From the Pen of Alfred Delp

Here I am at the parting of the ways and I must take the other road after all. The death sentence has been passed and the atmosphere is so charged with enmity and hatred that no appeal has any hope of succeeding. So the whole proceedings turned into a sort of comedy developing a theme. It was not justiceit was simply the carrying out of determination to destroy. Towards noon I will celebrate Mass once more and then in Gods name take the road under his providence and guidance.

Letter to the Brethren, Jan. 11, 1945

It has become an odd sort of life I am leading. It is so easy to get used to existence again that one has to keep reminding oneself that death is round the corner. Condemned to death. The thought refuses to penetrate; it almost needs force to drive it home. The thing that makes this kind of death so singular is that one feels so vibrantly alive with the will to live unbroken and every nerve tingling with life. A malevolent external force is the only thing that can end it. The usual intimations of approaching death are therefore lacking. One of these days the door will open, the jailer will say, Pack up. The car will be here in half an hour. We have often heard this and know exactly what it is like.

To his friend M., after Jan. 11, 1945.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Anthony MARTIN
12 years 10 months ago
Rather strange that the real hero's of mankind, are men and women, like Fr Delp, who accomplish such great things with simplicity and little fanfare. All the heros produced by fiction and hollywood, pale, and fade away when placed alongside the common folks who live out the faith with a humbling commonness. But maybe it is not so strange, to our Father. And thus it should not be strange to us. Rather than that the earth moved, but that something in the heart moved, and then the earth was moved, even if only so little.
lLetha Chamberlain
12 years 10 months ago
To face death every day of one's life IS an invigorating experience, to say the least. There are the gifts of gratitude and humility (even though, like he, I am loud and people do not see the lessons God gives me) it brings so poignantly one becomes very direct, which some find very disquieting. Yet others respond to this with directness themselves, making very honest interaction much more frequent. What wonderful richness this provides and what bountiful goodness! This article is sending me directly to his writings--he sounds like a soulmate, to be certain!

The latest from america

Whatever brings a person closer to God is holy.
James Martin, S.J.November 24, 2020
The Vatican’s report on Theodore McCarrick is an indictment of institutional knowledge and decision-making in the Catholic Church.
Ricardo da Silva, S.J.November 24, 2020
The president-elect often carries a set of rosary beads with him that once belonged to his son Beau, who died in 2015.
Wilton D. Gregory said he hopes to collaborate where possible while respectfully pointing out where President-elect Joe Biden’s policies diverge from Catholic teaching.