Shaken not deterred

“The fact that the Son of man shall come again is more than a historic prophecy;
it is also a decree that God’s coming and the shaking up of humanity are somehow connected”

Alfred Delp

(broken bits within Sligo Abbey / Sligo, Co Sligo, Ireland/ Julie Cook / 2015)

Granted it seems a bit early yet to be looking toward the coming season of Advent…
but let’s try telling that to the giants of Sales and Marketing.

It certainly doesn’t seem to be too early for the department stores,
and all things merchandising, to giddily jump on the early bandwagon of Christmas.
as the mass marketing of Christmas frustratingly now precedes Halloween.

Yet we should remind ourselves that it’s really not Christmas,
not the Christmas that Christians know,
of which the Mass Marketing giants are now greedily rubbing their hands over.

And we must, year after year, work harder and harder to be mindful of such as it
becomes far too easy to get sucked into the maddening holiday hype which is currently
underway in earnest.
So much so that I find myself getting nervous just running in to pick up whatever from say
Target or the grocery store as Christmas is staring me in the face….

With the current state of my life being in a constant state of flux…
so unpredictable, so up in the air and so utterly chaotic these days,
I’m finding that I’ve got to grab at things when I can.
Hence why I jumped in a bit early to the Advent Book I received for Plough Publishing House

When the Time Was Fulfilled
Christmas Mediations by
Eberhard Arnold
Christoph Blumhardt
Alfred Delp.

And it was the entry by Delp, The Shaking Reality of Advent that has resonated so
deeply in my soul.

Maybe it’s because his words, written 72 years ago, seem as if they were penned last night.
Written by anyone with Christian conscious who is observing the tumultuous times of our world.

Maybe it’s because I know that he wrote these words while he was being held by the Nazis
as a presumed traitor of the state.
He had been tortured and beaten while awaiting his trial.
As a state prisoner in Tegel Prison in Berlin, Delp had been arrested on the grounds of a
connection with the final assassination plot against Hitler,
of which he was not involved,
it was customary for those prisoner’s hands to chained and handcuffed at all times,
yet Delp manages to secretly write spiritual reflections of Advent and Christmas while
secretly saying mass for his fellow prisoners.
We have his works to this day because they had been smuggled out of the prison and
shared with his fellow prisoners.

Delp was offered his freedom if he would denounce being a priest…
Yet he refused.
He was hung February 2, 1945 just a few months prior to the fall of Nazi Germany.
He was only 38 years old.

Maybe I am so drawn to Delp’s words because despite his position and his suffering,
he could joyfully look forward to Christ’s re-coming to a very darkened world…
because that’s what Advent translates to… ‘coming’…

So whereas, throughout these trying times of this nation of ours,
the family of Believers may be shaken, but we are not deterred…
Come what may…..

“Many of the things that are happening today would never have happened if we had been
living in that longing, that disquiet of heart which comes when we are faced with God,
and when we look clearly at things as they really are.
If we had done this, God would have withheld his hand from many of the things that now
shake and crush our lives.
We would have come to terms with and judged the limits of our own competence.
But we have lived in a false confidence, in a delusional security;
in our spiritual insanity we really believe we can bring the stars down from heaven
and kindle flames of eternity in the world.
We believe that with our own forces we can avert the dangers and banish the night,
switch off and halt the internal quaking of the universe.
We believe we can harness everything and fit it into an ultimate scheme that will last…

If we want Advent to transform us–our homes and hearts,
and even nations–then the great question for us is whether we will come out
of the convulsions of our time to awaken from sleep.
A waking up must begin somewhere.
It is time to put things back where God intended them.
It is time for each of us to go to work–certain that the Lord will come–
to set our life in God’s order wherever we can.
Where God’s word is heard, he will not cheat us of the truth;
where our life rebels he will reprimand it.
We need people who are moved by the horrific calamities and emerge from them with
the knowledge that those who look to the Lord will be preserved by him,
even if they are hounded from earth”

Father Alfred Delp’s writings on Advent smuggled out of
Tegel Prison, Berlin 1944
Delp was hanged by the Nazi’s in 1945
Excerpt taken from When the Time was Fulfilled

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from any one of us.

Acts 17:27

27 comments on “Shaken not deterred

  1. Lynda says:

    This is what happens when humankind believes that control of the universe lies within them and not with God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all. Fr. Delp knew where his life lay. Blessings and prayers continue.

    • Lynda says:

      I’m just doing some reading for a theology course and came across these very appropriate words written by a Jesuit theologian, Fr. Bernard Lonergan: “Most of all, faith has the power of undoing decline…it is not argument but religious faith that will liberate human reasonableness from its ideological prisons. It is not the promises of men but religious hope that can enable men to resist the vast pressures of social decay.” (Method in Theology, p. 117)

  2. says:

    You are amazing, sweet Yoda. Even in all the turmoil going on in the world and in your own life, you find good in everything. God shows His light through you. Loving your posts lately. Your passion for writing shows.

  3. Wally Fry says:

    This wins best blog title of the day for sure. Shaken not deterred.

    Bond…James Bond…I’ll have my life shaken not deterred.

    Seriously, though, this was very encouraging.

  4. Oh, how things continue to repeat themselves. Not one word of the above quote felt dated; rather, it was as up-to-date as today’s news.

  5. That’s what non-believers just don’t get. God is still in control and no matter what we do or don’t do that’s never going to change. Jesus is He says He is and He and not all the political mess and worldly doings should be our focus.
    I read that 81 % of the evanlegical vote in America went to Trump! And they think prayer doesn’t work! πŸ™‚ ❀

  6. Sarah says:

    Straight after I read this post, I read this one:
    It also quotes from Delp’s writings.
    I thought you might be interested in reading the whole post.

  7. Sarah says:

    P.S. The post on Delp ( mentioned in the advent post is well worth reading, as is everything by that author:
    He is one of my favourite Internet writers.

  8. SLIMJIM says:

    What an example laid out by Delp.

  9. This spoke to me especially now after seeing the mad rush of ‘Black Friday’ before Turkey was served on Thanksgiving day. As i finish up writing a detailed Bible study on Revelations and glaringly aware of Babylon the Great (which propagated the worldview: it’s all about me, what’s in it for me, grab what you can get, cause I am my own god) this confirms what I am stating.


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