More Insight from Fr. Ciszek


More Insight from Fr. Ciszek

My profound thanks to Jeanetta for the introduction to a book I would never voluntarily have picked up. The book is a blessing and a balm in a great many ways, and last night I read yet another passage that I found profoundly meaningful at this juncture in my life.

from He Leadeth Me Father Walter Ciszek, S. J.

The next time I saw him [his interrogator in Lubianka prison] , however, he had a new proposal. He told me that the people upstairs wanted me, instead to go to Rome and serve as an intermediary between the Kremlin and the Vatican. . . . I agreed as far-fetched and absurd as it all sounded. . . .Whether I went to Rome or not was for God to decide, for him to arrange. Discussions of this Roman business took up many sessions with the interrogator, yet through it all I remained totally detached and perfectly relaxed. . . .

Through all this, I remained at peace. Where before, the notion of such cooperation would have upset and tormented me, I felt no such distress any longer. If these things were to be, then they were to be --for a purpose God alone knew. If they were not to be, then they would never happen. My confidence in his will and his providence was absolute; I knew I had only to follow the promptings of his grace. I was sure, completely sure, that when a moment of decision came he would lead me on the right path. And so it happened. When at last the interrogator asked me to sign an agreement covering the Roman business, I just refused. I had not thought of doing so in advance; in fact, I had simply gone along with everything up to that point. But suddenly it seemed the only thing to do, and I did it. He became violently angry and threatened me with immediate execution. I felt no fear at all. I think I smiled. I knew then I had won. (p.. 80-81)

Sometimes in the course of events, when we have prepared with much prayer and fasting and when we have put ourselves in God's hands, we find exactly this. Something unexpected occurs--something we never planned for, perhaps never desired, and yet something entirely within God's perfect will. If we trust Him, He will lead us, gently but firmly. If we put ourselves into His hands, He will use us to His greater glory and it is possible that the world will see a new saint. But we must buckle down and not insist upon our own way. What looks like a terrible, tragic, hurtful, and deadly defeat is transformed by His mercy and grace into a grand and spectacular victory. We may not be able to see it all--but as we trust in His will and mercy, our lives are completely transformed, and the lives of those we touch as well.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 18, 2003 8:05 AM.

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