Life Together by Bonhoeffer -Borrowed Words-


I have read these words over and over again these past days. Lots to think about, to pray, to consider, to discern.

“By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over like a dream. God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth.”

“He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.”

“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification.”

“Where Christ bids me to maintain fellowship for the sake of love, I will maintain it. Where his truth enjoins me to dissolve a fellowship for love’s sake, there I will dissolve it, despite all the protests of my human love. Because spiritual love does not desire but rather serves, it loves the enemy as a brother. It originates neither in the brother nor in the enemy but in Christ and His Word.”

“Because Christ stands between me and others, I dare not desire direct fellowship with them. As only Christ can speak to me in such a way that I may be saved, so others, too, can be saved only by Christ himself. This means that I must release the other person from every attempt of mine to regulate, coerce, and dominate him with my love. The other person needs to retain his independence of me; to be loved for what he is , as one for whom Christ became man, died and rose again, for whom Christ bought forgiveness of sins and eternal life.”

” [Spiritual love] will rather meet the other person with the clear Word of God and be ready to leave him alone with this Word for a long time, willing to release him again in order that Christ may deal with him.”

“Thus this spiritual love will speak to Christ about a brother more than to a brother about Christ. It knows that the most direct way to others is always through prayer to Christ and the love of others is wholly dependent upon the truth of Christ.”

“Human love lives by uncontrolled and uncontrollable dark desires; spiritual love lives in the clear light of service ordered by the truth. Human love produces human subjection, dependence, constarint; spiritual love creates freedom of the brethren under the Word.”

“Therefore, at the beginning of the day let all distraction and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to him to whom our whole life belongs.”

“The Psalter is great school of prayer.”

“The more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich our prayers will become.”

“It is not our heart that determines our course, but God’s Word.”

“Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer.”

“The prayer of the morning will determine the day. Wasted time, which we are ashamed of, temptations that beset us, weakness and listlessness in our work, disorder and indiscipline in our thinking and in our relations with other people very frequently have their cause in neglect of the morning prayer. The organization and distribution of our time will be better for having been rooted in prayer, The temptations which the working day brings with it will be overcome by this break-through to God…”

“Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness… If we have learned to be silenced before the Word, we shall also learn to manage our silence and our speech during the day.”

“The Scripture meditation leads to prayer.”

“Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the fellowship must enter every day.”

“We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

“Our brother’s ways are not in our hands; we cannot hold together what is breaking; we cannot keep life in what is determined to die. But God binds elements together in the breaking, creates community in the separation, grants grace through judgment. He has put his Word in our mouth. He wants it to be spoken through us…”

“Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed it poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen even in the midst of a pious community. In confession the light of the Gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart.”

“The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is…”

In need of His Grace,


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