“More, and on a deeper level than before, we really know this time that all of life is Advent.” —Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J., writing from prison
Fr. Alfred Delp, a young German Jesuit priest, loved Advent. He considered it not just a liturgical season, but an entire mode of life that we could carry with us throughout the year.
He thought that our whole life, in fact, was an Advent, a preparation for meeting God face-to-face. This spiritual idea would be embodied and fulfilled in his life.
Fr. Delp was a powerful preacher, and as a pastor in Münich, spoke with clarity and vigor against Nazism. But he wasn’t just a preacher of the word—he was a doer as well. For his conviction, the Gestapo arrested him in July 1944.
During his confinement, from a freezing cell with his wrists handcuffed, he penned powerful reflections on his beloved theme of Advent, deepened and magnified by the personal Advent he was experiencing that winter.
He would, in fact, meet God face-to-face on Candlemas, the feast that marks the end of the Christmas season. He was hanged on February 2, 1945, a martyr for the truth, his lifelong Advent coming at last to its glorious fulfillment.
But although this courageous priest did not escape prison, his words did escape.
His Advent reflections, scrawled on scraps of paper, were smuggled out of the prison with his laundry. From there, these writings made it to friends and parishioners back in Münich, and down to us today.
Fr. Delp’s prison writings—along with other Advent sermons preached before his imprisonment—have been collected for you in Advent of the Heart. This inspiring collection introduces you to Fr. Delp’s extraordinary spirituality—and makes a perfect companion for the coming Advent season. Order yours today at The Catholic Company!