He Leadeth Me

He Leadeth Me
by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.


This is the deeply moving personal story of one man's spiritual odyssey and the unflagging faith which enabled him to survive the horrendous ordeal that wrenched his body and spirit to near collapse. Captured by the Russian army during world War II and convicted of being a "Vatican spy," American Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent some 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Here he recalls how it was only through an utter reliance on God's will that he managed to endure.

Fr. Ciszek's books have been translated into many different languages including English, Polish, Italian, French, Dutch, German and Korean.


On Faith: " . . . faith has affected my life and sustained me in all I experienced. That faith is the answer to the question most often asked of me ("How did you manage to survive?") and I can only repeat it, simply and unashamedly."

On Trust: ". . . God has a special purpose, a special love, a special providence for all those He created. God cares for each of us. The circumstances of each day of our lives, of every moment of every day, are provided for us by Him . . .But maybe we are all just a little afraid to accept (this truth) in all its shattering simplicity, for its consequences in our lives are both terrible and wonderful."

On Prayer: "I came gradually to appreciate even in my own life, after much anguish of soul and a great deal of prayerful reflection, truths that sustained me finally through the long years of doubt and darkness, of hardship and suffering. It is my hope, indeed my prayer, that what I have learned and come to understand so slowly and painfully might be of service to others. God is a very patient teacher, and I was a most stubborn pupil."

"My apostolate to these people, again in the strange and mysterious ways of divine Providence, has ended. But I remember them with fondness and with sadness; I pray for them daily. I still remember them, along with my Russian Christians of Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk, with my fellow prisoners and friends in the labor camps, in my Mass each morning - and I offer up all the prayers, works and sufferings of each day for their eternal salvation and happiness with God. That is my role in the Kingdom now and then, in conformity with God's will for me, and I accept it and embrace it daily as I have ever done.
Excerpts are from He Leadeth Me by W.J. Ciszek, S.J, and are reprinted with permission of Doubleday/ Image Books, Garden City, N.J.

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