Yet someone might say, “You lack one thing, namely, fasting, because you heretics do not fast” (they say). Lord God, if there is one thing we have from the ancient church, it is unfortunately fasting. If there is one thing the papists have from the new church, it is that they do not fast but live riotously and on fast days even more than on feast days. Indeed, we do not just fast, but (with St. Paul [I Cor. 4:11]) we suffer hunger. We see it daily in our poor ministers, their wives and children, and in many other poor people, whose hunger stares at you out of their eyes. They scarcely have bread and water, they go about naked as a jaybird, and they have nothing of their own. The farmer and the burgher give them nothing, and the nobility take, so that there are only a few of us who have something, and we cannot help everyone. This should be the purpose of monasteries and convents. If others are stingy, then Lazarus must die of starvation [Luke 16:19–31]. The papists laugh at this, but they only prove thereby that we are the ancient church suffering scorn and injury at the hands of the children of the devil.
Thus we have proved that we are the true, ancient church, one body and one communion of saints with the holy, universal, Christian church. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.198-199)
Picture: The pulpit at History Trinity Lutheran Church, Souland Market, St. Louis MO