THE ETERNAL COVENANT & THE MYSTERY OF OUR PURPOSE – Abdu’l-Baha & Cardinal Newman
1 A Meditation by Cardinal Newman
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work, I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I do but keep His Commandments.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me still He knows what He is about.
2 If it is considered with insight, it will be seen that all the forces of the universe, in the last analysis serve the Covenant. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p 228
It is better not to read books by Covenant Breakers because they are haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy, so to speak. But books by well meaning yet unenlightened enemies of the Cause can be read so as to refute their charges. (From a letter dated 19 March 1945 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer; compilation on ‘Writings of the Covenant-breakers and other Enemies of the Faith’, prepared by the Research department of the Universal House of Justice)
“Divorced from the Institution of the Guardianship”
“Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship, the World Order of Baha’u’llah would be mutilated. . .” What did Shoghi Effendi mean by this?
Shoghi Effendi makes this pronouncement in his great expository letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah:”
Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. “In all the Divine Dispensations,” He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, “the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.” Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn. (The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148; hereafter, “Paragraph A”)
What does Shoghi Effendi mean by this? Does he mean, if there is ever not a living Guardian, the World Order of Baha’u’llah will be mutilated and all these unthinkable things will happen? Is the World Order mutilated right now, because Shoghi Effendi was not able to name a successor Guardian, and the Universal House of Justice functions as the Head of the Faith without the presence of a Guardian? Faithfulness to the Writings requires that we strive to understand exactly what he meant.