Tuesday, June 05, 2018

An Excerpt From Fr. Ciszek

The key word, in fact, of our priestly apostolate in the camps had to be the word 'witness'. It wasn't so much a matter of preaching God and talking religion to the men around you as it was a matter of living the faith that you yourself professed. 
It was not always a matter of preaching God and religion. It was enough at times to simply respect each of your fellow men in the camp, to do good to each no matter what he himself did or said, no matter how he acted toward you ... There was little call to preach about sin or damnation or hellfire to men who experience daily the hell of loneliness and separation and anxiety. A great deal of tolerance and a great deal of understanding were required of a priest if he wished to be effective among these unfortunate and almost degraded human beings. Common sense and intuition, a feeling for the finger of God's grace behind a question or a conversation or an encounter, was much more necessary than textbook answers in theology." - The Priesthood, He Leadeth Me, Walter Ciszek, S.J.


  1. How weird and wonderful your quote from Fr Ciszek! I'm blessed to be the Carmelites' chaplain this month in Carmel and in a homily I asked if they knew what the word 'wuss' meant. Some nods as I provided the word I'd use to describe myself some time ago...'weakling.' I was so fed up with our culture and lack of any kind of spiritual life that I was feeling sorry for myself. I then discovered Fr Ciszek's books and saw how he handled real devastation in prison and gulag. I then remembered when he was freed from the Soviets he went on with his Jesuit life...and visited the Carmelites in Carmel. More nods. Jesus took care of everything for Fr Walter. I hope he's canonized so that more people can discover his wisdom, cf today's posting above. As the Sisters say, 'God reward you!'

    1. I think his message - his way of abandonment to Divine Providence is what Catholics need today.


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