I have a group of friends who pick a book to read and discuss together every few months and He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S. J. was our most recent selection. I had heard about this book and read about this book for quite a few years before I actually read it. It is amazing and one I am sure I will read again and again.
A brief overview: Fr. Walter Ciszek was a Jesuit who answered the call to go to Russia as he began his priestly formation. He eventually arrived in Russia though probably not as he or as his superiors expected. He winds up deep in the Gulag and is presumed dead by his order and family back in the United States. Upon his release from prison he works for a time in Russia since he cannot leave the country. After many years he makes contact with his sister and miraculously he is allowed to leave Russia and come home.
This book is a chronicle of his spiritual journey in which he learned to trust God in all things and see him everywhere. So what does this have to do with evangelization? Everything! This awesome man of God reached out to people no matter what circumstance. His overwhelming desire to serve, especially within the sacraments of confession and Eucharist are mind boggling. The penalty for being found out could have meant his death in some of the situations he when ministered to his fellow man. Yet the benefits far outweighed the risks for Fr. Ciszek and the other men.
Reading this book reminded me that God can always use us to serve him and bring the Good News to the people who are already in our lives. We don’t always have to find people or places to go out and evangelize; serve the people in your life with joy and gladness. Surely that can convert far more people than searching for the big moment to share your faith. I have come to learn that it truly is all the little moments that matter.
This quote from the book reminds us that all we do is important if done with God:
“No action, however insignificant, if accepted and performed as from God’s hand and in conformity with his will, is anything other than redemptive and a sharing in the great work of salvation begun by Christ’s passion.”
Copyright © 2013, Deanna Bartalini