Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 11th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America


"Just yesterday we spoke in Washington with a number of notable persons, judges, and also a friend of Roosevelt. As we were talking about the unifying influence of different religions, and concord among nations, this friend said that Christ was a source of differences. But when we explained to him the coming together of different nations under the canopy of the word of Christ, he smiled and accepted the point. Others, too, expressed great delight. When I asked him if he had any other question or objection, he replied that he had none at all. When asked if he accepted all these statements, he said, `All right.'
When the Master spoke the words `all right' in English, the friends were amused and a ripple of laughter went around the room. He then spoke on the unification of the blacks and whites of America.  (Mahmud's Diary)

About five o'clock He came. Oh the coming of that Presence! If only I could convey to the future the mighty commotion of it! The hearts almost suffocate with joy, the eyes burn with tears at the stir of that step! It is futile to try to express it. Sometimes when the sun breaks through clouds and spreads a great fiery glow, I get something of that feeling.
After greeting us all the Master took a seat by the window and began to talk to us, with supreme love and gladness, wittily, tenderly, eloquently, carrying us up as if on wings to the apex of sublime feeling, so that we wept; then turning our tears to sudden little ripples of laughter as an unexpected gleam of wit flashed out; then melting our hearts with His yearning affection.
He had been horrified in Washington by the prejudice against the Negroes. "What does it matter," He asked, "if the skin of a man is black, white, yellow, pink, or green? In this respect the animals show more intelligence than man. Black sheep and white sheep, white doves and blue do not quarrel because of difference of colour."
(Diary of Juliet Thompson p.27)

1934 - confidence in the ultimate triumph of the Faith

Action inspired by confidence in the ultimate triumph of the Faith is, indeed, essential to the gradual and complete materialization of your hopes for the extension and consolidation of the Movement in your country. May the Almighty inspire each and every one of you with the zeal, determination, and faith to carry out His Will, and to proclaim His Message to those living in your land and beyond its confines.
(11 May 1934, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) (Compilations, Promoting Entry by Troops, p. 2)

1948 - quality of devotion and self-sacrifice that brings rewards

It is the quality of devotion and self-sacrifice that brings rewards in the service of this Faith rather than means, ability or financial backing.
(From a letter dated 11 May 1948 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 19)

1953 - completion of the cement dome of the Shrine of the Bab

When in early May 1953, the time came to cast the concrete cupola, a circular wooden shuttering - some forty-five feet in diameter - was erected inside the upper opening of the clerestory or drum; then reinforced steel was woven onto it and sprayed with concrete, which dried in eight days. By 11 May, the cement dome had been completed. This was the cause of much rejoicing for Shoghi Effendi as, after five years of labour, the completion of the Holy Edifice was near at hand. A few days earlier, on 29 April, the beloved Guardian, followed by Mr. Leroy Ioas, Hand of the Cause of God, and Dr. Lutfu'llah Hakim, member of the International Council,[*] climbed the scaffolding up to the base of the dome, and reverently placed a small silver box, containing a fragment of plaster from the ceiling of the Báb's prison cell in the Castle of Mah-Ku, beneath one of the gilded tiles in the first row.[**]
 (Ugo Giachery, Shoghi Effendi - Recollections)

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