side of his nature. But, take heed, lest in thinking too earnestly of the things of the body you forget the things of the soul: for material advantages do not elevate the spirit of a man. Perfection in worldly things is a joy to the body of a man but in no wise does it glorify his soul.

It may be that a man who has every material benefit, and who lives surrounded by all the greatest comfort modern civilization can give him, is denied the all important gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is indeed a good and praiseworthy thing to progress materially, but in so doing, let us not neglect the more important spiritual progress, and close our eyes to the Divine light shining in our midst.

Only by improving spiritually as well as materially can we make any real progress, and become perfect beings. It was in order to bring this spiritual life and light into the world that all the great Teachers have appeared. They came so that the Sun of Truth might be manifested, and shine in the hearts of men, and that through its wondrous power men might attain unto Everlasting Light.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 62 – 63

Daily Reflection – 10 Sultan (Sovereignty)

“Pleasing and acceptable as is a righteous person before God’s Holy Threshold, yet good works should proceed from knowledge.

“However matchless and exquisite may be a blind man’s handiwork, yet he himself is deprived of seeing it.

“How sorely do certain animals labour on man’s behalf, what loads they bear for him, how greatly they contribute to his ease and comfort; and yet, because they are unwitting, they earn no recompense for all their pains.

“The clouds rain down their bounty, nurturing the plants and flowers, and imparting verdure and enchantment to the plain and prairie, the forest and the garden; but yet, unconscious as they are of the results and fruit of their outpourings, they win no praise or honour, nor earn the gratitude and approbation of any man.

“The lamp imparteth light, but as it hath no consciousness of doing so, no one is indebted to it.

“This apart, a man of righteous deeds and goodly conduct will assuredly turn towards the Light, in whichever quarter he behold it.

“The point is this, that faith compriseth both knowledge and the performance of good works.

(Revised translation of Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 382-383, provided by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice in its “Authenticity of Bahá’í World Faith and Foundations of World Unity” Memorandum dated 28 March 1996.)

 


Evening

“God is eternal and ancient; not a new God. His sovereignty is of old, not recent; not merely existent these five or six thousand years. This infinite universe is from everlasting. The sovereignty, power, names and attributes of God are eternal, ancient. His names presuppose creation and predicate His existence and will. We say God is creator. This name creator appears when we connote creation. We say God is the provider. This name presupposes and proves the existence of the provided. God is love. This name proves the existence of the beloved. In the same way God is mercy, God is justice, God is life, etc., etc. Therefore as God is creator, eternal and ancient, there were always creatures and subjects existing and provided for. There is no doubt that divine sovereignty is eternal. Sovereignty necessitates subjects, ministers, trustees and others subordinate to sovereignty. Could there be a king without country, subjects and armies? If we conceive of a time when there were no creatures, no servants, no subjects of divine lordship we dethrone God and predicate a time when God was not. It would be as if He had been recently appointed and man had given these names to Him. The divine sovereignty is ancient, eternal. God from everlasting was love, justice, power, creator, provider, the omniscient, the bountiful.” (Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, pp100-104)

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