Just in time for this weekend’s Gospel, about persevering in prayer, along comes this remembrance of a future saint of our own time. Looking for homily material? Check this out.
This comes from John Levko, S.J., in America magazine:
I became the first postulator for the cause of Walter’s canonization and was charged with preparing the supporting documentation for his cause for sainthood. Through this process, and through our 20-year friendship, I came to realize that at the center of all his experiences and studies was his journey in prayer.
While self-control and will power are important in any spiritual development, prayer is essential. And for Walter, every life experience helped to mature his prayer life. Throughout 23 years of Russian confinement—he was finally released on Oct. 12, 1963—Walter turned to God in prayer in every crisis. “I consoled myself,” he would say, “as always, with the thought that God knew what He was doing. I kept repeating, ‘Thy will be done.’” But, still, God’s will could be hard to understand.
Even in confinement, the kindness shown to Walter by many men and women in Russia witnessed to God’s presence in his life. He met women dedicated to fostering a spiritual life for their children and who recognized that God’s presence in their children’s lives could not be replaced by state propaganda and political posturing.
While in Russia, Walter experienced the poorest of the poor, not only in prison but in the work camps and small Russian towns where he worked. On his return to the United States, he was astounded by the propensity toward blatant materialism he found in a society immersed in excess and a temptation toward promiscuity and immediate self-gratification always present. As he rebuilt his life in the United States, necessity and friendship led him to become skilled at spiritual direction, which he offered to many people who were drawn to him. He learned the importance of managing exterior conditions if peace of heart was to be found and to work towards continual and unbroken perseverance in prayer.
And visit the Walter Ciszek Prayer League to learn more about his life and the cause for his canonization.
Servant of God Walter Ciszek, pray for us — and help us to pray for our world!
We adore You, Most Holy Trinity, and we thank You for the exemplary life of Your Servant, Father Walter Ciszek.
We pray that his strong faith in Your loving providence, his great love for You, and his kindness to all people be recognized by the Church.
If it be Your Will, may he be given to us as a saintly model of these virtues so that we too may be better motivated to dedicate our lives to Your greater honor and glory. We commend our petition through the prayers of the holy Mother of God.
For to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is due all glory, honor and worship, now and forever. Amen.