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Today, let’s simply imagine that we have just spent the most precious days and weeks of our lives in the presence of the Master. Underneath the glow of the whole experience, there has been a looming dread of our inevtable departure, which we have tried to ignore… until now.

The day is finally here. Among many tearful goodbyes, we prepare to embark on our voyage home – home to a world where no one can possibly understand what we have seen and heard here. Home to cities and families where most everyone is locked into an endless game of social status and material concerns… things that seem to have lost any meaning to us, in the face of God’s new Revelation to humanity.

Sensing this, and feeling no small measure of parting sadness Himself, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá takes the opportunity to bolster our resolve and fill us with the spirit, blessing us with His words one last time.

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S FINAL ADDRESS
 TO THE FIRST GROUP OF WESTERN PILGRIMS
HAIFA, 1898

“Pray that your hearts

may be cut from yourselves and from the world,

that you may be confirmed by the Holy Spirit

and filled with the fire of the love of God.

The nearer you are to the light,

the further you are from the darkness,

the nearer you are to heaven,

the further you are from the earth;

the nearer you are to God,

the further you are from the world.

You have come here among the first

and your reward is great.

There are two visits: the first is for a blessing…

ye come and are blest and are sent forth

to work in God’s vineyard;

the second ye come with music

and the banners flying, like soldiers,

in gladness and triumph to receive your reward.

If in times past those who have risen up

and gone forth in the Cause of God

have been helped and confirmed by His spirit,

even to suffering death for Him,

how much greater is the flood of life

with which ye shall be flooded now!

For this is the end and the full revelation,

and I say unto you that anyone who will rise up

in the Cause of God at this time

shall be filled with the spirit of God,

and that He will send His hosts from heaven to help you,

and that nothing shall be impossible to you

if you have faith.

And now I give you a commandment

which shall be for a covenant between you and Me –

that ye have faith;

that your faith be steadfast as a rock

that no storms can move, that nothing can disturb,

and that it endure through all things even to the end;

even should ye hear that your Lord has been crucified,

be not shaken in your faith,

for I am with you always, whether living or dead,

I am with you to the end.

As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be.

This is the balance — this is the balance — this is the balance.

Now the time has come when we must part,

but the separation is only of our bodies,

in spirit we are united.

Ye are the lights, which shall be diffused;

ye are the waves of that sea

which shall spread and overflow the world.

Each wave is precious to Me

and My nostrils shall be gladdened by your fragrance.

Another commandment I give unto you,

that ye love one another even as I love you.

Great mercy and blessings are promised

to the people of your land, but on one condition:

that their hearts are filled with the fire of love,

that they live in perfect kindness and harmony

like one soul in different bodies.

If they fail in this condition

the great blessings shall be deferred.

Never forget this;

look at one another with the eye of perfection;

look at Me, follow Me, be as I am,

take no thought for yourselves or your lives,

whether ye eat or whether ye sleep,

whether ye are comfortable,

whether ye are well or ill,

whether ye are with friends or foes,

whether ye receive praise or blame;

for all of these things ye must care not at all.

Look at Me and be as I am;

ye must die to yourselves and to the world,

so shall ye be born again

and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Behold a candle how it gives its light.

It weeps its life away drop by drop

in order to give forth its flame of light.”

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iPhone photo by Joshua Homnick http://instacanv.as/homnick

Food for the Soul: 19 Days of Music and Devotion is a series of devotional songs from Badasht vol. I & II coupled with inspiring images and quotations from the Bahá’í Writings, initially to accompany the Fast from March 2-20. Please use them in your own way, and share with your friends & family.

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