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)

Daily Reflection – 6 Sultan (Sovereignty)

Morning

“One of the proofs and demonstrations of the existence of God is the fact that man did not create himself: nay, his creator and designer is another than himself.

“It is certain and indisputable that the creator of man is not like man because a powerless creature cannot create another being. The maker, the creator, has to possess all perfections in order that he may create.

“Can the creation be perfect and the creator imperfect? Can a picture be a masterpiece and the painter imperfect in his art? For it is his art and his creation. Moreover, the “picture cannot be like the painter; otherwise, the painting would have created itself. However perfect the picture may be, in comparison with the painter it is in the utmost degree of imperfection.” (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions)

Image “The Setup” by Kim Roberti


Evening

”In brief, the nations of the world are becoming united under the sovereignty of the divine Kingdom. The East and the West are embracing here in love and affection today. This is not a commercial or political unity, but unity through the love of God. We have crossed the sea to spread that love in America, to announce the call of the Kingdom, to establish the spiritual foundations of international peace. Although men may arise against the Kingdom, the dominion and sovereignty of God will be set up. It is an eternal Kingdom, a divine sovereignty.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 23 June 1912,Talk at Montclair, New Jersey)

 

Daily Reflection – 5 Sultan (Sovereignty)

Morning:

“It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompasseth those who deliver the Message. And if the work of delivering the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends (believers) were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge.

“Souls are liable to estrangement. Such methods should be adopted that the estrangement should be first removed, then the Word will have effect.

“If one of the believers be kind to one of the negligent ones and with perfect love should gradually make him understand the reality of the Cause of God in such a way that the latter should know in what manner the Religion of God hath been founded and what its object is, doubtless he will become changed; excepting abnormal souls who are reduced to the state of ashes and whose hearts are like stones, yea, even harder.

“If by this method every one of the friends of God were to try to lead one soul to the right path, the number of the believers would be doubled every year. But this should be carried out with perfect wisdom and in such a manner that no harm would ever result therefrom.”

(“Tablets of Abdul-Bahá Abbas”, vol. 2, p. 391)


Evening:

”If we acknowledge that there is a beginning for this world of creation, we acknowledge that the sovereignty of God is accidental—that is, we admit a time when the reality of Divinity has been without dominion (lit. “defeated”). The names and attributes of Divinity are requirements of this world. The names the Powerful, the Living, the Provider, the Creator require and necessitate the existence of creatures. If there were no creatures, Creator would be meaningless. If there were none to provide for, we could not think of the Provider. If there were no life, the Living would be beyond the power of conception. Therefore, all the names and attributes of God require the existence of objects or creatures upon which they have been bestowed and in which they have become manifest.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 218)

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