December 2009 - Vol. 35
The Name Jesus

Excerpted from Alfred Delp's diary entry, 
January 1, 1945

Jesus. The name of our Lord and of my Order  [The Society of Jesus] shall be the first word I write in the New Year. The name stands for all the things I desire when I pray, believe and hope; for inner and outer redemption; for relaxation of all the selfish tensions and limitations I place in the way of the free dialogue with God, all the barriers to voluntary partnership and surrender without reserve: and for a speedy release from these horrible fetters. The whole situation is so palpably unjust; things I have neither done  nor even known about are keeping me here in prison. "
The name Jesus stands also for all that I intended to do in the world, and still hope to do among mankind. To save, to stand by ready to give immediate help, to have goodwill towards all men, and to serve them. I still owe much to so many. 

And in conclusion the Order, too, is embraced in my invocation of this name - the Order which has admitted me to its membership. May it be personified in me. I have pledged myself to Jesus as his loving comrade and  blood-brother. 

The Name stands for passionate faith, submission, selfless effort and service.

Go to next meditation > No Death Can Kill Us

Return to Joy in the Face of Death - Alfred Delp S.J., by Jeanne Kun, with excerpts from the book, Even Unto Death: Wisdom from Modern Martyrs, edited by Jeanne Kun, The Word Among Us Press, © 2002. All rights reserved. Used with permission. The book can be ordered from WAU Press.

Commemorative stamp in honor of Delp, Germany, 1964 

A selection 
of meditations 
for Advent 

written by Alfred Delp while in prison 

> The People of Advent
> True Happiness
> God Alone Suffices
> The name Jesus
> No Death Can Kill Us
> Aim at Heaven with All your Strength
> I Must Take the Other Road

[Selection from The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp, with an Introduction by Thomas Merton (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963)]


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