Monday, December 31, 2007

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By Benevolent Powers
Faithfully and quietly surrounded by benevolent powers,
wonderfully guarded and consoled,
- thus will I live this day with you
and go forth with you into another year.

Still will the past torment our hearts
Still, heavy burdens of bad times depress us,
Ah, Lord give our startled souls
the grace for which we were created.

And if you pass to us the heavy, the bitter
cup of pain, filled to the brim,
we will accept it, without trembling
from your good and beloved hand.

But if you wish us to rejoice once more
in this world and the brilliance of its sun
then the past too we will remember
and so our entire life will belong to you.

With warmth and light let flame today the candles
that you have brought into our darkness.
If it can be, bring us together once again!
We know your light is shining in the night.

When the silence spreads around us deeply,
let us hear that full sound of the world
stretching out invisibly around us;
let us hear the children's praising song.

Warmly protected by benevolent powers,
with confidence we wait for what may come.
God is with us at evening and at morning
and most certainly at each new day.

(When words like this are written from a Nazi prison camp at Christmas 1944, we should all pause and pay attention. Blessings on your reflections upon the passing of another year, and on your hopes for the year to come. //Halfwise)

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