Item description for He Leadeth Me by Walter J. Ciszek & Fr Walter Ciszek S. J....
Overview He Leadeth Me 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. He recalls how it was only through an utter reliance on God's will that he managed to endure. He tells of the courage he found in prayer - a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustrations, the anguish, the fears, the despair. He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God - even in their darkest hour.
Publishers Description He Leadeth Me 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. He here recalls how it was only through an utter reliance on God's will that he managed to endure. He tells of the courage he found in prayer-a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustrations, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the "arrogance of evil" that surrounded him. Learning to accept even the inhuman work of toiling in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God, he was able to turn adverse forces into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit. He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God-even in their darkest hour.
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1995
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 0898705460 ISBN13 9780898705461 UPC 008987054603
Availability 0 units.
More About Walter J. Ciszek & Fr Walter Ciszek S. J.
WALTER J. CISZEK, S.J. (1904 1984) spent 23 years in the Soviet Union in various prisons and work camps. Upon his return to the United States in 1963, he was assigned to Fordham University in New York City where, until his death, he was a much sought after retreat master and spiritual director. He is the author of With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me and is one of the pre-eminent spiritual writers of the latter half of the twentieth century. In 1988, the cause for his canonization was officially introduced."
Walter J. Ciszek was born in 1904 and died in 1984.
Reviews - What do customers think about He Leadeth Me?
He Leadeth Me May 24, 2008
I read this book on a retreat and had to buy it. The message of trusting in the will of God is so strong. No matter how many times I read this I know I will be helped each time.
God is a most patient teacher, even to the most stubborn of students. Mar 16, 2008
Matthew Kelly (see [...]) recommended "He Leadeth Me" by Walter Ciszek, S.J., to me as it had a significant influence on him and his spiritual journey. The book has also had a profound influence on me, so much so, that I cannot get it out of my mind.
In "He Leadeth Me," U.S. born Ciszek recounts his life as a Catholic priest who enthusiastically volunteered for preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments in communist Russia and ended up spending twenty three agonizing years in Soviet prisons, including five years of solitary confinement in Moscow's feared Lubianka prison and fifteen years of hard labor in Siberian prison camps.
Upon his return to the US in 1963, as part of an exchange for two convicted Russian spies, Ciszek was asked over and over again how he survived. "He Leadeth Me" is his response. This book is about the faith he discovered and the simple truths he learned by trial and error. Truths he came to appreciate only after much anguish of soul and a great deal of prayerful reflection; truths that sustained him through the years of doubt and darkness, of hardship and suffering.
The learned truth that threads its way throughout the book is that no one can know greater peace, no one can achieve a greater sense of fulfillment in his life than the man who believes in the truth of the faith and strives daily to put it into practice. "A spirituality based on complete trust in God is the surest guarantee of peace of soul and freedom of spirit."
There are moments of crisis in every life, moments of anxiety and fear, moments of frustration and opposition, moments sometimes even of terror. Only by a lively faith can man live in peace among the tensions of the world. Faith is the fulcrum of our moral and spiritual balance - our powerlessness to solve the problems of evil, sin, injustice, suffering, and even death will not be a cause of despair or despondency when we have an unshakable trust and confidence in God.
After great anguish, doubt, and repeated resistance by Ciszek, he submitted to the will of God realizing that every moment of our life has a purpose, that every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No moment can be wasted, no opportunity missed, since each has a purpose in God's plan. We need to strive to know God's will and to do it each day of our lives - working this out with constant effort and attention to just those persons and circumstances God presents to us each day. He expects no more of us, but He will expect nothing less of us, and we fail in our promise and commitment if we do not see in situations of every moment of every day of His divine will.
God asks for the complete gift of self...absolute faith in His existence, His providence, His power to sustain me, and His love perfecting me. While it sounds all too simple, one quickly learns how difficult it is when they try to put it into practice. "Is this too simple or are we just afraid really to believe it, to accept it fully, to yield ourselves up to it in total commitment? This is the ultimate question of faith, and each must answer this for himself. But to answer it in the affirmative is to know peace, to discover a meaning to life that surpasses all understanding."
"He Leadeth Me," first published in 1972, is a classic and continues as an all-time best seller. Ciszek has written a powerful testimony that will challenge your view of life and, possibly, a source of a transfiguration. "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 most patient teacher, even to the most stubborn of students."
Awesome Feb 28, 2008
Just a fantastic book. I am not sure what I can add to further comments already added other than this book hit the spot for sincerity, truthfulness, and captivity of worthwhile imagination. I have just sent it to a friend that teaches English in Libya as I am assured that a wonderful book like this can only enhance her "desert experience" abroad as well.
Surprisingly applicable to modern Americans May 13, 2007
I started reading He Leadeth Me because I thought it might have some interesting thoughts on God and suffering, as a general concept. I had no idea, however, how very applicable Fr. Ciszek's hard-learned insights would be to my day-to-day life as the average American stay-at-home mom.
The wisdom he learned after five years in solitary confinement and 20+ years at a Siberian slave labor camp is not just how to grow closer to God in the face of great upheaval and suffering, but how to know and live God's will in the face of the frustrating, the humdrum, and the mundane.
I can't recommend this book highly enough to everyone -- whether you're experiencing great suffering or just frustrated by the daily grind, you will undoubtedly find Fr. Ciszek's story life-changing.
Inspiring and Thoughtful Jan 4, 2007
This book documents the experiences and internal struggles of a Jesuit priest through his experiences in the Gulag, and thereafter in Soviet society. It is engaging and thoughtful. A friend of mine recommended it as a source of inspiration and hope, and it delivers that and more.
Fr. Cizek relates his experience with honesty about his own weaknesses, doubts, and human frailty. He has a way of weaving into his story a sense of his own faith and belief in Providential tendencies to bring ultimate good. At the same time, he does not neglect human responsibility. For example, though seemingly helpless and subject to the will of his captors, Fr. Cizek explains: "What each man can change, first of all, is himself. And each will have -- indeed must have -- some influence on the people God brings into his life each day."
The discussion of his experiences as a priest in the gulag, as well as in the post-gulag experiences in Soviet cities, also brings out the depth of religious belief in the human experience. Despite the efforts of Communist party officials to indoctrinate in atheism, the people just were not buying it. In fact, in some cases the young people took to religion as a way of rebelling.
A good read, and one which you may want to read again from time to time to pick up new insights.