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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Gift of Peace: Personal Reflections Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 10, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A wonderful book celebrating and showing the way to peace.”
New York Newsday

Chicago Tribune

“A gem of a book.”
Publishers Weekly

“This is a book for people of all religions.”
Columbus Dispatch

“Very moving–written with simplicity and deep wisdom.”
Library Journal

"A gentle, personal voice."
USA Today

“This uplifting book testifies to a life well spent–The Cardinal shares with his readers a tremendous trust in the Lord that results in inner peace–Simple true words that can give us all a deeper sense of hope.”

“Overflows with strength and compassion–Bernardin's recipe for personal peace transcends organized religion.”
–Paul Reid, Palm Beach Post

“In his final testament, Cardinal Bernardin urges the dying to bask in the light of each other.”

“We come to know a humble man who touched many people with love and compassion, without judgment.”
Hartford Courant

From the Inside Flap

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin's gentle leadership throughout his life of ministerial service had made him an internationally beloved figure, but the words he left behind about his final journey would change the lives of many more people from all faiths, from all backgrounds, and from all over the world.
In the last two months of his life, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin made it his ultimate mission to share his personal reflections and insights as a legacy to those he left behind. "The Gift of Peace reveals the Cardinal's spiritual growth amid a string of traumatic events: a false accusation of sexual abuse; reconciliation a year later with his accuser, who had earlier recanted the charges; a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and surgery; the return of cancer, now in his liver; his decision to discontinue chemotherapy and live his remaining days as fully as possible. In these pages, Bernardin tells his story openly and honestly, and shares the profound peace he came to at the end of his life. He accepted his peace as a gift from God, and he in turn now shares that gift with the world.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Gift of Peace
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Image; 1 edition (November 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385494343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385494342
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Recently I lost my father to a 10 year bout with cancer. This book provided me with joy, tears and abudance within a month of my own fathers death. Cardinal Bernardin was a remarkable man who had the courage to face his accusers, his illness and ulitmately his death. He has reconfirmed that faith, hope, love, forgivenss and kindness is the very essentials of what life needs to be about. It is clear from the Cardinal as it was from my experience with my own father that even when you think you are at your darkest human hour you need to reach out and make a difference every single day until your final moment in this part of your journey here on earth.
This book is a must read for anyone who has doubted that there is peace in death. He reconfirms that the lessons most important in life are to continue to give of yourself every day despite the adversities you face. In his illness, through his false accusation and his wonderful rediscovery of a deeper faith in Christ it makes accepting God's plan for you important.
Anyone who has an ill parent or someone close to them should read this book it will give you a much clearer spiritual understanding of illness, death and living every moment under God's plan.
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Format: Paperback
Joseph Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago was one of the leading lights of the Roman Catholic church through the past few decades; in the last three years of his life (he died in 1996) he endured the beginnings of the scandals of the church (including accusations, later proved false, against himself) as well as a recurring battle with cancer. Through all of this, Bernadin was able to find peace, and it was the peace of God, a peace that is a gift and grace from God.
While the issue of the false accusation is the first piece of the text, it does not dominate it. After a few pages, it is over and done with. One wonders at such power of forgiveness. Perhaps it was in response to the next, final battle that became much more dominant. Prominent throughout the book is the battle with cancer. Bernadin speaks of his own struggles and fears, but puts these in perspective as he became acquainted with the others who were getting treatment with him. He became, in his words, an unofficial chaplain to the other cancer patients. Bernadin struggled to maintain his sense of faith that all who similarly suffer must endure - as Bernadin said, it was finally time to practice what he preached! He renewed his sense of the importance of prayer, and his sense of ministry. While his post-operative treatments would only require ten minutes, he often found his visits would last for hours, as he visited with others. When the hospital staff offered to make private entrance and exit arrangements so that he would not be `disturbed', he countered with the observation, `I'm a priest first, a patient second.'
Bernadin shares letters he received from other cancer patients, their families and friends, all added to his prayer list. It grew from the handful of people he met to well over 700 names in a very short time.
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Format: Paperback
America was drawn to the story of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin when he publicly shared with the community of the Archdiocese of Chicago the news that his liver cancer was inoperable on August 30, 1996. The Cardinal wrote The Gift of Peace to share his thoughts on the last three years of his life. His writing reflects the principal role of a Roman Catholic bishop - - the teaching office, to nourish within the community the principles of faith illustrated by the realities that present themselves in the course of everyday life.
Like most Americans outside of Chicago, I first learned about the Cardinal in the news coverage that accompanied his last year on the front pages of the newspapers. He wanted to walk with the community as he confronted his death. Sharing with the community both the pain of his illness and the discoveries of the intellect that bridged for him, first acceptance of his terminal illness, and then the process of personal reconciliation of his life journey.
There are so many books upon the shelves of Amazon.com on the topic of Death and Dying. None of them adequate to the task of being "how to's", but offering reasonable guidance for that most personal of tasks, confronting personal death and death in the family. Yet, I keep coming back to The Gift of Peace. Perhaps, because of the Cardinal's one-to-one conversation by which he engages the reader.
For those of us that can prepare for death, a struggle may develop as we form a personal inner conversation to embrace with grace and maturity and purpose our changed fortune. The Cardinal models in the journey of his illness the direction our own path may take.
Upon hearing the first fateful news of his illness, the Cardinal experienced a feeling of helplessness.
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Format: Paperback
This book touches the heart and inspires peace. It's insight into the sacred human elements of dying reveals a deep seeded peace that lies within. It is a gift. This peace sustains us through any transition in life. It is the same peace that brings life out of death. It is eternal love. -- Samuel Oliver, author of, WHAT THE DYING TEACH US: LESSONS ON LIVING.
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