Perhaps it’s the winter storm of ice and snow that’s turned my thoughts to the insightful and inspiring story of Fr Walter Ciszek, SJ. He wrote, “With God in Russia” and “He Leadeth Me”, documenting his spiritual journey during his 23 years in solitary confinement and in the labor camps of communist Russia after World War II. It was his utter reliance on God’s will that enabled him to endure.
His insight is brief and profoundly life changing: Don’t look for God’s will as something “out there” for you to obtain; rather, see the circumstances, people, everyday events, as it is presented today, as God’s will.
He writes, “To predict what God’s will is going to be, to rationalize what his will must be, is a work of human folly and a subtle temptation. The simple truth is that his will is what he actually wills to send us each day, in the way of circumstances, places, people, and problems. The trick is to learn to see that, not only just in theory, or not just occasionally in a flash of insight granted by God’s grace, but every day.”
Mary and Joseph lived this as their plans for a serene birth at home was rocked by the census that brought them to Bethlehem, then to a poor stable, then to flee to Egypt. There is a lot to ponder here.
Indeed, as when the Lord came to Elijah, not in wind, earthquake, or fire, but in a gentle whisper (1 Kg 19:9 ff). Gaudete!
I think this is the tip that gives me the most peace and yet (paradoxically) the most confusion at times, Fr. Jason. I feel like I am always “discerning wills”…His vs. mine…maybe we can talk about it further at some point. But, once again, these tips are great gifts. Thank you and God bless you!