Spiritual leaders answer on honor

Editors note: “Spiritual leaders answer” is a weekly column inviting Kaua‘i religious and spiritual leaders to share their doctrine’s perspective on a suggested subject. Every Friday a topic is printed inviting a response. Due to space limitations, submissions are edited. Thoughts or suggestions for future topics are always welcome. Next week’s subject is on government. The topic at the end of the column is for the following week.

The Baha’is of Kaua‘i

God has granted mankind the highest of honor, that of recognizing and loving Him. Our love of God allows us to accept His guidance and teachings as revealed to mankind through His supreme prophets. As succinctly stated in the Baha’i Writings, “Love me that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this o servant.”

Whereas animals are only physical beings, man is both physical and spiritual. Man’s physical body is sustained by his material needs. His spirituality, however, must not be neglected for it reflects the image of God and is everlasting. Therefore, we must strive to obtain a balance that reflects the honor bestowed upon us to recognize and obey our maker.

“Although it is necessary for man to strive for material needs and comforts, his real need is the acquisition of the bounties of God. If he is bereft of divine bounties, spiritual susceptibilities and heavenly glad tidings, the life of man in this world has not yielded any worthy fruit. While possessing physical life, he should lay hold of the life spiritual, and together with bodily comforts and happiness, he should enjoy divine pleasures and content. Then is man worthy of the title man; then will he be after the image and likeness of God, for the image of the merciful consists of the attributes of the heavenly kingdom. If no fruits of the kingdom appear in the garden of his soul, man is not in the image and likeness of God, but if those fruits are forthcoming, he becomes the recipient of ideal bestowals and is enkindled with the fire of the  love of God.

If his morals become spiritual in character, his aspirations  heavenly and his actions conformable to the will of God, man has attained the image and likeness of his creator; otherwise, he is the image and likeness of Satan. Therefore, Christ hath said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’” The fruits to which the manifestations of God refer are our actions.

Baha’is are admonished, “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.” It is not enough to proclaim our faith. To be truly deserving of the honor bestowed upon man to recognize his creator, we must act upon our beliefs for the betterment of mankind.

“You must thank God that your efforts are high and noble, that your endeavors are worthy, that your intentions are centered upon the Kingdom of God and that your supreme desire is the acquisition of eternal  virtues. You must act in accordance with these requirements.

A man may be a  Baha’i in name only. If he is a Baha’i in reality, his deeds and actions will be decisive proofs of it. What are the requirements? Love for mankind, sincerity toward all, reflecting the oneness of the world of humanity, philanthropy, becoming enkindled with the fire of the love of God, attainment to the knowledge of God and that which is conducive to human welfare.”

Topic for two weeks

from today:

• Will you speak to us on

ritual?

• Spiritual leaders are invited to e-mail responses of three to five paragraphs to pwoolway@kauaipubco.com

• Deadline each week is Tuesday,

by 5 p.m.

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