He Leadeth Me by Fr Walter Ciszek

“To predict what God’s will is going to be, to rationalize about what his will must be, is at once a work of human folly and yet the subtlest of human temptations. The plain and simple truth is that his will is what he actually wills to send us each day, in the way of circumstances, places, people and problems. The trick is to learn to see that- not just in theory, or not just occasionally in a flash of insight granted by God’s grace, but every day… The temptation is to look beyond these things, precisely because they are so constant, so petty, so humdrum and routine, and to seek to discover instead some other and nobler “will of God” in the abstract that better fits our notion of what his will should be.”

So writes Walter Cizsek, American born Jesuit priest, about his arrest and conviction as a Vatican spy during the years building up to World War ll. Cisek had long felt a “call” to Russia, had applied and been accepted to the Russian studies of his Jesuit seminary in Rome. He then faked identification papers in order to gain admittance to a Russian labor camp to work as a missionary bringing God to a people for whom belief in God was punishable by death. There his deception was discovered and his true identity revealed.

In his book, He Leadeth Me, Ciszek writes almost matter of factly about the 23 years spent in a series of Russian prisons and labor camps. Using simple declarative prose, the power of this story is amplified by the absence of drama or of any attempt to do anything other than to give glory to God as he is led to trust-total, complete, irrational trust.

The sufferings this man endured are unimaginable, the five years in the infamous Lubyanka prison-complete and total isolation interrupted by periods of extensive interrogation and beatings with constant threats of execution seem to serve as an appetizer to his 15+ year endurance of the camps in Siberia. Although at times, this story is somewhat reminiscent of Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search For Meaning, as a whole, it is unlike anything I have ever read.

“I have written much in this book about the will of God and his providence… readers… may find that my faith is not only childlike but childish, I am sorry if they feel this way but I have written only what I know and what I have experienced. Many people, from newsmen to housewives, have asked me over and over again how I managed to survive the years in Soviet prisons…

Source by Dr. Lin Wilder
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