Humility gives us the sacred gift of being able to learn from everyone. It gives us the ability to take advice from any person who gives it, not just the brilliant or the holy or the great, but from the simple and the ignorant and from those who may be far below our own position or station in life. It gives us the power to imitate Christ himself, who learned from Peter how to catch […]

One Reason Only: To Love God

Often, we talk so much about our lives and the lives of our neighbors—what we should do to fill our lives with God’s grace and peace and happiness, what we must do to make our neighbor’s life happy—that we forget the basic reason why you and I and all men live. We live and breathe and have our being for one reason only: to love God. God created us for this one reason, to love […]

The Wisdom of Walter J. Ciszek, SJ

Loyola Press just published a collection of writings by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ. If you recognize that name, it’s because Ciszek, a Jesuit priest, survived 23 years in Russian prisons and labor camps, was presumed dead, but then returned to the U.S. in a prisoner exchange in 1963. He wrote about his experiences in With God in Russia, a book well-received and widely read. He followed that with a book of more devotional writing: He […]

Walter Ciszek’s Commitment

Last spring, the Vatican opened the canonization process for Walter Ciszek, SJ, the American Jesuit who spent 23 years as a prisoner in the Soviet Union.  This month the Jesuits are highlighting Fr. Ciszek’s life and the theme “A Life in Service” for Vocation Month.  Here’s something a Jesuit said about him, and I don’t think it applies to just  priestly vocations: A life in service like Walter Ciszek’s means commitment; it means something that’s […]

The Saintly Walter Ciszek

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, […]

Pray for Those Who Persecute You

Walter Ciszek, SJ, spent fifteen years in prison in the Soviet Union for doing clandestine missionary work.  He describes his prayer: “Gradually too, I learned to purify my prayer and remove from it all the elements of self-seeking. I learned to pray for my interrogators, not so they would see things my way or come to the truth so that my ordeal would end, but because they, too, were children of God and human beings […]