Week 30: Tuesday – Lessons from the Dojo

AugustineQuote2

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” – Augustine of Hippo

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” – Hebrews 11:1-2

Samurai Virtue Number 2:
Shinnen can be translated as conviction and faith. It is an extraordinary conviction towards one’s beliefs and actions.

The city of Worms in Germany has a special place in Christian history. Historically speaking, this was the city where Martin Luther stood against the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire to argue about what was right and wrong regarding matters of the faith.

In the middle of Worms stands the Luther Monument, which is the largest Reformation monument in the world. Here, a statue of Martin Luther holding a Bible in one hand while the other hand is portrayed knocking on the Bible stands as the centerpiece of the whole monument. This statue remembers the moment when Martin Luther stood before the Diet of Worms,–under fear of assassination and martyrdom–against the whole Roman Empire, all for what he believed in. Martin Luther was asked by the Archbishop of Trier, “Martin–answer candidly and without horns–do you or do you not repudiate your books and the errors which they contain?”

His response?

“‘Since then your imperial majesty and your lordships demand a simple answer, I will give you one without teeth and without horns. Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or by manifest evidence…I cannot and will not retract, for we must never act contrary to our conscience….Here I stand. God help me! Amen!”

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