Letters and Papers from Prison Quotes

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Letters and Papers from Prison Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Letters and Papers from Prison Quotes (showing 1-30 of 51)
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“It is not your love that sustains the marriage,
but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In me there is darkness,
But with You there is light;
I am lonely, but You do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;
I am restless, but with You there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience;
I do not understand Your ways,
But You know the way for me.”

“Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
When all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is Your will that I should know You
And turn to You.
Lord, I hear Your call and follow;
Help me.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“As God adds his ‘Yes’ to your ‘Yes,’ as he confirms your will with his will, and as he allows you, and approves of, your triumph and rejoicing and pride, he makes you at the same time instruments of his will and purpose both for yourselves and for others. In his unfathomable condescension God does add his ‘Yes’ to yours; but by doing so, he creates out of your love something quite new – the holy estate of matrimony…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God's holy ordinance, through which He wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to His glory, and calls into His kingdom. In your love, you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsability towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal - it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“If we look more closely, we see that any violent display of power, whether political or religious, produces an outburst of folly in a large part of mankind; indeed, this seems actually to be a psychological and sociological law: the power of some needs the folly of others. It is not that certain human capacities, intellectual capacities for instance, become stunted of destroyed, but rather that the upsurge of power makes such an overwhelming impression that men are deprived of their independent judgment, and...give up trying to assess the new state of affairs for themselves.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Every wedding must be an occasion of joy that human beings can do such great things, that they have been given such immense freedom and power to take the helm in their life’s journey…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“The 'polymath' had already died out by the close of the eighteenth century, and in the following century intensive education replaced extensive, so that by the end of it the specialist had evolved. The consequence is that today everyone is a mere technician, even the artist...”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“We ought not to be in too much of a hurry here to speak piously of God’s will and guidance. It is obvious, and it should not be ignored, that it is your own very human wills that are at work here, celebrating their triumph; the course that you are taking at the outset is one that you have chosen for yourselves…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion...but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, 'Take it or leave it': Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, everything which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“May God in his mercy lead us through these times; but above all, may he lead us to himself.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“Those sentimental radio hits, with their artificial naivete and empty crudities, are the pitiful remains and the maximum that people will tolerate by way of mental effort; it's a ghastly desolation and impoverishmment. By contrast, we can be very glad when something affects us deeply, and regard the accompanying pains as an enrichment.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In short, it is much easier to see a thing through from the point of view of abstract principle than from that of concrete responsibility.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“The more we have known of the really good things, the more insipid the thin lemonade of later literature becomes, sometimes almost to the point of making us sick. Do you know a work of literature written in the last, say, fifteen years that you think has any lasting quality? I don't. It is partly idle chatter, partly propaganda, partly self-pitying sentimentality, but there is no insight, no ideas, no clarity, no substance and almost always the language is bad and constrained. On this subject I am quite consciously a laudator temporis acti.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
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“As Christians, we needn’t be at all ashamed of some impatience, longing, opposition to what is unnatural, and our full share of desire for freedom, earthly happiness, and opportunity for effective work.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“we have been silent witnesses to”
Dietrich Bonhoffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison DBW Vol 8
“The God of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with what God, as we imagine him, could do and ought to do. If we are to learn what God promises, and what he fulfils, we must persevere in quiet meditation on the life, sayings, deeds, sufferings, and death of Jesus.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“I wonder why it is that we find some days so much more oppressive than others, for no apparent reason. Is it growing pains - or spiritual trial? Once they’re over, the world looks quite a different place again.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a 2nd time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love.
It is not your love tht sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In other times it may have been the business of Christianity to champion the equality of all men; its business today will be to defend passionately human dignity and reserve.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“To make a start, it should give away all its property to those in need. The clergy must live solely on the free-will offerings of their congregations, or possibly engage in some secular calling. The church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“Easter? We’re paying more attention to dying than to death. We’re more concerned to get over the act of dying than to overcome death. Socrates mastered the art of dying; Christ overcame death as ‘the last enemy’ (I Cor. 15.26). There is a real difference between the two things; the one is within the scope of human possibilities, the other means resurrection.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison
“Why does the Old Testament law never punish anyone by depriving him of his freedom?”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters Papers from Prison

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