Doing God's WillFATHER WALTER CISZEK, S.J.
Choosing to do God's will and experiencing the spiritual freedom that followed was my greatest joy and the source of tremendous interior strength.
Spiritual freedom of this sort, as I knew from bitter experience, is not something that can be attained overnight or ever possessed in its final form. Every new day, every new hour of every day, every new circumstance and situation, every new act is a new opportunity to exercise and grow in this freedom. What is required for growth is an attitude of acceptance and openness to the will of God, rather than some planned approach or calculated method.
Even ascetical practices such as penances, fasting, or mortifications can be hindrances rather than helps if they are self-imposed. Striving instead to eliminate all self-will, to accept God's will revealed in the circumstances of daily life, is the surest way to achieve growth in conformity to the will of God. It will provide more than enough virtue to be practiced, suffering to be sustained, pain to be borne; more importantly still, it will make us fit instruments to achieve his designs, not only for our own salvation but for others as well. The service of God must take preference over all else.
Father Walter Ciszek, S.J. "Doing God's Will." excerpt from He Leadeth Me (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1973).
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ignatius Press.
Father Walter Ciszek, S.J. was a Polish-American Jesuit priest known for his clandestine missionary work in the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1963. Fifteen of these years were spent in confinement and hard labor in the Gulag, including five in Moscow's infamous Lubyanka prison. He was released and returned to the United States in 1963. Father Ciszek is the author of He Leadeth Me, and With God in Russia.
Since 1990, Ciszek has been under investigation by the Roman Catholic Church for possible beatification or canonization. His current title is a Servant of God.
Copyright © 1973 Ignatius Press
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