Wednesday, December 11, 2019

as one of us

Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, sailing
"There has always been a lot of misunderstanding about the feast of the nativity. Superficial familiarity, sentimental crib-making and so on have to some extent distorted our view of the stupendous event the feast commemorates … 
"To be honest I too long to be able to breathe again, to be relieved of my troubles … The question that applies to the whole world applies to me personally and concretely on this feast of the Nativity.  Is there anything different about celebrating Mass here in this narrow cell where prayers are said and tears are shed and God is known, believed in and called upon? At stated hours the key grates in the lock and my wrists are put back into handcuffs; at stated hours they are taken off -- that goes on day after day, monotonously, without variation. Where does the breathing again which God makes possible come in? And the waiting and waiting for relief -- how long? And to what end? … 
"We ought to remember we are approaching the feast of God-made-man, not of man rendered divine. The divine mystery takes place on earth and follows the natural course of earthly events. As the epistle so emphatically states:  according to the flesh - from the seed of David. It cannot be interpreted any other way,  It is an indisputable but incomprehensible fact that God enters our homes, our existence, not only like us but actually as one of us. That is the unfathomable mystery.  From this point on the Son is absorbed by history, his fate becomes part of history and history's fate is his fate. In the darkest cells and the loneliest prisons we can meet hims; he is continually on the high roads and in the lanes." (p. 63)
- 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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