The Vatican office for the Causes of Saints has opened an official examination of the life of Walter Ciszek, SJ, to see if he should be canonized one day.
Fr. Ciszek, an American Jesuit, spent 23 years as a prisoner in the Soviet Union, including 15 years of hard labor in Siberia. He secretly ministered to fellow prisoners during his captivity. After he returned to the United States in 1963 he wrote two fine books, With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me.
Fr. Jim Martin describes how Ciszek came to understand what “God’s will” meant in a Soviet prison camp:
[God’s] will for us was the 24 hours of each day: the people, the places, the circumstances he set before us in that time. Those were the things God knew were important to him and to us at that moment, and those were the things upon which he wanted us to act, not out of any abstract principle or out of any subjective desire to “do the will of God.” No, these things, the 24 hours of this day, were his will; we had to learn to recognize his will in the reality of the situation.