Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek certainly knew what it was to despair.
He was captured by the Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy.” He spent some twenty-three agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. In his deeply personal story, He Leadeth Me, he relates how it was only through an utter reliance on God’s will that he managed to endure.
And yet he tells of the courage he found in prayer – a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek recalls, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amid the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him.
Sadly, I think we are not only currently experiencing a period of great despair in our own Country,
but also that we are in need of profound prayer in our World today.