Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dialogue, the fundamental form of creative life

Again and again Delp refers to the inner vitality and dialogue (with God) that is necessary if one is to become fully alive:
“Fate may be the cause of a paralysis which is the grimmest of all. When life itself transfixes a man, tying him hand and foot, shutting him up in a prison with no possible outlet, of what use then are all decisions to live abundantly? The paralysis of fear, the hardening brought about by bitter experience are often a mere defensive armour, but they can also endanger life itself. Only when God’s strength plays a part in the drama will the inner vitality hold out, even if man falls. The restorative power of the Spirit must refresh man’s nature from within rendering him capable of resisting temptation and of holding his own, no matter what fate may have in store for him. The love of God, and the patient loving hands of those whose lives have not been afflicted with paralysis, will help him in his struggle.

“A life that has hardened into numbness is mortally sick. All that is vital in life succumbs to the hardening process. A numbed man deludes himself into believing that he cannot hear the inner voice that calls on him to shake off this numbness and rise out of himself. He is bound and fettered to himself and wastes away in that condition. He becomes incapable of living faith, as he is incapable of entering into the dialogue, the fundamental form of creative life in every respect. True faith, reverence, respect, love adoration -- all these are forms of the dialogue and all of them are stifled in the numbness brought about by the hardening of heart. So a man really ought to make every effort to maintain the dialogue and not to miss a single moment of contact with the invisible partner. More grievous than any external hardness of difficulty is this inner numbness, whether it result from habit, or fear, or shock, from pettiness or pride.

"In the creative dialogue man finds himself and makes closer acquaintance with his underlying motives and his background. Hence the prayer for bending is actually a plea for his own life.” (pp.169-170)
- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder New York
See also: The Prison Meditations of Father Delp

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