Daily Frameworks for 18 May 2023

Istijlál, 02 ‘Azamat (Grandeur), 180 B.E

Ridván Message 2023

In the twelve months that have elapsed since the commencement of the Nine Year Plan, we have been delighted to see how this global spiritual enterprise has inspired and galvanized the friends and given impetus to particular lines of action. An immediate focus has been to put into effect plans which ensure that, in each country and region, there emerges at least one cluster where the third milestone has been passed: a place where large numbers of people are working together and contributing to the life of a vibrant community. Conscious, however, that the goal for this twenty-five-year period is to establish an intensive programme of growth in every cluster in the world, the believers have also set about opening new clusters to the Faith as well as intensifying their efforts in places with an existing programme of growth. There is a heightened awareness of the opportunity for pioneers to arise in all parts of the world—many devoted souls are considering how they might respond to this opportunity, and many others have already filled posts, noticeably on the home front but increasingly in the international field as well. This is one of several ways in which, as we had hoped, a spirit of mutual support is being expressed by the friends everywhere. Communities where strength has been built have committed themselves to supporting the progress being made in a different place—in another cluster, region, country, or even continent—and creative means have been found to offer encouragement from afar and enable experience to be shared directly. Meanwhile, the basic approach of capturing what is being learned in a cluster, so that it can inform plans made locally and elsewhere, is widely practised. We have been gratified to see that particular attention is being paid to learning how to enhance the quality of the educational experience offered by the institute. When the institute process takes root in a community, its effects are dramatic. Witness, for instance, those centres of intense activity where the inhabitants have come to regard the training institute as a powerful instrument that is theirs: an instrument for whose sound development they have assumed principal responsibility. Knowing well that the doors of the Faith always stand wide open, the believers are learning how to give encouragement to those who are poised to enter. To walk with such souls, and to help them cross the threshold, is a privilege and a special joy; in each cultural context, there is much to be learned about the dynamics of this resonant moment of recognition and belonging. And that is not all. While in many clusters efforts to contribute to social transformation are at their earliest stages, National Spiritual Assemblies, ably supported as ever by the Counsellors, are actively seeking to learn more about how these efforts emerge from the community-building process. Discussions about the social and material well-being of a people are being cultivated within groups of families and in communities, while the friends are also finding ways to participate in meaningful discourses that are unfolding in their immediate surroundings. 1

The Promulgation of Universal Peace

Therefore, the Lord of mankind has caused His holy, divine Manifestations to come into the world. He has revealed His heavenly Books in order to establish spiritual brotherhood and through the power of the Holy Spirit has made it practicable for perfect fraternity to be realized among mankind. And when through the breaths of the Holy Spirit this perfect fraternity and agreement are established amongst men—this brotherhood and love being spiritual in character, this loving-kindness being heavenly, these constraining bonds being divine—a unity appears which is indissoluble, unchanging and never subject to transformation. It is ever the same and will forever remain the same. For example, consider the foundation of the brotherhood laid by Christ. Observe how that fraternity was conducive to unity and accord and how it brought various souls to a plane of uniform attainment where they were willing to sacrifice their lives for each other. They were content to renounce possessions and ready to forfeit joyously life itself. They lived together in such love and fellowship that even Galen, the famous Greek philosopher who was not a Christian, in his work entitled “The Progress of the Nations” said that religious beliefs are greatly conducive to the foundation of real civilization. As a proof thereof he said, “A certain number of people contemporaneous with us are known as Christians. These enjoy the superlative degree of moral civilization. Each one of them is as a great philosopher because they live together in the utmost love and good fellowship. They sacrifice life for each other. They offer worldly possessions for each other. You can say of the Christian people that they are as one person. There is a bond amongst them that is indissoluble in character.” 2

  1. Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 2023 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library, April 30, 2023. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20230430_001/1#870164561.
  2. ’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, 391-392. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/30#146769859

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