Every time one goes into the details of any particular period in the Guardian’s life one is tempted to say “this was the worst period", so fraught with strain, problems, unbearable pressures was his entire ministry. But there is a pattern, there are themes, higher and lower points were reached. The pattern of 1922, 1923 and 1924 reveals itself, insofar as his personal life is concerned, as an heroic attempt to come to grips with this leviathan - the Cause of God - he had been commanded to bestride. Again and again he was thrown. Torn by agonies of doubt as to his own worthiness to be the successor of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, struggling with himself as had so many Prophets and Chosen Ones before him, he argued in the depths of his soul with his destiny, remonstrated with his fate, appealed to his God for relief - but it availed him naught. He was firmly caught in the meshes of the Master’s mighty Will and Testament. He hints at this many times in his letters: “the storm and stress that have agitated my life since ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing...” “I, for my part, as I look back...to the unfortunate circumstances of ill-health and physical exhaustion that have attended the opening years of my career of service to the Cause, feel hardly gratified, and would be truly despondent but for the sustaining memory and inspiring example of the diligent and ceaseless efforts which my fellow-workers the world over have displayed during these two trying years in the service of the Cause.” In another letter he wrote: “...looking back upon those sullen days of my retirement, bitter with feelings of anxiety and gloom...I can well imagine the degree of uneasiness, nay of affliction, that must have agitate the mind and soul of every loving and loyal servant of the Beloved during these long months of suspense and distressing silence...” That his own condition, and what he considered his failure to rise to the situation the Master’s passing had placed him in, distressed him more than anything else for a number of years is reflected in excerpts from this letters. As late as September 9124 he wrote: “I deplore the disturbing effect of my forced and repeated withdrawals from the field of service...my prolonged absence, my utter inaction, should not, however, be solely attributed to certain external manifestations of in harmony, of discontent and disloyalty - however paralyzing their effect has been upon the continuance of my work - but also to my own unworthiness and to my imperfections and frailties.” His hardest task, form the very beginning, was to accept himself.
(Rúhiyyih Khánum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 71-72)