Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent

Alfred Delp: A Self-surrender at the Heart of the World

Alfred Delp’s prison meditation on the third Sunday of Advent is his most lengthy reflection on the meaning of Advent. Due the length, I aim to divide the meditation into a few postings.

Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent

[Tegel Prison, Berlin, December 1944]

Well now, what is joy, true joy? The philosophers say it is satisfaction and emotional uplift in response to the goods at one’s disposal. That maybe true of some phenomena of joy, but it is not joy itself. Otherwise, how could I attain true joy in these times and in this situation?

gaudete Is there any point about bothering with joy? Is joy not among those luxury items of life that have no place in the meager private area tolerated by wartime conversations? Certainly it has no place in a prison cell where someone is pacing back and forth, his hands in irons, his heart swelled…

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