Sunday, December 8, 2013

The 2nd Sunday of Advent

Woodcut by Harlan Hubbard
"Tree trunk with snow"
Delp calls the 1st Sunday of Advent a moment of grace that brings a shock of awakening to genuine truth. The theme of the 1st Sunday is concerned with our helplessness and turning toward God.

The 2nd Sunday is what happens after we turn toward God:
“... emphasizing God’s reaching out toward man. God is always the one who approaches. Not just occasionally, but all the time. Affirming that he [sic] comes for our healing and salvation; the injunction to man to take God seriously; the man [sic] who trusts in God will be steadfast and equal to whatever is demanded of him [sic] ...

“... the encounter with God is not of man’s choosing either in regard to the place or the manner of it. Therefore the central portion of the message runs: ‘Blessed is he that shall not be scandalised in me’. That is to say God is approaching but in his own way. The man [sic] who insists that his salvation shall depend on his own idea of what is right and proper is lost. ...”

“the keynote of this Sunday is decision. ... decision to let the grace of God work in us, that God may dissolve our opposition and render us worthy to receive him [sic] and to execute his [sic] mission.” (pp. 32-33)

Surrender is not just a giving up. It is an active decision to let go (and let God).  It's important for me to remember that I do not approach God - indeed, I am incapable of such a thing!

These are not necessarily my favorite of Delp’s profound meditations while in prison, but I need to include them so that I can more faithfully follow his thought.

I apologize for all the [sic]’s. I know that Fr. Delp (like Merton) lived before the awareness of gender sensitive language. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that we accepted without question the use masculine pronouns only when referring to all of humanity (or God!). Now it jumps out at me and seems to call for some kind of marking, otherwise I’m furthering the conscious and unconscious acceptance of the bias.

- 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


  1. Greetings Beth _______________________________________________


    Today is Tom Merton get dead day -
    I just came from the hospital where a long time friend is in intensive -
    care – he gave me the keys to his home and told to go in and take anything
    I wanted so the government would not come and take it, for me this was not
    happy news but more worst was to see him hooked up to lots of wires and tubes
    and thinking how are society actually persecutes the sick and dying to
    enhance there bottom line – there is only so much you can do with a body
    an alas all bodies get dead -bodies have this problem, you would think that a smart
    divine “ god ,God, a he god or a she god or it god “ would create a better
    product – I am reading Michael Mott's The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton ,
    I think its a exultant incite into TM personal life I think its too bad that he
    could not run off with his girlfriend and spend a few weeks in some remote
    place drinking wine and swimming naked it seams he could just not make a
    decision about there relationship - Fr. Clooneys book looks interesting the
    Upanishads are a exultant read but should be confused with the Vedas .
    Fr. Bede Griffiths a English Benediction moved to India to start a Christian
    community in the Hindu tradition this was not well received -
    I am getten out of here before walls start tumbling down !

    Blessings __________________________________________________________

    1. Bob - I know almost nothing about Hinduism, and only a little bit about Bede Griffiths. There's a lot to be said about being able to hold two opposing things at once. Nothing wrong with walls tumbling down.


On the Road with Thomas Merton

 Photo by Thomas Merton - New Mexico 1968 This is really well done. On the Road with Thomas Merton Film by Jeremy Seifert Essay by F...

Most Viewed Louie Postings