Skip to comments.A German priestís Advent reflections from World War II
Posted on 12/04/2018 6:13:57 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
Father Alfred Delp was in the midst of his studies to become a Jesuit priest when Hitler took power in Germany in 1933. Despite increasing difficulties under the regime, he was ordained a priest for the order in 1937.
The priest eventually was imprisoned in 1944 and executed in 1945 by the Gestapo, as he was falsely believed to be involved in the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler. Even though he was able to prove his innocence, he was hung for high treason for his involvement in resistance activities. He was offered his freedom if he left the Jesuits; he refused.
A prolific writer and inspirational homilist, one of Father Delps favorite topics was Advent, and how it was more than a spiritual season, but an illustration of each Christians journey to and anticipation of heaven. The writings of Father Delp in the latter years of World War II, composed both before and during his imprisonment, have been compiled into a book called Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings 1941-1944.
Below are a few excerpts from his homily for the First Sunday of Advent, preached in war-torn Munich in 1943. His words will inspire hope for anyone suffering or feeling particularly gloomy about the state of affairs today, either personally or more broadly, this Advent:
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Even so, our waiting is not the end. In todays Gospel about the end of the world, we read: The people will languish in fearful expectation as they await the things that will come over the entire world; for the powers of Heaven will be shaken [Luke 21:26]. There is a character of fearful expectation when things start to tremble, when life is felt to be so menacing. Nevertheless, it is bourgeois simply to wait for the sky to become light again. This experience of waiting will continue to be wrongly understood unless one sees that we are meant to learn from it. Man is not permitted to fixate himself too much within his own sphere of life, settling himself too firmly in place until he is chased away. We will wrongly understand this waiting if we forget that the deeper meaning of life is to keep watch
This should be our first Advent light: to understand everything, all that happens to us and all that threatens us, from the perspective of lifes character of waiting. We must endure all the blessedness and un-blessedness of waiting because we are under way. The character of life is to keep going, to keep a lookout, and to endure until the vigilant heart of man and the heart of God who meets us come together
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