"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Remembering Bonhoeffer



Seventy years ago April 9, 1945, Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was put to death by the Nazis.  Today he is remembered by Christians as a martyr.  Bonhoeffer is well known for his book, The Cost of Discipleship.  Like so many of those Christians who were put to death by the Nazis, Bonhoeffer's witness seems especially relevant for Christians today.

Ron Belgau has a fine essay on Bonhoeffer and offers a famous quote from the Lutheran pastor-theologian on "cheap grace":

In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate.” On the other hand, “Costly grace,” Bonhoeffer says, “is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake the man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ for which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.” - Ron Belgau

 Ron Belgau concludes his essay with the following hope-filled reflection:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer—pastor, theologian, friend, martyr—offers us encouragement that even in the most difficult circumstances, grace can strengthen a flawed, sometimes uncertain human being to take up his cross and remain with Christ, even to the end. And, we may hope that, having suffered with his Lord, he has been purified of all imperfection and raised with Him to enjoy a “life together” beyond all his earthly imagination. - Ron Belgau

I like that. 

11 comments:

  1. I like that too. ^^

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  2. I just had reason to remember Superman - doesn't he look like Clark Kent?

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    1. Kind of. He looks more like a guy I know who works for Vatican Radio though.

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  3. I'm doing one real penance a day all year. In the first millenium, they did real penances... "carry your uncle on your back for a year....and he can't fast"...." thank you father, but that means my aunt will have to do all the farm work"....." It's ok...that's her penance I gave her yesterday".
    One a day. Yesterday I ate non delicious after three pm plus water only...veggies...no butter on them....no booze. Today I'll give up the duck confit at Buvette...no, I've never had it. Seriously today may be another non delicious after three and no drambuie and milk prior to three. I'll take a calcium pill to get the missed calcium.

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    1. That's a good idea.

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    2. That's a good idea.

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    3. But your left hand isn't supposed to know what your right hand is doing so be sure to use one hand at a time.

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    4. I only use two hands for hero sandwiches, working out and playing jazz conga drum....oh...and the lawnmower whose time is drawing nigh ...sadly enough.

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  4. I wonder how he would've felt about that pirate shirt.
    My favorite Bonhoeffer quote, "We must be willing to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God."
    He certainly walked the walk, didn't he?

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    1. Haha! Isn't that a surplice or choir vestment?

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    2. Haha! Isn't that a surplice or choir vestment?

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