Once I glimpsed the prayerful tone of the succeeding paragraphs, I felt inclined this evening to continue with the translation (maybe this urge was partially due to the day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria). This concludes Delp’s reflection on the third invocation on the Litany of the Heart of Jesus. I will continue with the fourth invocation tomorrow.
[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
And, yes, we are in the midst of a world peril. We, the people, with the eternal longing in our hearts and the burning yearning for encounter, joy, and freedom in the soul. We scamper around as the pressured, the hunted, and the threatened. We sit in the shadows as the shackled and the imprisoned. We call upon others in our loneliness, abandonment, and helplessness.
These are addressed by the third message of the adoration of the Heart of Jesus. The person needs to know that a heart is beating here which can do more than the little or the many which a human heart is capable of.
O, a lively heart is quite powerful. It overcomes distance. It climbs over walls. It breaks through loneliness. It redeems forlornness which nobody else has the courage to address, who first wants to think and then help. “Love can do everything,” says Paul (1 Cor. 13,7).
And yet, as you know, it is exactly the difficulties of love when it learns that it has its limits. That substance does not suffice, that the road is too far, the prison walls are too high and the resistance is too hard, cruel, and final.
Here the message of the Heart of Jesus meets us in our pressured existence. We will not honestly pray the later invocations (rich for everyone, who call You), if we don’t pray into the richness which arises when God meets us as the dynamic, the full-blooded, and urgent liveliness of a human heart and that a loving human heart can be comprised of the inexhaustible abundance of divinity.
Here, our unfathomable peril is outwitted and overcome by the alliance of human experience of peril and divine blissful joyfulness. Those who have gone through peril can help best. The perils of the Saviour’s heart will be dealt with later.
Let us return to the confidence from all the loneliness because we have met a heart and we have offered ourselves to this heart which knows peril thoroughly, which has committed to healing our perils by having God commits Himself to us.