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Alfred Delp, S.J: Prison Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) Paperback – January 16, 2004
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I particularly appreciated Delp's explications of each line of two prayers: the Lord's Prayer and Come Holy Ghost. He was imprisoned during Advent, 1944, and wrote a series of Christmas meditations -- on each Sunday of Advent, on the people at the crib and those not at the crib and what they each represent. He wrote his vision of a future society and the tasks toward a healthy humanity. One of his tenets was: "It is undeniable that every human being is entitled to living space, daily bread, and the protection of the law as a common birthright; these are fundamentals and should not be handed out as an act of charity." He also had opportunity between his "trial" and his execution to describe in detail the events of that trial and his interior response as he awaited death as well as to write goodbyes to his parents, the people of his church, his friends, and his fellow Jesuits. Delp was an intense, impulsive man who could seem to be a know-it-all. That, along with his heavy cigar smoking and loud laughter, made him a difficult character among Jesuits. His sense of humor is clear in one of his final letters, which concludes with, "Don't let my mother tell 'pious legends' about me; I was a brat." He also had a reputation as a gripping, dynamic preacher. During his final six months in shackles he did not succumb to despair but was a bearer of radiant light.
Consider this excerpt: "Religion died, from various diseases, and humanity died with it. Or perhaps it is truer to say that humanity died of great possessions, of modern development, of the pace of modern life and so on - and religion died as humanity succumbed."
Delp raises a serious question. Can man in modern western culture ever again be ethical or holy when we celebrate violence, wealth and the acquisition of power?
The introduction by Thomas Merton is a great way to dive into Delp's writings.
out against Nazi oppression. Father Delp was a member of The Society of Jesus. Consider the effort
to bring this book to print, each page smuggled out of the prison where he was being held.
This book is beyond my understanding...I'm unable to place my self in the shoes of Father Delp
He was a man of courage and conscience and an amazing human being. Sadly he was taken from
from us. Thank you