And when Thou didst purpose to unveil Thy sovereignty, and to glorify Thy word, and to reveal Thy bounteousness and mercy, Thou didst raise up one of Thy servants, and didst choose Him above all Thy creatures, and didst single Him out for Thy purpose, and didst clothe Him with the robe of Thy guidance, and didst immerse Him beneath the seas of Thy majesty and grandeur, and didst sanctify Him from all that beseemeth not the greatness of Thy glory and the power of Thy might, and didst bid Him to cry out before all that are in heaven and on earth, and summon the multitudes to the Manifestation of Thy Self and the Revealer of Thy signs.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 96-97)
As the degrees of existence are different and various, some beings are higher in the scale than others. Therefore, it is by the will and wish of God that some creatures are chosen for the highest degree, as man, and some others are placed in the middle degree, as the vegetable, and some are left in the lowest degree, like the mineral.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 130)
As to you—O ye who are attracted to the fragrances of God! — kneel down and thank God for choosing you to enter His wonderful Kingdom.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 135)
Be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognise His Cause. Whoever has received this blessing must, prior to his acceptance, have performed some deed which though he himself was unaware of its character, was ordained by God as a means whereby he has been guided to find and embrace the Truth. As to those who have remained deprived of such blessing, their acts alone have hindered them from recognising the truth of this Revelation.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Dawnbreakers, p. 586)
Behold how the manifold grace of God, which is being showered from the clouds of Divine glory, hath, in this day, encompassed the world. For whereas in days past every lover besought and searched after his Beloved, it is the Beloved Himself Who now is calling His lovers and is inviting them to attain His presence. Take heed lest ye forfeit so precious a favor; beware lest ye belittle so remarkable a token of His grace. Abandon not the incorruptible benefits, and be not content with that which perisheth. Lift up the veil that obscureth your vision, and dispel the darkness with which it is enveloped, that ye may gaze on the naked beauty of the Beloved’s face, may behold that which no eye hath beheld, and hear that which no ear hath heard.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 320)
Consider how there are thousands of heedless souls who are asleep, while there is one who is conscious and awake! … Undoubtedly the friends of God have been endowed with ability and capacity, on which account they became of the “chosen” and not of the “called.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 109)
For I say unto you that He has chosen you to be His messengers of love throughout the world, to be His bearers of spiritual gifts to man, to be the means of spreading unity and concord on the earth. Thank God with all your hearts that such a privilege has been given unto you. For a life devoted to praise is not too long in which to thank God for such a favour.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 68)
From amongst all mankind hath He chosen you, and your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 35)
God chooses for His favors whomsoever He willeth. He is the Merciful, the Generous!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 83)
God is merciful and compassionate! His bounty is great and great! He appropriateth by His mercy those whom He liketh and chooseth for His love those of whom He approveth. This is in accordance with what Christ said: “Many are called, but few chosen.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 347)
If one is praised and chosen by God, the accusation of all the creatures will cause no loss to him; and if the man is not accepted in the threshold of God, the praise and admiration of all men will be of no use to him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 157)
It is from the bounty of God that man is selected for the highest degree; and the differences which exist between men in regard to spiritual progress and heavenly perfections are also due to the choice of the Compassionate One … Nevertheless, by effort and perseverance, knowledge, science and other perfections can be acquired; but only the light of the Divine Beauty can transport and move the spirits through the force of attraction. Therefore, it is said: “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 129)
Let us pray to God that in these days of world-encircling gloom, when the dark forces of nature, of hate, rebellion, anarchy and reaction are threatening the very stability of human society, when the most precious fruits of civilization are undergoing severe and unparalleled tests, we may all realize, more profoundly than ever, that though but a mere handful amidst the seething masses of the world, we are in this day the chosen instruments of God’s grace, that our mission is most urgent and vital to the fate of humanity, and, fortified by these sentiments, arise to achieve God’s holy purpose for mankind.
(Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 35)
Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit. Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful! God has crowned you with honour and in your hearts has He set a radiant star; verily the light thereof shall brighten the whole world!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 68)
Many are called, but few chosen. That is to say, there are many who are invited, but those souls who are signalized with the grace and favor of guidance are but very rare. This is the bounty of God; He will give the same unto whom He pleaseth; and God is endowed with great bounty.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 371-372)
Many holy souls in former times longed to witness this century, lamenting night and day, yearning to be upon the earth in this cycle; but our presence and privilege is the beneficent gift of the Lord. In His divine mercy and absolute virtue He has bestowed this upon us, even as Christ declared, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Verily, God has chosen you for His love and knowledge; God has chosen you for the worthy service of unifying mankind; God has chosen you for the purpose of investigating reality and promulgating international peace; God has chosen you for the progress and development of humanity, for spreading and proclaiming true education, for the expression of love toward your fellow creatures and the removal of prejudice; God has chosen you to blend together human hearts and give light to the human world. The doors of His generosity are wide, wide open to us; but we must be attentive, alert and mindful, occupied with service to all mankind, appreciating the bestowals of God and ever conforming to His will.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 334-335)
O beloved of God! Is there any giver save God? He chooseth for His mercy whomsoever He desireth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 386)
O ye who are set aglow with the fire of God’s Love! Blessed are ye for having been chosen by God for His love, in this new age, and joy be to you for having been guided to the Great Kingdom! Verily, your Lord hath chosen you to show the path to the Kingdom of God, among the people.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 83)
Out of all the mass of humankind God hath chosen the friends, and He hath favoured them with His guidance and boundless grace. His purpose is this, that we, all of us, should strive with our whole hearts to offer ourselves up, guide others to His path, and train the souls of men—until these frenzied beasts change to gazelles in the meadows of oneness, and these wolves to lambs of God, and these brutish creatures to angelic hosts; till the fires of hatred are quenched, and the flame coming out of the sheltered vale of the Holy Shrine doth shed its splendours; till the foul odour of the tyrant’s dunghill is blown away, and yieldeth to the pure, sweet scents that stream from the rosebeds of faith and trust.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 271-272)
Reflect ye upon the chosen ones of God in the earlier ages! How their worth was unknown during their days; how they were known by people as but ordinary individuals and unimportant persons! Afterwards, their arguments appeared, their lights scintillated, their stars beamed, their trees became lofty, their mysteries gleamed forth, their fruits were praised, their reservoirs became overflowing, their gardens adorned, their birds warbled and their joy became perfect in the Kingdom of their Beneficent Lord.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 274-275)
Thank God for choosing thee, saving thee and granting thee of these great blessings and glorious attainments. Verily, thy Lord shall confirm thee in that which shall surprise the minds, through the glowing of its love and the manifestations of the signs of its favors.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 110)
Thank ye God, for He hath guided you unto His Kingdom and hath chosen you from among the called ones of nations! Your Lord hath indeed crowned you with the diadem of eternal glory (which will continue) throughout cycles and ages! Truly I say unto you, verily, the angels of heaven repeatedly bless you, for ye have advanced toward God and turned unto His Great Kingdom. Ye shall surely see in this effulgence a flash which will pervade all regions. At that time, all nations and communities will arise to praise and glorify you, and they will bless themselves with your commemoration in gatherings, temples of worship and in exalted assemblies. Is there any gift greater than this?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 271)
The Bahá’ís are the leaven of God, which must leaven the lump of their nation. In direct ratio to their success will be the protection vouchsafed, not only to them but to their country. These are the immutable laws of God, from which there is no escape: ‘For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.’
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 135)
The chosen ones of God... should not look at the depraved conditions of the society in which they live, nor at the evidences of moral degradation and frivolous conduct which the people around them display. They should not content themselves merely with relative distinction and excellence. Rather they should fix their gaze upon nobler heights by setting the counsels and exhortations of the pen of Glory as their supreme goal. Then it will be readily realized how numerous are the stages that still remain to be traversed and how far off the desired goal lies—a goal which is none other than exemplifying heavenly morals and virtues.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 136-137)
The differences among mankind are of two sorts: one is a difference of station, and this difference is not blameworthy. The other is a difference of faith and assurance; the loss of these is blameworthy, for then the soul is overwhelmed by his desires and passions, which deprive him of these blessings and prevent him from feeling the power of attraction of the love of God. Though that man is praiseworthy and acceptable in his station, yet as he is deprived of the perfections of that degree, he will become a source of imperfections, for which he is held responsible.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 128)
The grace of God hath chosen thee and distinguished thee for His love, that thou mayest thank Him a thousand times in every moment. Because of this bounty, you must choose to serve the maid-servants of the Merciful.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 507-508)
The greatest bounty is the recognition of the Manifestation of God, and this is not given to man freely. He must earn it by cleansing the mirror of his heart so that the Sun of Truth may shine within it.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 82)
The learned and the wise have for long years striven and failed to attain the presence of the All-Glorious; they have spent their lives in search of Him, yet did not behold the beauty of His countenance. Thou without the least effort didst attain thy goal, and without search hast obtained the object of thy quest. Yet, notwithstanding, thou didst remain so wrapt in the veil of self, that thine eyes beheld not the beauty of the Beloved, nor did thy hand touch the hem of His robe. Ye that have eyes, behold and wonder.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 22)
Then praise God for that He chose thee to love Him and elected thee to spread His fragrances. He selected thee from among the women of the world, so that thou become a flame to the fire of His love, a sign of the Kingdom of His Grace and a summoner to His Name, in humbleness and meekness, invocation and supplication to God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 266)
They cannot be the chosen people of God,—the ones who have received the bounty of accepting Him in His Day, the recipients of the Master’s Divine Plan—and do nothing about it. The obligation to teach is the obligation of every Bahá’í, and particularly, the obligations of the American Bahá’ís towards humanity are great and inescapable. To the degree to which they discharge them will they be blessed and protected, happy and satisfied.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 136)
Thou hast, O my God, chosen them to love Thee, and to stand before the throne of Thy majesty. No other station hath excelled the station to which Thou hast called them.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 62)
Verily, my God chooses whomsoever He willeth, by His mercy and generosity, for entrance into the Kingdom of Glory and shineth the lights of (His) Beauty upon them. Blessed is he who keeps firm in the Path and stands for the Cause of thy Merciful Lord—a firmness like unto the lofty mountains.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 269)
Whomsoever Thou willest Thou causest to draw nigh unto the Most Great Ocean, and on whomsoever Thou desirest Thou conferrest the honor of recognizing Thy Most Ancient Name.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 94)