The snow is falling in large, lazy clusters. No breeze pushes them. They simply drift down in silent peace. The quiet is something more than an absence of noise — It is restful, calming, comforting.
I sit at my desk, windows constantly pulling my eyes to the beautiful snowfall, a warm candle to one side, and the ancient choral music of Hildegard of Bingen softly filling all the nooks and crannies of my library.
I’ve been thinking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his last weeks and days before his execution at the hands of the Nazis. Oddly, there is a certain peace that I find in Dietrich up to the very day of his death. Shortly before Christmas of 1944, for example, he wrote a poem called “By the powers of good.” The last verse reveals the heart of a man whose deepest reality was not his impending murder but the love and faithfulness of his Lord.
By powers of good so wondrously protected, / we wait with confidence, befall what may. / God is with us at night and in the morning / and oh, most certainly on each new day.
The powers of evil, embodied in Adolf Hitler, were only a minor threat to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The powers of death did not frighten him. His was, in the words of St. Paul, “a peace that passes all understanding.” Only those whose lives and hearts are entrusted to our Lord can know such peace. . .