“Where life is firm we need to sense its firmness; and where it is unstable and uncertain and has no basis, no foundation, we need to know this too and endure it” (82). These words, from the introduction of today’s reading, were written by a priest who resisted, and ultimately was executed by, Hitler’s Nazi regime. Penned from a prison cell in 1945, Alfred Delp’s perspective on Advent is both piercing and comforting. This is a reading you may want to chew on slowly, or return later to think through it more deeply.
- Ephesians 5:4
- Watch for the Light, 82-95
- When was the last time you were deeply shaken by something? Why do you think our tendency is to become less capable of being shaken or shocked by the things we witness in this world?
- Delp writes, “Where God’s word is heard, he will not cheat our life of the message; where our life rebels before our own eyes he will reprimand it” (85). What do you think the writer meant by this statement? Have his words proven true in your own experience when you have heard (and obeyed) God’s word and when you have rebelled?
- Take a minute to re-read Delp’s description of the Angel of Annunciation (especially the large paragraph on page 88). Which quiet promises and wonders from the story of Advent can you look to for strength and encouragement when you are shaken by this broken world?
The author provides a direct guide for us to pray today:
“Let us kneel therefore and ask for the threefold blessing of Advent and its threefold inspiration.
Let us ask for clear eyes that are able to see God’s messengers of annunciation; for awakened hearts with the wisdom to hear the words of promise. Let us ask for faith in the motherly consecration of life as shown in the figure of the blessed woman of Nazareth. Let us be patient and wait, wait with Advent readiness for the moment when it pleases God to appear in our night too, as the fruit and mystery of this time. And let us ask for the openness and willingness to hear God’s warning messengers and to conquer life’s wilderness through repentant hearts.” (94)