November 18, 2016

Walking in the Pathway of the Disciples of Christ

June 11, 1912,
309 West 78th Street
New York City

[After instructions upon certain matters, ‘Abdu'l-Baha continued]

The essence of the intention is that I wish you to pray for me and I will pray for you. The pathway we shall walk together is the pathway of the disciples of Christ. After the departure of His Holiness to the Supreme Paradise, the disciples who had followed His teachings met together in consultation upon the summit of a mountain near Jaffa. Such a consultation was never before held.

They said to each other, "His Holiness Jesus Christ has been crucified. He offered His life in this way, gave up His rest and comfort, forfeited His happiness, renounced His possessions, family and life, and quaffed the chalice of martyrdom. He educated us in order that we might arise after Him in His Cause. He sacrificed His life that the oil in the lamps of our souls might become ignited and His Light shine forth from them. He suffered on the cross that we may irrigate the tree of His planting. He consented to a cruel death in order that the seed of His sowing might be cultivated and preserved by us. Now must we be loyal to His Holiness. If we wish to be loyal we must arise to carry out the duties of loyalty. Otherwise each of us will continue to seek after his own livelihood, rest and comfort; each, like other people, find repose, enjoy a family, have a household, provide food and strive to gain glory and power. Shall we do this?” All said, "No! We must be loyal and faithful to His Holiness Jesus Christ. Therefore, with our worldly attachments we cannot attend to His service in a true spirit of severance. We must either be occupied with ourselves or engaged in His service. This Cause is a very great Cause; a Cause that is weighty and important, not light and trivial; a Cause that is not easy to carry and serve.”

“First, to be severed and free from all other occupation we must give up and relinquish our family ties and that which pertains thereto. Because the management of a household and family is a hindrance to service. God has not created two hearts for man, one for living in the world and one for service in His Cause. Therefore, either must we be occupied with our own service and affairs or with service to Christ. Is not this the ultimate arrangement?  Yes! it is the ultimate arrangement! He who is tied to a family, let him then arrange to leave it; he who is not should not take a wife and the duties of a family; then will he be free, severed and without burden or hindrance in the service of God. Is this right? Is this the ultimate arrangement? Are we united upon this? Yes!”

“Second, in the pathway of Christ there is strife, persecution, blame, imprisonment, banishment, suffering and many other burdens which we must accept. Have we accepted them? Yes! we have assuredly!"

"Third, we must go among the peoples of the world, proclaiming the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God, spreading the fragrances of Christ, summoning them to the Sun of Reality in order that this dark world shall become illumined. Is this the ultimate arrangement? Yes!"

Then they took an oath and covenant among themselves, embraced each other and descended from the mountain, some going to the Eastward, some to the West, North and South. So they were scattered. Some became traceless as it is not known where they traveled or where they died. It is said some died in India. 

The reality of the condition is this: We must be loyal to the Threshold of the Blessed Beauty and be willing to give our lives for Him. We must sacrifice our comfort for Him; sacrifice all our conditions in the pathway of His service. If we do this, our service will be productive of great results. Otherwise God will raise up souls to do this work in our stead. Our purpose is that we shall arise in His Cause not fettered by world conditions, not burdened by weight of material responsibilities. We must draw our thread from one direction whether it comes or not. There are many threads; the right one will come to us. [Refers to seeking the right thread by which to unravel a skein.

Now therefore I will pray for you and you must pray for me:

"O Baha’u’llah! This is ‘Abdu'l-Baha! Confirm ‘Abdu'l-Baha in Thy Threshold! Strengthen him in loyalty to Thee! Make him self-sacrificing! Make him homeless, and without rest! Fill his heart with Thy love, so he will forget all else save Thee, -- seeking no other comfort, grace, health or life, and sacrificing all for Thee!"

Pray in this manner for me and I will pray so for you.

Admonish the Friends so they will not backbite and criticize, voicing the mistakes and sins of others. Have a sin covering-eye. As soon as you see a trace of the Love of Baha’u’llah in a soul, revere that soul under all conditions. 
(Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 2, April 9, 1913)