9th Day of Ridvan

Life is unpredictable. No matter how much here in the West we might fool ourselves that we can control life, there is just no way to predict it. I am telling myself all this because I want to remind myself when I catch myself thinking that I am living through the most difficult days of my life that in fact I do not know if they are indeed the most difficult ones. For I know there is value in discovering closeness to God through suffering, and moreover there is no telling if even more difficult days are not coming up…

Baha'i House of Worship in IndiaSo, with such “shiny” thoughts, it is so easy to become gloomy. What I am finding to unfailingly uplift me, though, is refocusing on Baha’u’llah, whether through reading the writings, praying, listening to Baha’i music, or serving others and teaching the Faith.

Last night I went to Macy’s to buy photo frames for the school photos of my beautiful daughters. I had opened the boxes of the frames to make sure they were intact. The lady at the cashier’s desk was very friendly and thorough in her work and even though I asked her to not bother to put the frames in their boxes, she insisted on doing it right. I commented on what good work she did and how in the Baha’i Faith we believe that work in the spirit of service equates worship. I then asked her if she knew of the Baha’i Faith and when she inquired about it, I shared with her the one paragraph intro to the Faith (thanks to Ruhi 6 and Anna’s presentation), and then gave her a little card with the Baha’i principles written in Spanish (the lady was from Latino origin). She in her own turn thanked me for sharing with her what seemed to her like the truth of all religions. We both agreed that religion should be the cause of unity, and wished each other a good day.

I am writing this because I am observing how this simple act of sharing the Faith is so uplifting to me. Because in the end, even when everything else fails, God’s love never fails:

For every one of you his paramount duty is to choose for himself that on which no other may infringe and none usurp from him. Such a thing — and to this the Almighty is My witness — is the love of God, could ye but perceive it.

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 261)

I read this passage from Baha’u’llah’s Gleanings yesterday morning and it struck me with its profound truth. When this morning I wanted to find this passage in Ocean, the online library, I used the phrase “for every one of you”. And I was rewarded with another gem containing these words:

Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its peoples. Arise, O people, and, by the power of God’s might, resolve to gain the victory over your own selves, that haply the whole earth may be freed and sanctified from its servitude to the gods of its idle fancies — gods that have inflicted such loss upon, and are responsible for the misery of, their wretched worshipers. These idols form the obstacle that impedeth man in his efforts to advance in the path of perfection. We cherish the hope that the Hand of Divine power may lend its assistance to mankind, and deliver it from its state of grievous abasement.

In one of the Tablets these words have been revealed: O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Baha! This, verily, is the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.

O friends! It behoveth you to refresh and revive your souls through the gracious favors which in this Divine, this soul-stirring Springtime are being showered upon you. The Day Star of His great glory hath shed its radiance upon you, and the clouds of His limitless grace have overshadowed you. How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire. Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 93)

Oh, and finally about the Ninth Day of Ridvan! Today the new Universal House of Justice will be elected and announced! Ya Baha’u’l’Abha! And just in time, the web site for the Baha’i International Community has been redesigned!

3 Responses to “9th Day of Ridvan

  • It IS wonderful that the House of Justice is being re-elected. That it exists and is functioning in the world for the benefit of all the world. Someday the rest of the world will know it too.
    I am eager to learn who the new members are, but more eager to read this year’s Ridvan letter from the House. That letter is the highpoint of every year. I even go back and read old ones from time to time. They are so filled with hope and encouragement!!
    “Dearly Loved Friends,” that greeting thrills my heart every time I read it.

  • Thank You……….

  • Enjoyed your thoughts about love on the 9th of Ridvan. I wish I had your boldness in sharing the good Word with all we meet. May your efforts meet with success…

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