Is God your GPS? Print
In Your Name
Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

In Your Name by Deacon Jack

In the past year a family set out to get to a place in a mountainous area using a new GPS system. While the system could tell them which roads would be the shortest, it could not tell which roads were the safest to travel in difficult conditions.

In our spiritual journey, we have a divinely inspired life direction system which tells us in advance of hazardous conditions as well as the best way to go, each and every day.

God provides us direction so we will be faithful in our everyday duties: "Be still and know" -- God is working even when we question if, how, and why/what God is working.

Priest wants to serve in Russia

God gave one young man a lifelong sense from earliest novitiate that he was called to serve in Russia. This Catholic priest, Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J., later found himself in a Russian prison camp, despised, rejected, and shunned after he had committed himself to a lifetime of serving the people of Russia.

Father Ciszek had left his seminary in Pennsylvania to respond to a Vatican call for men to train in Rome, later to go into Russia and evangelize the Russian people.

After his ordination, he went to Poland because entry into Russia was not possible at that time. During years serving in Poland, Russia overran Poland and Father Ciszek found himself still in Poland but now ruled by Russia and not free to serve God openly.

Eventual imprisonment in Russia led to his recognition that nothing that he had projected for his priestly work was seemingly forthcoming. The Communist reign had saturated the people with a scorn for the Catholic faith and priests in particular.

Response to his imprisonment

God's response to his daily prayers in the midst of this unbelievably disheartening situation led to his recognition that he was still a priest. Instead of his seeking admiration, consolation, and respect, the other prisoners needed someone who could console them and show them love and respect even if they rejected and shunned him.

Christ has set the example, so Father Ciszek could be an example of Christian charity and concern; he could pray for other prisoners and offer up his sufferings and anguish that their rejection caused him.

Father Ciszek knew God (his GPS) was not asking the impossible of him or of any one of us. God asks each of us, every day, to see those suffering around us and difficult situations as ordained by His providence.

Following Christ's example

God is asking us to do something, as another Christ, to forget self and to act after the example of Christ Himself. Christ is asking us to forget about "our powerlessness against the system" and to look instead to the immediate needs of those around us, this day, in order that we might do everything in our power to do by prayer and example.

It is all we have to do, but it is plenty . . . and it cannot be done while we sit feeling sorry for ourselves. Nor are we powerless to do it, for it is within our power to do it and we can count on His grace to sustain us.

Not the least of His graces is the light to see and understand this truth, to see that this day, like all days of our life, comes from His hands and serves a purpose in His providence.

God Positioning System

God is our God Positioning System (GPS), and through our trust and daily faithfulness, God can guide us to those to be helped to build up the Kingdom.

In 1 Peter 3:18-4:11, we are told, "You are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God. . . . Above all, let your love for one another be constant, for love covers a multitude of sins."

To God be glory and dominion as we seek to do His will -- to no longer live for ourselves but that Jesus lives within us -- in our new life each day. Amen! Alleluia!

Deacon Jack is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Madison.