''He was one of the very few persons I have ever met for whom God was real and always near.'' So testified an English officer who was one of the last to see Bonhoeffer before his execution by the Nazis in April, 1945. If we are very honest, we must admit that such persons -- who have opened themselves to the grace of God to the extent that they become signs of His presence -- are exceedingly rare. It is necessary to listen attentively to such persons, to try to hear the notes of their intense and compelling song of response to their Beloved, to ''catch'' (in C.S. Lewis's sense of the phrase ''good infection'') whatever they have that coveys the immediacy of God. These lectures given in 1938 to seminary students of the German ''Confessing Church,'' outline the nature of authentic Christian life: that it is defined by community, rather than isolated individuality, and manifested in regular daily prayer with others, prayer and meditation in solitude (''let him who cannot be alone beware of community''),witness and ministry (defined as holding one's tongue, meekness, listening, and proclaiming) and the Sacraments (''as the members of the congregation are united in body and blood at the table of the Lord so will they be together in eternity'').
An Eighth Day View:
After his martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continued his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. His Letters and Papers from Prison became a prized testimony to Christian faith and courage, read by thousands. Now in Life Together we have Pastor Bonhoeffer's experience of Christian community. This story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul's letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christian service is treated in simple, almost biblical, words. Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.