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.

Advertisement

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
10 years 9 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
10 years 9 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!

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018