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“Think About These Things”: Luther’s “Fourteen Consolations” (1519)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that: (A) The worst evils are spiritual and within, and God shields us from most of these; (B) When understood, this situation itself can be turned into consolation; (C) Yet evils, both physical and mental, are real and vexing, so whether we 'feel' them or not, our minds must understand them as sent by God. The chapter argues that such evils, should they somehow not befall us. The author concludes that consolation comes only from the Scriptures. Christian duty (to comfort ourselves and others) is empowered by the Word of God, through the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. As George Tavard points out, the author strategically used formal patterns to organize his own efforts to channel the Spirit's consoling thoughts to suffering people and to help people "find a structure for their prayer of meditation.

Keywords: christian duty; comforter; consolation; holy spirit; meditation; prayer; scriptures



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