Solitary confinement, middle of the night interrogations, work camp in Siberia, starvation – Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.‘s chilling story is severe enough to capture me but, moreover, his reflections about God leading him warm and attract my heart. In my mother-in-law’s collection, I just recently stumbled upon this 45 year old book, He Leadeth Me. It contains the reflections of an American Jesuit who answered Pope Pius XI’s call for priests to work for the conversion of souls by entering into Russia. Fantastic as our family’s summer fun has been, I couldn’t go more than a few days without returning to the comfort of this book. Peace and strength followed him through out his 22 years of imprisoned punishment. It flowed from his acceptance of God’s will in all that he experienced, in offering all the minutia of his days, the steadfastness to daily prayer, apostolate and most importantly, his total reliance on Christ. He boldly and simply says what very few say- God’s will in everything.
A familiar melody seems to accompany his writing. Have I heard this song before in Scripture or the writings of the Saints? It will hum to your heart about the depth of Christ’s incarnation in the mundane details of your life. The cadence invites us to participate intimately in the Divine Life by accenting to His Will. How I long to learn this tune with my children and with all of my friends and family!!! I personally have lacked the courage and ability to articulate plainly it’s message and so I put forth Fr. Walter who has humbly lived what I have only foggily dreamt.
When I actually try to relay the core of what he has said, it seems to slip through my fingers like sand. Never the less, I hope to summarize in future posts what he wrote about vocation, the Mass, daily prayer, trust and God’s Will. Still, you may want to take “Best Sellers” advice on the back cover of the book, “His message is both timely and practical. We urge everyone to read this book as soon as possible.”