Message from the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada — 1 August 2019

Posted: 2019/07/31

To the Bahá’ís of Canada on the occasion of the Feast of Perfection

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

Since the first days of summer, in a surge of activity over 450 youth and junior youth of diverse ages and backgrounds have gathered around the Word of God in institute campaigns, junior youth camps and teaching projects across the country. The younger generations are immersing themselves in joyful, purposeful service, supported by a community committed to nurturing their capacities. With the summer only half over, more than 215 youth have already begun the study of Book 1 of the institute courses. A vision of embracing large numbers is becoming more concrete day by day, through the friends’ “spirited and courageous effort to respond to the burgeoning receptivity of their compatriots”[1]. With gratitude and wonder, the National Spiritual Assembly sees a community in motion, one that is looking towards the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb conscious of the precious moments in which we live and the privilege that is ours.

This is an enterprise born aloft by love. “And to a heart consumed with love for Bahá’u’lláh, what more fitting occupation can be imagined than to seek out kindred spirits, to encourage them as they enter the path of service, to accompany them as they gain experience and—perhaps the greatest joy of all—to see souls become confirmed in their faith, arise independently, and assist others on the same journey. These are among the most cherished of all the moments that this transitory life affords.”[2] This love is burning away veils, allowing the friends to perceive and respond to receptivity, to see no strangers, to loose their tongues and open their hearts.

The requisites of this spiritual enterprise, the interplay between worship, service and transformation, are well known. On the Day of the Covenant, 26 November 2018, the Universal House of Justice wrote, having spoken of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “May His loved ones, individually and collectively, little by little and day by day, increasingly embody His counsels: to be united in the Cause and firm in the Covenant; to avoid calumny and never speak ill of others; to see no strangers but regard all as members of one family; to set aside divergent theories and conflicting views and pursue a single purpose and common goal; to ensure that the love of Bahá’u’lláh has so mastered every organ, part, and limb as to leave no effect from the promptings of the human world; to arise with heart and soul and in one accord to teach the Cause; to march in serried lines, pressed together, each supporting the others; to cultivate good character, perseverance, strength, and determination; to know the value of this precious Faith, obey its teachings, walk in this road that is drawn straight, and show this way to the people.” One of the ways that increasing numbers of believers are pursuing this path of daily spiritual effort, is through the study of Book 8 of the sequence of institute courses, finding in it a clear path between the history of the Cause, the gift of the Covenant and the work of the current Plan to meet the pressing needs of humanity.

Among the stories of thoughtful and more systematic teaching efforts have been many accounts of receptivity found in unsuspected corners, of profound friendships born in unusual circumstances, of surprising conversations that have deepened and strengthened the relationship of souls to their Creator. It is a particular source of joy to the National Assembly to see how this relationship is being strengthened in increasing numbers of devotional gatherings across the country, where in simple settings an awareness of the power of a God-centred life is growing.

In closing, we are delighted to share more information about the approximately 45-minute film titled “Dawn of the Light”, being produced at the Bahá’í World Centre in honour of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb. “It portrays several friends from different continents as they relate their own personal search after truth and meaning. These individuals share their discovery that God has sent two Divine Manifestations—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh—Whose Teachings are revolutionizing human thought and behaviour. It is a discovery that is inspiring the efforts of many across the globe to serve humanity and to contribute to the movement of populations towards a new pattern of life… The completed film, including the subtitled and voice-over versions prepared at the Bahá’í World Centre in Arabic, English, French, Persian, Russian, Spanish and Swahili, will be made available to view or download on the website before the end of September 2019.”[3] The National Assembly will also be producing a DVD version.

Dear friends, during the thirteen weeks that remain until the celebration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb, we pray that each one who is gathered around this mighty fire—whether a veteran believer, a child of generations of steadfast lovers of Bahá’u’lláh, or one who is newly introduced to the Cause—will find joy in advancing along this “road that is drawn straight”, and delight in inviting others.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Karen McKye, Secretary

[1] 14 May 2019, Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada
[2] Ridván 2019, Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the world
[3] 21 June 2019, on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies