'I have never realized so clearly what the Bible and Luther mean by spiritual trial. Quite suddenly, for no apparent reason, whether physical or psychological, the peace and placidity which have been a mainstay hitherto begin to waver, and the heart, in Jeremiah's expressive phrase, becomes that defiant and despondent thing one cannot fathom. It is like an invasion from outside, as though evil powers were trying to deprive one of life's dearest treasures. But it is a wholesome and necessary experience which helps one to a better understanding of human life.'
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, p.17.