July 8, 1912: The Week Ahead 1
IT HAS BEEN A sweltering weekend in New York… ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is visiting the Museum of Natural History this afternoon [July 6].
In the week ahead: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits the Museum, has lots to say about raising children, and speaks on the binding power of religion at All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan.
New York City 2
During the sweltering July days ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to receive the friends from morning until night, working with the Bahá’ís to deepen them, and to raise them up into a divine army that might spiritually conquer the world. He often prepared meals for them, prayed with them, walked with them in the garden near His house, notified the Eastern friends of the victories, introduced newcomers to the faith, spoke before large audiences—giving of Himself in ways that would drain away ordinary physical energy, and, with the giving, demonstrating the example of never-ending sacrifice. He urged the unity of the friends and deepened them in the history and the Teachings of the Faith, using many hours for explanations, and illustrations. At all times He reflected, like a many-faceted divine diamond, the various attributes which were part of the single light of God, descending on Him through the Blessed Perfection, Bahá’u’lláh.
I am ‘the Center of the Covenant’ 3
Lua Getsinger was again instructed by the Master to leave for California. His words to her were very emphatic and clear; among them was this admonition:
The Blessed Beauty entered into this Covenant for obedience and not for opposition. I say this merely for the protection of the Cause of God and for the purpose of safeguarding unity among the friends. Were it not for the removal of vain imaginings and the eradication of differences, I should not have asserted that I am ‘the Center of the Covenant’. We must obey the Blessed Beauty. We must never forget His favors and exhortations. If even a breath of egotism is found in us, we shall perish at once. The friends must be alert. Everyone who expresses a word not from the texts sows discord among the believers. The Blessed Beauty entered into this Covenant for obedience; that is, that no one should utter a word from his own self or cause any conflict. If it were not so, everyone would open a way for himself and expound the Words of God in his own manner. One would say, for instance, ‘As I have the power of the Holy Spirit, I have a greater capacity for understanding.’ Others, even these old ladies, would at once retort, ‘We, too, have the power of the Holy Spirit.’
The power of the Holy Spirit is limited to the Blessed Beauty and the interpretation thereof to none but me. If it is so, then there will be no differences. We must occupy ourselves with thoughts of spreading the Cause. Know that whoever has any thought other than this will become the cause of discord among the friends.
’ Abdu’l-Bahá sent Lua with Mrs [Georgia] Ralston, a new believer who had been very much welcomed by the Master. He gave Mrs Ralston a beautiful small Persian carpet.
In the evening at a public meeting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke of the animosity shown by a Catholic priest towards the Cause of God. The Master called the friends to His presence and emphatically exhorted them to associate with one another with love and unity.
- Menon, Jonathan. “Beating The Heat.” 239 Days in America, 8 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/08/beating-the-heat/. [return]
- Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 109. [return]
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=5#section105 [return]