July 15, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

AFTER HIS TALK IN BROOKLYN YESTERDAY, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took an evening trip to West Englewood, New Jersey, where he spent the night. Many New Yorkers took a ride on the Sea Beach Line this weekend, to spend the day at the amusement parks and along the ocean shore at Coney Island.

In the week ahead we take a look back forty years to Bahá’u’lláh’s letters to the kings, to the birth of the Progressive Era in America, and to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s program of reform for the modern nation-state. It will be ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last full week in New York before a long trip: he won’t be back in the city until November 12.

Divine power and its outward influence on human souls in every cycle 2

The Master returned to New York in the morning and went directly to Mrs Zieglar’s home to see her mother, who was unable to walk because of a foot ailment but who longed to see the beloved Master and attain His presence. When her desire was made known to the Master, He immediately decided to visit her. The ailing woman was very pleased and happy and found in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the fruit of her life and a feeling that she had been newly born.

When He returned to His residence the Master conversed until noon with the many seekers who had come to visit Him. Several distinguished ladies met with Him later in the afternoon at Mrs Krug’s home. He spoke to them about the education and training of women and after a period of questions and answers He left the gathering.

In the evening ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk at the meeting at His home centered on two groups – the materialists and theists. He spoke about divine power and demonstrated its outward influence on human souls in every cycle. After the meeting other seekers arrived and remained for some time before departing.

Being in a state of great exhaustion and fatigue, the beloved Master did not take dinner but instead went directly to bed.

Talk at Home of Dr. and Mrs. Florian Krug, 830 Park Avenue, New York 3

Thankfulness is of various kinds. There is a verbal thanksgiving which is confined to a mere utterance of gratitude. This is of no importance because perchance the tongue may give thanks while the heart is unaware of it. Many who offer thanks to God are of this type, their spirits and hearts unconscious of thanksgiving. This is mere usage, just as when we meet, receive a gift and say thank you, speaking the words without significance. One may say thank you a thousand times while the heart remains thankless, ungrateful. Therefore, mere verbal thanksgiving is without effect. But real thankfulness is a cordial giving of thanks from the heart. When man in response to the favors of God manifests susceptibilities of conscience, the heart is happy, the spirit is exhilarated. These spiritual susceptibilities are ideal thanksgiving.

There is a cordial thanksgiving, too, which expresses itself in the deeds and actions of man when his heart is filled with gratitude. For example, God has conferred upon man the gift of guidance, and in thankfulness for this great gift certain deeds must emanate from him. To express his gratitude for the favors of God man must show forth praiseworthy actions. In response to these bestowals he must render good deeds, be self-sacrificing, loving the servants of God, forfeiting even life for them, showing kindness to all the creatures. He must be severed from the world, attracted to the Kingdom of Abhá, the face radiant, the tongue eloquent, the ear attentive, striving day and night to attain the good pleasure of God. Whatsoever he wishes to do must be in harmony with the good pleasure of God. He must observe and see what is the will of God and act accordingly. There can be no doubt that such commendable deeds are thankfulness for the favors of God.

  1. Menon, Jonathan. “July 15, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 15 July 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/07/15/july-15-1912-the-week-ahead/. [return]
  2. ’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#section112 [return]
  3. ʻAbduʼl-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, 236. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#090684415 [return]