A new version of the Bahá’í Reference Library is now available. This ‘old version’ of the Bahá’í Reference Library will be replaced at a later date.

The new version of the Bahá’i Reference Library can be accessed here »

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition
  • Pages:
  • 320
Go to printed page GO
Pages 179-180

153: O thou handmaid of God! In this day, to thank …

O thou handmaid of God! In this day, to thank God for His bounties consisteth in possessing a radiant heart, and a soul open to the promptings of the spirit. This is the essence of thanksgiving.
As for offering thanks by speaking out or writing, although this is indeed acceptable, yet when compared with that other thanksgiving, it is only a semblance and unreal; for the essential thing is these intimations of the spirit, these emanations from the deep recess of the heart. It is my hope that thou wilt be favoured therewith.
Regarding one’s lack of capacity and one’s undeserving on the Day of Resurrection, this does not cause one to be shut out from gifts and bounties; for this is not the Day of Justice but the Day of Grace, while justice is allotting to each whatever is his due. Then look thou not at the degree of thy capacity, look thou at the boundless favour of Bahá’u’lláh; all-encompassing is His bounty, and consummate His grace.
I ask of God that with His assistance and strong support thou mayest teach the inner meanings of the Torah with eloquence, understanding, vigour and skill. Turn thy face toward the Kingdom of God, ask for the bestowals of the Holy Spirit, speak, and the confirmations of the Spirit will come.
As for that mighty solar orb which thou didst behold in 180 thy dream, that was the Promised One, and its spreading rays were His bounties, and the translucent surface of the mass of water signifieth hearts that are undefiled and pure, while the surging waves denote the great excitement of those hearts and the fact that they were shaken and deeply moved, that is, the waves are the stirrings of the spirit and holy intimations of the soul. Praise thou God that in the world of the dream thou hast witnessed such disclosures.
With reference to what is meant by an individual becoming entirely forgetful of self: the intent is that he should rise up and sacrifice himself in the true sense, that is, he should obliterate the promptings of the human condition, and rid himself of such characteristics as are worthy of blame and constitute the gloomy darkness of this life on earth—not that he should allow his physical health to deteriorate and his body to become infirm.
I do earnestly and humbly supplicate at the Holy Threshold that heavenly blessings and divine forgiveness will encompass thy dear mother, as well as thy loving sisters and relatives. Especially do I pray on behalf of thy betrothed, who hath suddenly hastened away from this world into the next.