Saturday, December 14, 2019

you have no key

Meat hooks from which Fr. Delp was hung on February 2, 1945
"Sooner or later we all make the discovery that human beings are subject to prohibitions and restraints that are even harsher, more irksome and more inexorable than the limitations of nature. 
 The liturgy calls this imprisonment -- a word we often use very glibly, for only those who have actually suffered it can have any idea of the effect it has on one's inner nature.   
The man who has had a taste of prison life knows what it means to be shut up in a narrow cell, his wrists fettered, his mind occupied with a thousand depressing thoughts as he visualizes the flag of freedom drooping forgotten in some obscure corner.  Again and again his hopes rise only to fall back into despair when the steps of the warder approach or the key grates harshly in the lock.  Then dreams fade into reality and it all seems hopeless.   
Again and again you come back to the same point -- you have no key, and even if you had there is no keyhole on the inside of a prison door.  And the window is barred and it is so high up you can't even look out.  Unless someone from the outside comes to set you free there can be no end to your misery -- all the will power in the world makes no difference.  The facts clamor for recognition."  (pp. 45-46)
- 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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