Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes:
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons”
“To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit
of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ”
“If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because
a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.”
“God's truth judges created things out of love, and Satan's truth judges them
out of envy and hatred.”
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact
that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent”
“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol”
“To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only
Him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us.”
“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching
of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship,
grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
“Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and
sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy
alive in you.”
“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.”
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending
struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others
we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as
entitled to as we are.”
“Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited
until one of them turned to him.”
“Being a Christan is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously
and actively doing God's will.”
Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-73) was born in York, England on January 21, 1907. Here's a
(In memory of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
martyred at Flossenburg, April 9th, 1945)
He told us we were free to choose
But, children as we were, we thoughtďż˝
'Paternal Love will only use
Force in the last resort
On those too bumptious to repent'--
Accustomed to religious dread,
It never crossed our minds He meant
Exactly what he said.
Perhaps He frowns, perhaps He grieves,
But it seems idle to discuss
If anger or compassion leaves
The bigger bangs to us.
What reverence is rightly paid
To a Divinity so odd
He lets the Adam whom He made
Perform the Acts of God?
It might be jolly if we felt
Awe at this Universal Man
(When kings were local, people knelt);
Some try to, but who can?
The self-observed observing Mind
We meet when we observe at all
Is not alarming or unkind
But utterly banal.
Though instruments at Its command
Make wish and counterwish come true,
It clearly cannot understand
What It can clearly do.
Since the analogies are rot
Our senses based belief upon,
We have no means of learning what
Is really going on,
And must put up with having learned
All proofs or disproofs that we tender
Of His existence are returned
Unopened to the sender.
Now, did He really break the seal
And rise again? We dare not say;
But conscious unbelievers feel
Quite sure of Judgment Day.
Meanwhile, a silence on the cross,
As dead as we shall ever be,
Speaks of some total gain or loss,
And you and I are free
To guess from the insulted face
Just what Appearances He saves
By suffering in a public places
A death reserved for slaves.
There's an excellent tv-biopic that includes a profoundly moving final scene: Bonhoeffer: Agent
of Grace (2000).
And here is a poem by him and one about him:
WHO AM I?
Who am I? They often tell me
I would step from my cell`s confinement
calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They also tell me
I would talk to my warders
freely and friendly and clearly,
as though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I would bear the days of misfortune
equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself,
restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,
yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation,
tossing in expectation of great events,
powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?
Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today, and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, thou knowest, O God, I am thine.
Christmas Trees (Geoffrey Hill)
Bonhoeffer in his skylit cell
bleached by the flares' candescent fall,
pacing out his own citadel,
restores the broken themes of praise,
encourages our borrowed days,
by logic of his sacrifice.
Against wild reasons of the state
his words are quiet but not too quiet.
We hear too late or not too late.
The Christian cannot simply take for granted the privilege of living among other Christians.
Jesus Christ lived in the midst of His enemies. In the end all His disciples abandoned Him.
On the cross He was all alone, surrounded by criminals and the jeering crowds.
He had come for the express purpose of bringing peace to the enemies of God.
So Christians, too, belong not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the midst of enemies.
There they find their mission, their work.
God gives you Christ as the foundation of your marriage. Welcome one another, therefore,
as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God’ (Romans 15:7). 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 quotes bonhoeffer quotes
Author John Malkov