November 24, 2010

Message from the Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land to the Believers of East and West –- issued six months before the first election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963

Dearly beloved Friends:

Upon the horizon of the Baha’i World the splendorous light of the Most Great Jubilee is daily brightening. Six months stand between us and that occasion our beloved Guardian informed us would witness "the world-wide celebrations of the 'Most Great Festival,' the 'King of Festivals,' the 'Festival of God' Himself -- the Festival associated with the accession of Him Who is the Lord of the Kingdom to the throne of everlasting glory, and with the formal assumption by Him of His prophetic office . . . that greatest of all Jubilees, related to the year 1335, mentioned by Daniel in the last chapter of his book, and associated by 'Abdu'l-Baha with the world triumph of His Father's Faith." That time at which, the Master assured us, "a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be firmly established upon the earth, and the Divine Light shall flood the world from the East unto the West. Then, on this day, will the faithful rejoice!"

It behooves us, standing on the threshold of so mighty an event, to pause and contemplate its magnitude and to renew in our hearts the image of that "adorable and ever-blessed Beauty," the Supreme Manifestation of God. His own Words alone can adequately reveal the glory of His Station and the significance of this Day:

November 18, 2010

The World Center of the Faith: Its Supreme Administrative Importance -- Address of Hand of the Cause Paul Haney on April 30, 1963 at the World Congress in London, England

In many of his glorious messages to the Baha'i world the beloved Guardian described for us the twin spiritual and administrative World Centers existing and fixed permanently in the Holy Land, "constituting the midmost heart of the entire planet," the source of spiritual power and the object of adoration of all Baha'is. He also drew for us a clear and inspiring picture of those sacred and divinely-ordained institutions which comprise the heart and the nerve center of our Faith in the twin holy cities of 'Akka and Haifa.
Our Guardian explained to us that there are three divinely revealed charters which have set in motion three distinct processes in the unfoldment of the World Order of Baha'u'llah.

(1) The Tablet of Carmel, revealed by Baha'u'llah Himself, which is the charter for the development of the institutions of the Faith at its World Center, including the establishment of the supreme edifice of the Universal House of Justice.

(2) The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the charter for the establishment of the Administrative Order throughout the world; and --

(3) The Tablets of the Divine Plan, constituting the charter for the propagation of the Faith and the spiritual conquest of the planet.

November 7, 2010

Evolution of the Baha’i Community -- by Emeric Sala

[Emeric and his wife, Rosemary, were elected to the first National Spiritual Assembly of Canada in 1948, and they continued to serve with distinction until 1953. That year they responded to the Guardian’s call for pioneers at the beginning of the Ten Year Crusade] (The Baha’i World 1986-1992)

Looking at the scene of Baha'i endeavor from the southern tip of Africa, it seems to me that the Baha'i Faith is going through a period of transition from a father-centered community to an assembly-centered community. It is an historic moment. It is also the period when personality-centered believers are transformed or replaced by idea-centered believers.

Father- or hero-centeredness is the inevitable process of growth for every adolescent and for every evolving community until maturity is reached. The Christian community was essentially father-centered around the personality of Jesus Christ. The minister of many a Christian community is still addressed as father. Kings and saints often filled the need of a father image. If we go back to an earlier age we find the patriarchal society as the established pattern. Among the Bantus even today the proper way to address an older man is baba, which means father.

For the last six thousand years leadership meant individual personal impact. Until recently it was assumed that leadership, and for that matter any accomplishment requiring skill and knowledge, let alone judgment, could come only from the individual. An organization, we assumed, could perform only simple, repetitive, regimented work.