Light of the World, Highest and Brightest


The theological truths about providence and guidance, about the ever-presence of God, and about his merciful indwelling in us must become concrete, lived possessions.

Then we will succeed in living through the experiences and events of workdays and holidays, of bright hours and dark hours, right up to that central point at which God reveals himself as their deepest meaning.  The secret, holy cargo entrusted to these events we are living through consists of his questions, his guidance, his leadership, his punishment, his judgment, his consolation, and help.

Temples of God are located not only where churches are still standing.  Rather, let the great temple arches stretch and raise themselves up wherever the human heart worships, wherever the knee bends, wherever the spirit opens itself, and where man's highest potential is fulfilled by those who worship and love....

The life of God is lived within us, within the deepest center of our being.  Man becomes truly himself precisely at the point where he recognizes that the highest and brightest Being dwells within him.  Moreover, he will rediscover himself and his own identity, as well as his faith in his own individual value, mission, and life options, to the degree that he comprehends human life as streaming forth out of the mystery of God.

Then all that is negative and threatening is surmounted, its futility is exposed from within and simultaneously disempowered.




Father Alfred Delp, S.J. "Light of the World, Highest and Brightest." from Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings. (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2006).

Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press.

This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in June 2014.


Father Alfred Delp, S.J. (1907-1945) was a German Jesuit priest and a philosopher of the German Resistance. Part of the inner Kreisau Circle resistance group, he is considered a significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism. Implicated in the failed 1944 July Plot to overthrow the Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler, Delp was arrested, and sentenced to death. He was executed in 1945. Father Delp is the author of Advent Of The Heart, and Prison Writings.

Copyright © 2006 Ignatius Press

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