Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spirituality: “Lead Us Not into Temptation” by Alfred Delp, S.J.

We ought to offer this prayer [The Our Father] very seriously. Out Lord knew what it was to be tempted and what bitter struggles temptation may entail. Who can be sure of himself? When things are going well we let these words pass over us negligently, thinking very little about them as if they really did not apply to us at all. And then all of a sudden the sky becomes overcast – a storm arises, and with the wind blowing from all directions at once we do not know which way to turn.

Take this journey of mine up this perilous face of my cliff. How many hours of weakness and despair have to be endured in making that climb, hours of sheer helplessness, of doubt, not knowing which was the best course. How is it that conditions suddenly get distorted, their balance disturbed and their threads twisted and entangled, producing a pattern far from our intention and quite beyond our power to unravel?

No one can escape the hour of temptation. It is only in that hour that we begin to sense our weakness and to have a faint inkling of the vital decisions we are expected to make. If only I can manage to keep a hold on this perilous perch and not faint and let go.

I have committed my soul to God and I rely on the help of my friends.

Source: Alfred Delp, S.J., Prison Letters, as found in Magnificat, February 2016, pp. 253-254; Fr. Delp, A German Jesuit priest, was executed because of his resistance to the Nazi regime.