why we desperately need the training ground of advent
(this is an updated version of a post I originally wrote in 2017)
In a letter to his fiancee Maria von Wedmeyer from prison in December 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:
Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten...Whoever does not know the austere blessedness . . .
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you..." Ps 55.22
Whoever desires to be a Christian must learn to believe this, and to exercise this faith in all his affairs, in physical and in spiritual things, in doing and in suffering, in living and dying, and to cast aside all anxious thoughts and care and throw them cheerfully off. Yet he must not throw them into a corner, as some have . . .
"I wait for the Lord." Psalm 130.5
There are some people who want to show God the goal and to determine the time and the manner and at the same time suggest how they wish to be helped; and if things do not turn out as they wish, they become faint-hearted, or, if they can, they seek help elsewhere. They do not wait upon God, rather God should wait for them and be . . .
and whether or not Christian's may serve
What men write about war, saying that it is a great plague, is all true. But they should also consider how great the plague is that war prevents. If people were good and wanted to keep peace, war would be the greatest plague on earth. But what are you going to do about the fact that people will not keep the peace, but rob, . . .
Kate Tristram on the faithful odd
We are 'peculiar.' We have chosen not to go with the majority. We shall pray and reflect on the life of Christ: most people don't do this. We shall worship and receive God's gifts in His sacraments: most people don't do this. We shall be in a minority: we shall be odd.
Kate Tristam, quoted in Celtic . . .
God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. Neither does He want your plowing and planting alone to give you grain and fruit; but you are to plow and plant and then ask His blessing and pray: “Now let God take over; now grant grain and fruit, dear Lord! Our plowing . . .