|(Photo by Paul Davis)|
—Thich Nhat Hanh
(Photo by Paul Davis)
|(Photo by Paul Davis)|
“Today the Magi find, crying in the manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky.
Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.
Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.
As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.”
- St. Peter Chrysologus
|Blessed Franz Jagerstaater|
Was he right in refusing to board the train, and others, who consented and climbed aboard, desperately wrong ?
Maybe. But this is cold comfort, this proving something,
he the winner, they the losers.
Let us say rather, some of the passengers, since his death have undergone a change of heart, stepped down from this train.
They have come on an insight, not a comforting one, but salutary. The quality of his Christianity; and their own.
The difference; but also, through him, the possibility.
The possibility of - faith. Bedrock. Faith in the living God.
And of necessity; no more faith placed in the idolatrous state, the hideous 'fatherland', the 'volk'.
That ragged solitary figure trudging alongside the train -he beckons them.
Off the train, get off !
To speak of today; it is no longer Hitler's death train we ride, the train of the living dead. Or is it ?
It is. The same train. Only, if possible (it is possible), longer, faster, cheaper. On schedule, every hour on the hour, speedy and cheap and - unimaginally lethal. An image of life in the world. A ghost train still bound, mad as march weather, for hell. On earth.
Alfred Delp painted in 1939 by his brother-in-law Fritz Kern, who was killed in Crimea in 1941.
"God is personally here in our midst. ... This is the hidden and holy burden of all the experiences we undergo …
And man will discover that he is living God's life within himself, in his very heart's core,
proving the truth of the words of great and intuitive men like Eckhart, St. Augustine and the rest.
He will arrive at a state of perception in which he realizes that the Supreme Being actually resides within him.
He will find himself and regain faith in his own dignity, his mission and his purpose in life precisely to the extent that he grasps the idea of his own life flowing forth within him from the mystery of God …
"Only when a man arrives at that state of mastery and freedom can he breathe freely.
The world and life itself then owe him nothing for he lives with every fibre of his being… " (pp. 39-40)- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder New York
"Christmas is the mystery of contact with God, fundamentally and actually." (p. 72)
|Harlan Hubbard woodcut|
(Photo by Paul Davis ) “It is not by preaching or expounding the sutras (scriptures) that you fulfill the task of awakening others to...