Surrender is the true story of the vocation of an American Jesuit priest, accused by the Soviet era K.G.B. of being a Vatican spy, who survived fifteen years of hard labor in Siberian prison camps. Father Walter Ciszek not only survived but learned to surrender to God’s Providence.
Surrender is a narrative digest book based entirely on Father Ciszek’s two books: With God in Russia, (1964), published one year after his release from Russia, and his second book, He Leadeth Me, (1973), published nine years later. Surrender interweaves these two books and telescopes the most dramatic events of Father Ciszek’s vocation and steadfast fidelity to that calling through the crucible of unjust imprisonment following the end of World War II.
The profound insights of Father Ciszek’s second book illuminate the grim facts of his first book. Surrender attempts to highlight the evolution of spiritual wisdom in He Leadeth Me, embedded in the harsh events depicted in With God in Russia. Hopefully, through the relative brevity of Surrender, the major chords of Father Ciszek’s heroic embrace of God’s Providence in the most extreme conditions will resonate. The reason why Father Ciszek’s cause for Canonization, the process of declaration of Sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church, is currently proceeding should be abundantly evident.
Surrender describes not the triumph of human will-power but the freedom of total dependence on God. The paradox of power to love is only born in the powerlessness of surrender of self-will to God’s Providence.
Written by: Seamus Dockery