Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Priest Who Died Three Times

A great story of a Jesuit priest who "died" three times. A full reading is highly recommended.
The first time Walter Ciszek "died" was in 1947. The American Jesuit had disappeared in 1940, shortly after slipping into Communist Russia to work as an underground priest. After seven years, his family and religious community gave him up for dead.

But the priest had been arrested on charges of espionage, and swallowed up into the Soviet prison system. Not until 1955, when Fr. Ciszek got a letter to his sister in Pennsylvania, did anyone outside the Iron Curtain suspect he was alive. When he was sent back to the United States in 1963—traded for two Russian agents—it seemed like a return from the dead.

Ciszek died for real on December 8, 1984, at age eighty, two decades after being released. But in between these two demises, he underwent a death—and a resurrection—of quite another sort.

This is the real drama of the priest’s lost years: how he died to self-will and self-reliance, and rose again through trust in God and his loving care. Recounted in his two books, With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me, the story of Walter Ciszek is a powerful witness to what can happen when a person—you, me, anyone—decides to live by faith. Continue Reading.

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