The life of the pastor completes itself in reading, meditation, prayer, and struggle. The means is the word of Scripture with which everything begins and to which everything returns. We read Scripture in order that our hearts may be moved. It will lead us into prayer for the church, for brothers and sisters in the faith, for our work, and for our own soul. Prayer leads us into the world in which we must keep the faith. Where Scripture, prayer, and keeping the faith exist, temptation will always find its way in. Temptation is the sign that our hearing, prayer, and faith have touched down in reality. There is no escape from temptation except by giving ourselves to renewed reading and meditation. So the circle is complete. We will not often be permitted to see the fruits of our labors; but through the joy of community with brothers and sisters who offer us spiritual care, we become certain of the proclamation and the ministry.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Spiritual Care (Fortress Press, 1985), p. 69.