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Old February 18th, 2013 #8
Mitt Handel
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Mitt Handel

Here is a link to some sermons from Bishop von Galen:

We shall obey them in so far as they are entitled to give us orders as representatives of the lawful authorities. But it must be impossible for us to have a community of convictions, a sense of inner solidarity, with these persecutors of the Church, these invaders of religious houses, who expel defenceless women from their convents, the children of our best families, our sisters, many of whom have lived there for decades in work and prayer, doing nothing but good for our people. I should feel ashamed before God and before you, I should feel ashamed before our noble German forefathers, before my own late father, who was a chivalrous man and brought up, admonished and taught my brothers and me sternly to show the most delicate respect to every woman or girl, to afford chivalrous protection to all the unjustly oppressed, particularly to women as the images of our own mothers, and of the beloved Mother of God herself in heaven, if I had any community with those who drive innocent and defenceless women out of house and home and drive them out of their country without shelter and without resources! Moreover, as I showed last Sunday in St Lambert's church and as I must repeat today with great solemnity, in a warning inspired by love for my people and my country, that these punitive actions by the Gestapo against innocent people, without any judgment by a court or judicial proceedings or opportunity for defence — the “prosecution of accused persons who are condemned in advance and deprived of any means of defence”, in Reich minister Dr Frank's words — destroy men's security under the law, undermine faith in law and destroy confidence in the government of our country.

We Christians, of course, are not aiming at revolution. We shall continue loyally to do our duty in obedience to God and in love of our people and fatherland. Our soldiers will fight and die for Germany, but not for those men who by their cruel actions against our religious, against their brothers and sisters, wound our hearts and shame the German name before God and men. We shall continue to fight against the external enemy; but against the enemy within, who strikes us and torments us, we cannot fight with arms. Against him we have only one weapon: endurance — strong, tough, hard endurance.

Become hard! Remain firm! We see and experience clearly what lies behind the new doctrines which have for years been forced on us, for the sake of which religion has been banned from the schools, our organisations have been suppressed and now Catholic kindergartens are about to be abolished — there is a deep-seated hatred of Christianity, which they are determined to destroy. If I am correctly informed, the Schulungsleiter [head of indoctrination], Herr Schmidt, before an audience which had been invited by force and which included schoolboys and schoolgirls, expressed this quite frankly and district leader Mieling applauded him enthusiastically, expressing his intention to exert himself for the execution of such plans.

Become hard! Remain firm! At this moment we are the anvil rather than the hammer. Other men, mostly strangers and renegades, are hammering us, seeking by violent means to bend our nation, ourselves and our young people aside from their straight relationship with God. We are the anvil and not the hammer. But ask the blacksmith and hear what he says: the object which is forged on the anvil receives its form not alone from the hammer but also from the anvil. The anvil cannot and need not strike back: it must only be firm, only hard! If it is sufficiently tough and firm and hard the anvil usually lasts longer than the hammer. However hard the hammer strikes, the anvil stands quietly and firmly in place and will long continue to shape the objects forged upon it.

The anvil represents those who are unjustly imprisoned, those who are driven out and banished for no fault of their own. God will support them, that they may not lose the form and attitude of Christian firmness, when the hammer of persecution strikes its harsh blows and inflicts unmerited wounds on them.

It is our religious, the fathers, lay brothers and the sisters, who are now forged on the anvil. The day before yesterday I was able to visit some of those who had been driven out in their temporary accommodation and to speak with them. I was greatly edified and encouraged by the valiant bearing of the good men and the weak and defenceless women, who had been so ruthlessly torn from their convent, from the chapel, from the vicinity of the tabernacle, and who are now going into unjust banishment with their heads held high, in the consciousness of their innocence, trusting in Him who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field and even joyous in the joy which the Saviour enjoins on His disciples: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." Verily, these men and women are masterpieces of God's forging.

What is being forged in these days between the hammer and the anvil are our young people — the new generation, which is still unformed, still capable of being shaped, still malleable. We cannot shield them from the hammer-blows of unbelief, of hostility to Christianity, of false doctrines and ethics. What is instilled into them at the meetings of those youth organisations, which we are told they joined voluntarily and with the agreement of their parents? What do they hear in the schools which the children are compelled to attend without regard to the wishes of their parents? What do they read in the new school-books? Christian parents, ask your children to show you these books, particularly the history books used in the secondary schools.

You will be appalled to see how these books, in complete disregard of historical truth, seek to fill inexperienced children with mistrust of Christianity and the Church, indeed with hatred of the Christian faith.

In the favoured state educational establishments, the Hitler schools, the new teachers' training schools, all Christian influence and even all religious activity are excluded as a matter of principle.
And what is happening to the children who were sent last spring to remote parts of the country to escape the air-raids? What religious instruction are they getting? How far can they practice their religion? Christian parents, you must concern yourselves with all this. If you do not, you are neglecting your sacred duties; if you do not, you cannot face your own conscience, nor Him who entrusted the children to you that you might lead them on the way to heaven.

We are the anvil, not the hammer! Unfortunately you cannot shield your children, the noble but still untempered crude metal, from the hammer-blows of hostility to the faith and hostility to the Church. But the anvil also plays a part in forging. Let your family home, your parental love and devotion, your exemplary Christian life be the strong, tough, firm and unbreakable anvil which absorbs the force of the hostile blows, which continually strengthens and fortifies the still weak powers of the young in the sacred resolve not to let themselves be diverted from the direction that leads to God.

It is we, almost without exception, who are forged in this present time. How many people are dependent — on an occupational pension, on a state pension, on children's allowances and so on! Who nowadays is still independent, unrestricted master in his own property or business? It may be that, particularly in time of war, strict control and guidance, even the concentration and compulsory direction of products, of production and consumption, is necessary, and who will not readily bear this out of love for his people and his country? But through this follows dependence on many persons and authorities, who not only restrict freedom of action but also bring free independence of sentiments and convictions into grave danger and temptation, as soon as, at the same time, these persons and authorities represent an ideology hostile to Christianity, which they seek to impose on those who are dependent on them. Dependence of this kind is most evident in officials; and what courage, what heroic courage is required of those officials who in spite of all pressure maintain and publicly confess their faith as Christians, as true Catholics!