Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent - central to Christian life

Image result for Fr Delp

As we approach the end of the Advent season we understand that advent is the season of hope and reflection. It is a time of prayerful expectation for Christians who await the Second Coming of the Lord, just as they celebrate his birth at Christmas. Many, however, do not really appreciate its significance, or see Advent as a dramatic call upon their lives.

One man who did was Fr. Alfred Delp.

Fr. Delp was a German Jesuit who joined the anti-Nazi Resistance, he was arrested and executed for his activities in 1945. Though not as well known as other martyrs, the writings he left behind are among the most moving in Christian literature. 

Fr. Delp believed advent to be central to the Christian life.

Christmas has always been subject to many misunderstandings. Superficialities, taking refuge in familiarity, idyllic playing around with Nativity scenes, and so forth, have displaced our view from the tremendous event this holy day represents . . . .One must take care to celebrate Christmas with a great realism . . . .One should bear in mind that we are celebrating the feast of God becoming man . . . .That is how man must understand it. It is the incomprehensible fact of God entering into history; that He stepped into our law, into our space, into our existence”and not only like one of us, but as one of us. That is the thrill and the incomprehensibility of this event.