Fr. Walter J. Ciszek S.J. wrote:

Though our situation may have been somewhat unique, the temptation [to give up] was not. It is the same temptation faced by everyone who has followed a call and found that the realities of life were nothing like the expectations he had in the first flush of his vision and his enthusiasm. It is the temptation that comes to anyone, for example, who has entered religious life with a burning desire to serve God and him alone, only to find that the day-to-day life in religion is humdrum and pedestrian, equally as filled with moments of human misunderstanding, daily routines, and distractions.

It is the same temptation faced by young couples in marriage, when the honeymoon is over, and they must face a seemingly endless existence in the same old place and the same old way. It is the temptation to say: “This life is not what I thought it would be. This is not what I bargained for. It is not at all what I wanted, either. If I had known it would be like this, I would have never made this choice, I would have never made this promise. You must forgive me, God, but I want to go back. You cannot hold me to a promise made in ignorance; you cannot expect me to keep a covenant based on faith without any previous knowledge of the true facts of life. It is not fair. I never thought it would be like this. I simply cannot stand it, and I will not stay. I will not serve.”

And then one day, together, it dawned on Father Nestrov and me. God granted us the grace to see the solution to our dilemma. It was the grace quite simply to look at our situation from his viewpoint rather than from ours. It was the grace not to judge our efforts by human standards, or by what we ourselves wanted or expected to happen, but rather according to God’s design, with the real world ordained by God and governed ultimately by his will…. Not the will of God as we might wish it, or as we might have envisioned it, or as we thought in our poor human wisdom it ought to be. But rather the will of God as God envisioned it and revealed it to us each day in the created situations with which he presented us.

His will for us was the twenty-four hours of each day: the people, the places, the circumstances he set before us in that time. Those were the things God knew were important to him and to us at that moment, and those were the things upon which he wanted us to act. These things, the twenty-four hours of this day, were his will; we had to learn to recognize his will in the reality of the situation and to act accordingly.

We had to learn to look at our daily lives, at everything that crossed our path each day, with the eyes of God; learning to see his estimate of things, places, and above all people, recognizing that he had a goal and a purpose in bringing us into contact with these things and these people, and striving always to do that will—his will—every hour of every day in the situations in which he had placed us. For to what other purpose had we been created? For what other reason had he so arranged it that we should be here, now, this hour, among these people? To what other end had he ordained our being here, if not to see his will in these situations and to strive to do always what he wanted, the way he wanted it, as he would have done it, for his sake, that he might have the fruit and glory?

Photo credit to my sister Megan Wiedel (who wrote this book.)