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Little Book of Courage Notes - Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Does not the early death of young Christians always appear to us as if God were plundering his own best instruments in a time in which they are most needed? Yet the Lord makes no mistakes. Might God need our brothers for some hidden service on our behaf in the heavenly world? We should put an end to our human thoughts, which always wish to know more than they can, and cling to that which is certain. Whomever God calls home is someone God has loved. "For their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness" - Wisdom of Solomon 4)


There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endurie it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God i no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve--even in pain-- the authentic relationship. Furthermore, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain."


When God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words. They should remain open. Our only comofrt is the God of the resurrection, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who also was and is his God. 


Life only really begins when it ends here on earth...death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. 


This is the end. For me, the beginning of life.

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