In the Womb of the Virgin Mary [Part II]

This is part II of Alfred Delp’s meditation on the relationship between the devotion to the heart of Jesus and the devotion to His Mother in the Litany to the Heart of Jesus.

[translated from Alfred Delp: Gesammelte Schriften IV: Aus dem Gefängnis]


Berlin-Tegel Prison, November 1944

Heart of Jesus in the Womb of the Virgin Mary formed by the Holy Spirit.

This is the only invocation in the Litany, where Mary is mentioned, in the sense, that she is actually named. One does not pray the other invocations honestly without actually including her and greeting the heart of her Son from her heart. The devotion to the heart of Jesus brings forth from itself a deepening of the devotion to Mary, because it leads to a rediscovery and a deepening of the personal love between the Mother and Son.  So it releases the devotion to Mary from much saccharine piety and returns it into the sphere of religious vitality and humanity.

One must only attempt to pray the rosary and to put the individual invocations of the Litany in the place of the usual secrets. The rosary is found anew and afterwards, also, better understood ‘old.’ And the vaulted arches of the inner relationship between the heart of the Mother and the heart of her Son—Jesus will open for us the gate to the sanctuaries and wonders of divine interiority.

2-immaculate-heart-of-mary-smith-catholic-artIn this invocation it becomes really apparent how Mary is drawn into the fullness of divine mystery and wonder. Nothing is more human and more natural and nothing is more captivating in the order of earth than the law of the womb, the fertility of motherhood.

And yet all of this is spoken in one breath with the great fact: Heart of Jesus—the womb of the Virgin—and the Holy Spirit.

Again the realities and the orders remain true to themselves and, yet, have gone beyond themselves, because they have not failed God. The ‘yes’ to God is always in an unintended sense, and in an unheard of scale, a ‘yes’ to oneself.

to be continued…

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