The Divine Art of Living by Mabel Hyde Paine

Mabel Hyde Paine has collected and thematically arranged quotations from the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and ‘Abdu’l-Baha in this compilation that will be familiar to many Baha’i readers. First published in 1944, it has undergone numerous updates, and its enduring popularity testifies to its continuing relevance. The book is organized around a variety of meaningful topics including trust in God, prayer and meditation, health and healing, relationships (including marriage and children), death and loss, and coping with tests and difficulties. Each chapter topic is also divided into subtopics relevant to the chapter title, making it easy to find quotations for whatever guidance the reader is seeking. All quotations are referenced to their original sources with a key at the back of the book. The foreword at the beginning of the book includes a history of the book’s development and also a brief history of the Baha’i Faith.

This book is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for inspiration, and its presentation of the Writings makes it appropriate to those who are just beginning to explore the Baha’i Faith, as well as those long familiar with it. A reader can easily access quotations addressing a specific topic, but may find just opening the book and reading a quotation to be meaningful as well. There are several copies of The Divine Art of Living in our Baha’i Center bookstore.

From the book:

“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. Thank ye and praise ye God that the hand of infinite bestowals hath set upon your heads this gem-studded crown, this crown whose lustrous jewels will forever flash and sparkle down all the reaches of time.

“To thank Him for this, make ye a mighty effort, and choose for yourselves a noble goal. Through the power of faith, obey ye the teachings of God, and let all your actions conform to His laws.”

(referenced from Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 1978)