100th anniversary- Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Canada
‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave seven well-attended public talks. Four of these were in the Maxwell home where he spoke on ‘Material and Divine Philosophy’, ‘Immortality’, ‘Man and Nature’, and ”A World-Wide Spiritual Brotherhood’.
According to the diarist Mírzá Mahmúd, “Although two adjoining rooms were made ready and furnished with seats, there was a lack of accommodation.” After the talks, people could not tear themselves away.
Locally organized events Throughout the Metro Halifax area
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‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: Church of the Messiah
[ SAT. 01 Sept. 2012 10am-12pm ]
“When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived at the Church of the Messiah, the minister received Him at the entrance and led Him to a study where he humbly expressed his gratitude. He presented the Master with the official church newsletter in which he had published an extensive article about the history and teachings of the Cause. It had been written in a scholarly style and concluded with words in praise of the Master. When the article was translated for the Master, He turned to the minister and said,
`You have left nothing for me to say here tonight. You have published everything in this booklet.‘ We remarked that there could be no miracle greater than this, that clergymen were testifying to the greatness of the Cause of God with their own tongues and pens.
The Master replied, ‘I have told you repeatedly that the Blessed Perfection is assisting us. All these confirmations which descend continually are from Him.’ ”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: Material and Divine Philosophy
& ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: Immortality
[ SUN. 02 Sept. 2012 10am-3pm ]
Documentary – “Montreal Sojourn”
[ SUN. 02 Sept. 2012 5:30pm-8pm ]
“At lunch time the Master invited a number of people to the table, saying: `Come! We are in Montreal, Canada, in this home, eating Persian rice which has been cooked by Mírzá Ahmad. This has a relish all its own; what a tale it makes! Continuing, He said:
‘To be grateful for the blessings of God in time of want and trouble is necessary. In the abundance of blessings everyone can be grateful. It is said that Sultán Mahmúd cut a melon and gave a portion of it to Ayáz who ate it cheerfully and expressed gratitude. When the Sultán ate a little of the same melon, he found it bitter. He asked, `How did you eat such a bitter melon and show no sign of disliking it?’ Ayáz answered, `I had eaten many sweet and palatable things from the hands of the Sultán and I thought it very unworthy of me to express dislike on eating a slightly bitter thing today.’ Thus man, who is immersed in the blessings of God, should not be grieved if he experiences a little trouble. He should not forget the manifold divine bounties‘.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: The Nature of Man
& ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: Economics
[ MON 03 Sept. 2012 6pm-9pm ]
“The morning was cloudy and rainy. At the hotel the Master was presented with some newspaper articles reporting last night’s meeting and giving an account of His talk. Dr Faríd arrived today from Boston to join us. As some professors and clergymen had come by to visit the Master, He spoke to them on the relationship of human souls, universal peace and the harm caused by prejudices. His words were particularly enjoyed by the professors from the university and the ministers showed their humility. After giving a detailed description of the teachings of the Supreme Pen, He said:
This is the purpose of the people of Bahá. Would you not like to serve such an ideal? I hope you will put forth effort in this direction so that the world of men may find real unity, become released from prejudice and be freed from war and bloodshed. Our efforts are for this. Bahá’u'lláh has opened a broad vista to humanity. For instance, when the people of different religions, races and nations were reviling each other, He addressed the people of the world saying, `O people! Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.‘”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: A WorldWide Spiritual Brotherhood
[ TUE 04 Sept. 2012 7pm-9pm ]
“An account of the Master’s talk at the Socialist Club and its influence was published in glowing terms in the newspapers. The force of His explanations and the persuasiveness of His proofs were the talk of the day. Many newcomers came to visit Him. The friends told the Master how happy they were to see the extent to which the Cause of God had penetrated the hearts. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said in reply:
‘The greatness of the teachings of Bahá’u'lláh will be known when they are acted upon and practiced. Not one of a hundred has as yet come into force. All of your thoughts should be turned toward bringing these blessed teachings into practice’.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talk: “Public address at St. James Methodist Church”
Saint Andrews United Church 6036 Coburg Rd., Halifax
[ WED. 05 Sept. 2012 7pm-9pm ]
“The Bishop of Montreal came to visit the Master to express his admiration and gratitude for the Master’s address concerning the purpose of the appearance of Christ and the other Manifestations. He was pleased to learn about other meetings and talks. The Master said to him, ‘Tonight I shall speak at the Methodist church. You may come if you wish.’
