Life in abundance

Reading: Luke 22

44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’

One thing remains clear or at least sensed: doubt and temptation about the meaningfulness of being cast to and fro, of being at the mercy of things, will not cease as long as we remain focused on ourselves, as long as in one form or another “the other” does not step into our lives.

Letter to Detlef Albers (the teacher of history and geography at the German Protestant school in Barcelona), 30 August 1929


It is in the complete this-worldliness of life that we must first learn how to believe. When we have fully renounced making something out of ourselves – be it a saint or a converted sinner or a church man or woman (a so-called priestly figure!), a righteous or an unrighteous person, a sick or a healthy person – when we have renounced all of that, we fall completely into God’s arms and what I call this-worldliness, namely, living in an abundance of tasks, questions, successes and failures, experiences, and helplessness (John 10.10). We then take seriously no longer our own suffering, but the suffering of God in the world. We watch with Christ in Gethsemane. This, I think, is faith.