16 Dec 2011

An Advent Voice of Hope from Nazi Germany: Fr Alfred Delp SJ

Stamp issued in West Germany 1964

I used to own a copy of The Prison Meditations of Alfred Delp SJ but lost it somewhere along the way while being transferred from one place to another. Jenny Howell, of the Center for Christian Ethics, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, writes her reflections on these writings here. She uses the title under which Father Delp's writings have been more recently published by Ignatius Press, Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings.


I was born in Ireland on Hitler's birthday in 1943, just two years before World War II ended. Though independent Ireland wasn't involved directly in that conflict I have often wondered how the profoundly anti-Christian and anti-human Nazism took hold in a country that produced so many great saints and creators of beauty such as Beethoven, led by a man from the country that gave birth to Haydn and Mozart. (I once met a man in rural Kentucky who grew up in a community where Catholics were still perceived by some as having horns and cloven hooves and where classical music was hardly ever heard and who became a Catholic through the beauty of the music of those two composers when he discovered they were Catholics.)
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