“The Lord has afflicted me with painful constipation. The elimination is so hard that I am forced to press with all my strength, even to the point of perspiration, and the longer I delay the worse it gets. …..My constipation has become bad….I tried the pills according to the prescription. Soon I had some relief and elimination without blood or force, but the wound of the previous rupture isn’t healed yet, and I even had to suffer a good deal because some flesh extruded, either due to the power of the pills, or I don’t know what……
“….. At last my behind in my bowels have reconciled themselves to me.”
“Dietrich Bonheoffer (1906-1945) a German Lutheran minister who joined Barth in resisting Hitler’s attempts to use the Lutheran Church, became a teacher in the seminary of the newly formed Confessing Church, tried to form a link between Germans opposed to Hitler and the British government, and was involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler. He was arrested and put in prison in 1943 and hanged just before the end of the Second World War in 1945. His Letters and Papers from Prison reflect an impressive and courageous witness under hardship; and they reflect on the growing secularization of man (Nietzsche’s ‘God is dead’ idea) and on the need to speak about God in a secular way, so that God is not reduced to a pseudo-religious magic force or so-called “God-of-the-gaps” but who on account of Jesus Christ’s redemptive act is present at the center of even secular and non-religious life” (Frederick Lawrence, Philosophers and Theologians, Boston College).
“Martin Luther (1483-1546) broke from the Church of Rome and started the German part of the Protestant Reformation. He had what he thought was a sudden revelation which convinced him that faith alone justifies without works (“By faith alone!”). He went on to deny the mediating role of the Church (excluding any sacraments besides Baptism and Eucharist) and of the priesthood (“By grace alone!” “Priesthood of all believers”). He also contended that individual believers could find out by themselves the message of salvation in the revealed Word of God without need of official teachers or Church traditions. He also taught that “Sacred Scripture is its own interpreter,” meaning that if you could not understand any passage of the Bible, the best way to uncover its meaning is to look in other parts to clarify its meaning: Scripture as a whole illumines all its parts (“By Scripture alone!”),” (Frederick Lawrence, Philosophers and Theologians, Boston College).