This is a continuation of Alfred Delp’s prison memoirs on the devotion to the Heart of Jesus. This translation is found in the section where the German Jesuit martyr reflects on the 17th century litany dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
[translated from Alfred Delp: Gesammelte Schriften IV: Aus dem Gefängnis]
Berlin-Tegel Prison, November 1944
The Heart of Jesus intrinsically united with the Word of God
By being a place of prayer [the devotion to the Heart of Jesus] reveals the divine expanse. Whoever weighs this Sacred Heart with earthly standards, who would like to have it beat in earthly rhythms, does not know what it is about. The power of the divine nature, the limitlessness of the divine being, the boundlessness of divine reality, the unreachable heights and unspeakable namelessness of the Lord God: all of this becomes love, encounter and fidelity here. But all of that! Those who do not always know this immediately make many smaller sanctuaries out of a large cathedral or with crisscross walls make a few booths, devotional stores, or ordinary rooms for people.
One has to have experienced this once that the whole life and everything that is meant by it comes together in one heart beat, in a letting go of burden and torture, in a rejoicing of love and devotion and in a promise of loyalty and service in order to anticipate what it means: Here, a heart beats out of and in the power of God. This statement is still not yet exhausted and concluded. We are going to talk about the powerful currents and inner impulses which come to us from there, but also about which claims [our] dispositions and desires.
By emphasizing the word of God it repeats the fact that in the reality of the divine heart the focus is on a decision made by God for the world. The word is right from the start the home of the world. It carries the images, it creates order, obeys the essence: the Word is the fertile womb of God, whose mature and rich fruit conveys really only a partial notion of the abundance which is snugged in the Word and remains hidden.
From these depths comes the inexhaustible and the untiring heart of salvation. It is divine sources which make this heart and flow from it. Divine immensity and depths: Left and delivered to a loving heart.
Here there is immeasurable comfort for the great peril of the world to which we have all fallen ill.
To be continued…