Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stations on the Road to Freedom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bio: Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the Lutheran pastor executed by Hitler for his resistance activities. A deeply religious, committed man, Bonhoeffer’s writings remain a challenge and inspiration to a new generation of committed men and women. This excerpt is from Letters and Papers from Prison, a collection of his works.

Quotations:

"Discipline

If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your senses, for fear that your passions and longing may lead you away from the path you should follow. Chaste be your mind and your body, and both in subjection, obediently, steadfastly seeking the aim set before them; only through discipline may a man learn to be free.

Action

Daring to do what is right, not what fancy may tell you, valiantly grasping occasions, not cravenly doubting— freedom comes only through deeds, not through thoughts taking wing.

Faint not nor fear, but go out to the storm and the action, trusting in God whose commandment you faithfully follow; freedom, exultant, will welcome your spirit with joy.


Suffering

A change has come indeed. Your hands, so strong and active, are bound; in helplessness now you see your action
is ended; you sigh in relief, your cause committing to stronger hands; so now you may rest contented.
Only for one blissful moment could you draw near to touch freedom;
then, that it might be perfected in glory, you gave it to God.

Death

Come now, thou greatest of feasts on the journey to freedom eternal;
death, cast aside all the burdensome chains, and demolish
the walls of our temporal body, the walls of our souls that are blinded,
so that at last we may see that which here remains hidden.
Freedom, how long we have sought thee in discipline, action, and suffering;
dying, we now may behold thee revealed in the Lord."

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