2009 - Vol. 35
at Heaven with All your Strength
from Alfred Delp's prison meditation on the Lord's Prayer
The God of life is a personal God and only when man enters into the
dialogue with him does he begin to realize his dreams. In this conversation
he learns the fundamental principles of his being-adoration, veneration,
love, trust. Anything undertaken on a plane lower than this dialogue, no
matter how much zeal and sincerity and devotion go into it, is in the end
incomplete. Adoration is the road that leads man to himself.
The realm of the personal God is heaven, that is to say it is the sum-total
of all that man considers to be his life's greatest happiness. Fulfillment
and more. It is not primarily a place or a period of time or anything like
that. It is fundamentally God himself - a conscious union with him. Anyone
who has achieved that union is in heaven. It is a union that uproots all
our limitations and destroys our previous habits if we are fortunate enough
to begin to experience it here on earth. The records of the world's great
mystics that have come down to us witness this. But for most of us the
breaking up of our present form of our existence, that is our death, is
the usual gateway to God. On that plane things merge into each other; the
things a man loves or longs for, happiness, joy, heaven, and the things
he reverently praises, God and his fullness are brought to one focus.
Love of heavenly things is something the Church often prays for
as the summit of grace and fulfillment. It is important to throw a bridge
across to fulfillment, to the future, to that which is hoped for not only
as far as the desires of our nature go but also 8S far as our attitude
and conscious effort are concerned.
We must aim at heaven with all our strength. Man will have to re-learn,
much more positively and intensively than before, that life leads from
the personal dialogue with God to the actual personal encounter and the
experience of unity with God. He will have to learn that this is his heaven
and his real, his only, home. Then he will learn to pray, not merely as
a duty and in obedience, but with intense vitality and with all the driving
force of his own free will.
to next meditation > I
Must Take the Other Road
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