MORE MARTIN LUTHER with Pope Francis
|Martin Luther Early Priesthood|
(Inflight Press Conference - From Armenia to Rome - Sunday, 26 June 2016)
We are able to read Luther's view of his own spiritual condition :
“I am but a man prone to let himself be swept off his feet by society, drunkenness, the torments of the flesh”(W9, 215, 13), I have quoted already. There are many similar passages. “Instead of glowing in spirit, I glow in the flesh.” “I burn with all the desires of my unconquered flesh”(Enders 3, 189). “I rarely pray. . . . My unruly flesh doth burn me with devouring flame. In short, I who should be a prey to the spirit alone am eating my heart out through the flesh, through lust, laziness, idleness, and somnolence.”
Perhaps it tells us a little about his thought processes. Justification by Faith alone might become very pre-occupying. And Saint James' " So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (SAINT JAMES 2:17) might seem more than a little inconvenient.
Luther had also written :
"“We behave like scandalous disgusting brutes, thinking all day and night of nothing but how we can fill ourselves with drink and get rid of all our reason and wisdom.” “Why, do you think, do I drink too much wine . . .? It is when the Devil prepares to torment me and mock me and that I wish to take the lead.”
But his reliance on Faith alone, comforted him:
"“What does it matter whether we commit a fresh sin?” he asks sarcastically. “Faith cancels all sin” is his simple counsel. “No other sin exists in the world save unbelief,” is his doctrine. Indeed, his old enemy, Satan, is once more coming to light in order to give an excuse to sinners. “Sometimes it is necessary to commit some sin out of hatred and contempt for the Devil.” “What matters if we commit a sin?” (E16, 254).
Warming to the idea ,he had written:
"“Be a sinner, and sin boldly, but believe more boldly still.” Not only men, but the Saints and Apostles must be sinners. “The Saints must be good, downright sinners.” “The Apostles themselves were sinners, yea, regular scoundrels…I believe that the prophets also frequently sinned grievously” (E62, 165)."
The cynicism displayed here is breathtaking.
Yet some would lead us down the path of accepting this man as a model to be admired.