A Love Letter to Century of Light

Natalie KahnNatalie Kahn of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, had a goal of improving her Baha’i scholarship.  But she did not expect to be spiritually challenged by Century of Light, a work, supervised by the Universal House of Justice, that details the profound changes the world experienced during the twentieth century and the concomitant emergence of the Baha’i Cause from obscurity.

Thank you, all, for posting thoughts and treasured quotes. They are integral to my learning process and have shown me different styles to unravel the intricacies of the Cause.

Unlike the courses I have taken within the last eight years at Marquette and DePaul with far more ease than the challenges confronting me with the Century of Light, I found emotions, ad nauseam, tugging at me and hampering my progress. This alone was a huge lesson, to become forgetful of self and mindful of God.

My Personal Learning Plan shifted dramatically. At the beginning I could answer questions by resorting to the book, but the process yielded results lacking in depth. It was daunting to summarize without using quotations and cumbersome to make comparisons, and, therefore, I proved incapable of analysis and synthesis. Any interpretation I had to offer seemed to mimic those already given.

The theme of the book at first baffled me. However, as the book launches into history, it strings together events, places side by side people and groups with contradictory and congruent purposes, casts laser-beam light on the sovereignty of God with compelling quotations from the Pillars of the Cause, traces the light of the century as it pierces through the darkness of materialism, and ends climactically announcing humanity’s collective existence is in dire need of a Soul. And, without pause, it continues to declare, “We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation. . . .” I am silenced by the immensity of its message but moved to continue to pursue this course.

I have taken the liberty of extending my Personal Learning Plan deadline to allow myself a second reading of the book, accompanied by research into the vast array of Baha’i writings to strengthen my confidence and to reveal with greater definition the overriding forces governing the Century of Light. Ultimately, my goals are to acquire spiritual perception and eloquent speech and to teach through actions aligned with God’s pleasure with thoughtful words of love and compassion, as, you, my dear friends have shown me. Forever grateful for your contributions.

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