Sunday, December 26, 2010

One of the best books...

I'm reading one of the best books I've ever read:  "He Leadeth Me" by Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.  He also wrote "With God in Russia" an account of his experiences as a prisoner as a "Vatican Spy" in Russia, during and after the Second World War.  "He Leadeth Me" is more of a spiritual autobiography of those years, and in each chapter he draws out a lesson that he learned about himself and about God and about the human condition during those times.  As a seminarian in New York in the 1930's he answered a request by Pope Pius XII to go to Rome and study at the Russicam to prepare him to minister to Catholics in Russia.  When he was ordained the Russians were not allowing priests to enter their country so instead he was sent to Eastern Poland to minister to Catholics there.  When the Second World War broke out he found himself in territory occupied by Soviet Troops and eventually volunteered to work in the factories in the Ural Mountains, so that he could minister to the workers there.  Things didn't work out as he planned.  Twenty years of Soviet rule had made people indifferent to Religion and priests were looked down on and despised.  He was arrested when the Germans attacked Russia and was sent to the Lubianka prison in Moscow, and it was here that he really turned to God.  He set up a schedule of prayer for himself to mark the hours of the day and that is how he helped himself survive.  He speaks of the loneliness, the helplessness and the silence.  It's tempting to sit down and read the book all in one sitting but I'm reading it one chapter at a time to let the words sink in.  This is a book I will read over and over again, it's a wonderful testimony.

No comments:

Post a Comment