Thursday, January 24, 2008

Large Catechism Longer Preface--Martin Luther

I love how Luther speaks here of the importance of continuing to study and learn from the catechism.

"But for myself I say this: I am also a doctor and preacher; yes, as learned and experienced as all the people who have such assumptions and contentment. Yet I act as a child who is being taught the catechism. Every morning--and whenever I have time--I read and say, word for word, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Psalms, and such. I must still read and study them daily. Yet I cannot master the catechsim as I wish. But I must remain a child and pupil of the catechism, and am glad to remain so.

...the Holy Spirit is present in such reading, repetition, and meditation. He bestows ever new and more light and devoutness. In this way the catechism is daily loved and appreciated better, as Christ promises in Matthew 18:20, 'For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.'

Besides, catechism study is a most effective help against the devil, the world, the flesh, and all evil thoughts. It helps to be occupied with God's Word, to speak it, and meditate on it, just as the first Psalm declares people blessed who meditate on God's Law day and night (Psalm 1:2). Certianly you will not release a stronger incense or other repellant agsint the devil than to be engaged by God's commandments and words, and speak, sing, or think them (Colossians 3:16). For this is indeed the true 'holy water' and 'holy sign' from which the devil runs and by which he may be driven away (James 4:7)."

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