Tuesday, April 10, 2012

excerpt from "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy"

I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith ... One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called priestly type!), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By this-worldiness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world - watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith [...] and that is how one becomes a man and a Christian. How can success make us arrogant, or failure lead us astray, when we share in God's sufferings through a life of this kind?

I think you see what I mean, even though I put it so briefly, I'm glad to have been able to learn this, and I know I've been able to do so only along the road that I've travelled. So I'm grateful for the past and present, and content with them...

May God in his mercy lead us through these times, but above all, may he lead us to himself ...

Good-bye. Keep well, and don't lose hope that we shall all meet again soon. I always think of you in faithfulness and gratitude.

Your Dietrich


Marie Zhang said...

James got Bonhoeffer as a graduation gift a few years back. Have been meaning to steal it (or "borrow" it if you will)

"Living completely in this world" and "Abandoning one's attempt to make soemthing of oneself"

Still trying to wrap my mind around what that means.

沁芸 said...

u and me both darlin