Daily Frameworks for 18 January 2023

’Idál, 19 Sharaf (Honor), 179 B.E

The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031

Bahá’u’lláh states that “the purpose for which mortal men have, from utter nothingness, stepped into the realm of being, is that they may work for the betterment of the world and live together in concord and harmony.” 1 He has revealed teachings that make this possible. Building a society that consciously pursues this collective purpose is the work of not only this generation, but of many generations to come, and Bahá’u’lláh’s followers welcome all who labour alongside them in this undertaking. It means learning how to raise up vibrant, outward-looking communities; it means those communities learning how to bring about spiritual and material progress; it means learning how to contribute to the discourses that influence the direction of that progress. These areas of endeavour are, naturally, familiar ones. Seen from one perspective, they are quite distinct, each having its own characteristics and imperatives. Yet they all represent ways of awakening the energies latent in the human soul and channelling them towards the betterment of society. Together, they are means of releasing what the Guardian described as “the society-building power” 2 of the Faith. This inherent power possessed by the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh is visible even in the fledgling efforts of a Bahá’í community learning to serve humanity and promote the Word of God. And though the world society foreshadowed in His Revelation is of course far distant, communities that are earnestly learning to apply His teachings to their social reality abound. How immensely blessed are those souls who, alive to the greatness of this Day 3 and the significance of their actions, strive for the emergence of a society shaped by the divine teachings. 4 5

Paris Talks

I want to make you understand that material progress and spiritual progress are two very different things, and that only if material progress goes hand in hand with spirituality can any real progress come about, and the Most Great Peace reign in the world. If men followed the Holy Counsels and the Teachings of the Prophets, if Divine Light shone in all hearts and men were really religious, we should soon see peace on earth and the Kingdom of God among men. The laws of God may be likened unto the soul and material progress unto the body. If the body were not animated by the soul, it would cease to exist. It is my earnest prayer that spirituality may ever grow and increase in the world, so that customs may become enlightened and peace and concord may be established. 6

The Promulgation of Universal Peace

In the spiritual world the divine bestowals are infinite, for in that realm there is neither separation nor disintegration, which characterize the world of material existence. Spiritual existence is absolute immortality, completeness and unchangeable being. Therefore, we must thank God that He has created for us both material blessings and spiritual bestowals. He has given us material gifts and spiritual graces, outer sight to view the lights of the sun and inner vision by which we may perceive the glory of God. He has designed the outer ear to enjoy the melodies of sound and the inner hearing wherewith we may hear the voice of our Creator. We must strive with energies of heart, soul and mind to develop and manifest the perfections and virtues latent within the realities of the phenomenal world, for the human reality may be compared to a seed. If we sow the seed, a mighty tree appears from it. The virtues of the seed are revealed in the tree; it puts forth branches, leaves, blossoms, and produces fruits. All these virtues were hidden and potential in the seed. Through the blessing and bounty of cultivation these virtues became apparent. Similarly, the merciful God, our Creator, has deposited within human realities certain latent and potential virtues. Through education and culture these virtues deposited by the loving God will become apparent in the human reality, even as the unfoldment of the tree from within the germinating seed. I will pray for you. 7

  1. Research Department of the Universal House of Justice. “Trustworthiness: A Cardinal Bahá’í Virtue.” Bahá’í Reference Library, August 1990. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/compilations/trustworthiness/1#472087450.
  2. Effendi, Shoghi. The World Order of Baháʾuʾlláh: Selected Letters. 1st pocket-Sized ed. 1938. Reprint, Wilmette, Ill: Bahaʾi Publishing Trust, 1991, 195. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/shoghi-effendi/world-order-bahaullah/11#341082226
  3. “Such is the greatness of this Day that the Hour itself is seized with perturbation, and all heavenly Scriptures bear evidence to its overpowering majesty. In this Day the Book solemnly testifieth to His glory and the Balance is moved to lift up its voice. This is the Day wherein the Ṣiraṭ calleth aloud: “I am the straight Path,” and Mount Sinai exclaimeth: “Verily the Lord of Revelation is come.””
    Bahá’u’lláh. Tablets of Baháʾuʾlláh, Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Translated by Habib Taherzadeh. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1978, 237. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/tablets-bahaullah/7#525830345
  4. Universal House of Justice. The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031. 1st ed. Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing, 2022, 39-40.
  5. Universal House of Justice. “30 December 2021 – To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors.” Bahá’í Reference Library, December 30, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20211230_001/1#758524475.
  6. ’Abdu’l-Bahá. Paris Talks: Addresses given by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912. 11th British Ed. 1912. Reprint, London, England: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1972, 73–74. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/paris-talks/4#407182695.
  7. ’Abdu’l-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 90-91. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/4#058239873

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