Monthly Archives: March 2011

Letters and Papers

Martin Marty has posted over at The Immanent Frame on what looks to be an interesting new book: Marty’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography. Here is an excerpt

The letters and papers from prison reveal much about Bonhoeffer’s spiritual life and vocation, and these served a new generation of collegians and seminarians who were looking for models of witness and courage. They tell of his spiritual life and vocation, as for instance in the first letter, when Bonhoeffer asked his friend, who had served as his pastor back when they were studying theology and pastoral practice together, now, through letters, again to be his pastor, since he had not been allowed to see one in prison. He pleaded to his friend: “After so many long months without worship, confession and the Lord’s Supper and without consolation fratrum—[be] my pastor once more, as you have so often been in the past, and listen to me.” Then came a revelation about Bonhoeffer’s psyche: “You are the only person who knows that ‘acedia,’ ‘tristitia’ [sadness in the face of spiritual good, medievalists called it] with all its ominous consequences, has often haunted me.” But, he resolved, “neither human beings nor the devil” would prevail.

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