Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bonhoeffer: participate in the sufferings of God

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Feast of Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), 1660
    Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
    —Colossians 1:24 (NIV)
    Man is challenged to participate in the sufferings of God at the hands of a godless world.
    He must therefore plunge himself into the life of a godless world, without attempting to gloss over its ungodliness with a veneer of religion or trying to transfigure it. He must live a ‘worldly’ life and so participate in the suffering of God. He may live a worldly life as one emancipated from all false religions and obligations. To be a Christian does not mean to be religious in a particular way, to cultivate some particular form of asceticism (as a sinner, a penitent, or a saint), but to be a man. It is not some religious act which makes a Christian what he is, but participation in the suffering of God in the life of the world.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Letters and Papers from Prison, London: Macmillan, 1962, p. 174 (see the book)
    See also Col. 1:24; Matt. 5:11; Acts 5:41; Rom. 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:17; 1 Thess. 2:14-16; Heb. 2:18; 5:8-10; 1 Pet. 2:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I am Your servant to use in the world.
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