The editor of an illustrated Toronto magazine was announced. He happily recorded a detailed account of the history and teachings of the Cause. Another visitor was a Jewish rabbi who became very enthusiastic when he heard the Master’s explanations.
One of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talks today was this:
‘The degree to which these different denominations testify to the greatness of the Cause of God has never been seen in past history. Even socialists say that although so many philosophers have written books on economic questions, the Bahá’í Cause has the solution‘.”
[ FRI. 07 Sept. 2012 7pm-9pm ]
“Today ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to a group of people who came to visit Him at the hotel. Here is some of what He explained:
‘As in the physical world there are four seasons, so in the realm of religion there is the season of heavenly and spiritual springtime. When its outpourings gradually diminish, the trees of existence cease to be verdant and creeping torpor spreads, it will become like winter. The souls will become withered and distressed and the soil of the hearts will become full of thorns and thistles. There will be no flowers, no hyacinths, no greenery, no pleasure, no freshness and no cheer. Then, once again, the divine spring will raise its tabernacle. The gardens of the world of humanity will become green and verdant, full of freshness and purity. The flowers of reality will open and the trees of existence will bring forth enduring fruit. This is the law of God and is in accord with the world of creation and this is the cause for the reappearance of holy Manifestations Who effect renewal and change in religious laws and commandments‘.”
Potluck Lunch & Stories about ‘Abdu’l-Baha
Canada Games Centre, 26 Thomas Raddall Drive, Halifax
[ SAT. 08 Sept. 2012 12pm-2pm ]
“‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s discourses today consisted of divine exhortations, admonitions and expressions of farewell to the friends. ‘I have sown the seed,’ He said. ‘You must water it. You must educate the souls in divine morals, make them spiritual and lead them to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace.’
In the afternoon He gave an account of His imprisonment in the Most Great Prison and of His return to the Holy Land. Someone suggested that His return to `Akká might bring trouble to Him and again cause His imprisonment. ‘Oh no,’ He replied,
that organization has been rolled up; that system has been rendered null. Those days were so hard that all had believed that when the Commission of Investigation returned to Constantinople `Abdu’l-Bahá’s life and name would be effaced. But God did not will it. As we were imprisoned for the Cause of God and not for political reasons, while in prison we were not perturbed and had no worries. However, the others thought that after I was set free I would raise the banner of independence among the Arabs and unite them with me! See, how ill-informed was such a judgment!
As this was the last day of His stay in Montreal, all the friends, both old and new, expressed their sorrow. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá consoled them with the glad tidings of certitude, spiritual nearness, assistance and heavenly grace.”
Celebration of the Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Visit to Canada
Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts 6199 Chebucto Road, Halifax
[ SUN. 09 Sept. 2012 7pm-10pm ]
“All luggage sent through the railway station had to be examined by the Customs officers; but the chief officer at the Customs and his assistants passed our baggage, indicating that they were perfectly satisfied and had no reason to examine the effects of the Bahá’ís! When the Master was told this, His face opened up like a rose and He expounded on the stations of truthfulness and trustworthiness, which are the sources of the prosperity and assurance of the people of the world.
The enthusiasm and ardor of the friends knew no bounds. They surrounded ‘Abdu’l-Bahá like moths. Until the train pulled out of the station at nine o’clock, the friends continued to sigh and express their sorrow at His departure.
It is astonishing to see that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá does not want any comfort and will not take any rest, even while traveling on the train. When translations of the newspaper articles and letters from the friends were read to Him, He immediately answered and bestowed His bounties upon them. To some He wrote in His own hand. When He was tired of writing, the Master spoke about the coming of Christ from the heaven of holiness:
‘The Gospel expressly records that in His first coming, although Christ was born to Mary, He Himself said that He came from heaven. Thus, the meaning of `heaven’ is the greatness of the Cause and eminence and might of the Manifestation of God Who spreads this divine Cause by His heavenly power and divine strength and not through material means‘.”
Pejman’s Slideshow presentation