Tag Archives: Alfred Delp

Do you aim for heaven?

We must aim at heaven with all our strength. Man will have to re-learn, much more positively and intensively than before, that life leads from the personal dialogue with God to the actual personal encounter and the experience of unity with God.

He will have to learn that this is his heaven and his real, his only, home. Then he will learn to pray, not merely as a duty and in obedience, but with intense vitality and with all the driving force of his own free will.

The Prison Meditations of Alfred Delp
Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ

Living in order to be happy

How must we live in order to be, or to become, capable of happiness? The question is one which ought to occupy us nowadays more than ever before. Man should take his happiness as seriously as takes himself. And he ought to believe God and his own heart when, even in distress and trouble, he has an intuitive feeling that he was created for happiness.

But this entails certain clear convictions. For a full and satisfying life man must know what it is all about. He must have no doubts about being on the right road with all the saints to back him up, and divine strength to support him. Such a life is a dedicated one, conscious of being blessed and touched by God himself.

Prison Meditations of Fr. Alfred Delp
Alfred Delp, SJ

Advent of the Heart

Alfred Delp Advent of the HeartIf you are looking for spiritual reading for Advent, but dare I say, for life, I would recommend a book by Jesuit Father Alfred Delp, Advent of the Heart: Season Sermons and Prison Writings, 1941-1944 (Ignatius Press, 2006).

Spiritual reading expands the mind and the heart; it challenges our sense of complacency and comfort; spiritual reading pushes back the boundaries of ignorance.

Born in 1907, Alfred Delp was a baptized Catholic and raised in the Lutheran community until he was 14 when he reverted to the practice of Catholic faith. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1926 and ordained a priest in 1937. The Society missioned Delp to work as an editor and then as a pastor of souls.

Father Delp was an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime and a leader in the Resistance movement. The powers that be accused Delp of conspiring against the Nazi party –he was tortured, imprisoned, and executed on February 2, 1945.

Advent of the Heart contains some his meditations from prison during the Advent season as well as his sermons he gave on the season of Advent at his parish in Munich.

The publisher writes,

His [Delp’s] approach to Advent, the season that prepares us for Christmas, is what Fr. Delp called an “Advent of the heart.” More than just preparing us for Christmas, it is a spiritual program, a way of life. He proclaimed that our personal, social and historical circumstances, even suffering, offer us entry into the true Advent, our personal journey toward a meeting and dialogue with God. Indeed, his own life, and great sufferings, illustrated the true Advent he preached and wrote about.

 From his very prison cell he presented a timeless spiritual message, and in an extreme situation, his deep faith gave him the courage to draw closer to God, and to witness to the truth even at the cost of his own life. These meditations will challenge and inspire all Christians to embark upon that same spiritual journey toward union with God, a journey that will transform our lives.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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