Monday, November 24, 2008

Faith and Assurance

Photo of Baha'is in the Democratic Republic of Congo during one of 41 historic conferences to be held over the new few months around the world.

The Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Baha'i Faith, has called for 41 conferences around the globe to celebrate the current efforts of Baha'is to unite the world and to deliberate on the work that is still to be done. The conferences that have already taken place have been extraordinary. You can read about them here! The second weekend in December one of these conferences will be held in Stamford, Connecticut and draw Baha'is from throughout the Northeastern U.S. Baha'i Thought will be in the house providing cutting edge commentary on this historic convocation of souls from a region regarded as "favored in faith and assurance", by Baha'i scripture:

"Praise be to God, that the Northeastern States are in the utmost capacity. Because the ground is rich, the rain of the divine outpouring is descending. Now you must become heavenly farmers and scatter pure seeds in the prepared soil. The harvest of every other seed is limited, but the bounty and the blessing of the seed of the divine teachings is unlimited. Throughout the coming centuries and cycles many harvests will be gathered. Consider the work of former generations. During the lifetime of Jesus Christ the believing, firm souls were few and numbered, but the heavenly blessings descended so plentifully that in a number of years countless souls entered beneath the shadow of the Gospel. God has said in the Qur'án: "One grain will bring forth seven sheaves, and every sheaf shall contain one hundred grains." In other words, one grain will become seven hundred; and if God so wills He will double these also. It has often happened that one blessed soul has become the cause of the guidance of a nation. Now we must not consider our ability and capacity, nay, rather, we must fix our gaze upon the favors and bounties of God, in these days, Who has made of the drop a sea, and of the atom a sun."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan)

"Likewise, the continent of America is, in the eyes of the one true God, the land wherein the splendors of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled, where the righteous will abide and the free assemble. Therefore, every section thereof is blessed: but because these nine states have been favored in faith and assurance, hence through this precedence they have obtained spiritual privilege. They must realize the value of this bounty; because they have obtained such a favor and in order to render thanksgiving for this most great bestowal, they must arise in the diffusion of divine fragrances so that the blessed verse of the Qur'án, "God is the light of heaven and earth: the similitude of His light is a niche in a wall, wherein a lamp is placed, and the lamp enclosed in a case of glass; the glass appears as if it were a shining star. It is lighted with the oil of a Blessed Tree, an olive neither of the East, nor of the West; it wanteth little but that the oil thereof would give light, although no fire touched it. This is the light added unto light. God will direct unto His light whom He pleaseth" -- may be realized."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 58)