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The Gift of Peace: Personal Reflections Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 10, 1998
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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“A wonderful book celebrating and showing the way to peace.”
–New York Newsday
“A gem of a book.”
“This is a book for people of all religions.”
“Very moving–written with simplicity and deep wisdom.”
"A gentle, personal voice."
“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.”
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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The story of the allegations and their later withdrawal is a small part of the recollections he shares with us in his very personal and intimate style. The major thrust of the book concerns his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and how he struggled with his fate and rediscovered a newer and stronger faith in God. In a very heartfelt way he discusses his understanding of suffering---not merely its inevitability but also its purpose and redemptive value. He recalls quite vividly the words Jesus used at the Last Supper, knowing that in a matter of hours he would be crucified. "Love one another. Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you as my disciples: your love for one another." Cardinal Bernardin lived these words, most completely in the last three years of his life, the period covered by this remembrance.
As noted by others, this book comes as close as any to a person describing their final days on earth and preparing to enter the kingdom of God. Cardinal Bernardin finished the book on November 1, 1996 and died thirteen days later on November 14, 1996. Even if you have never heard of him, you will be inspired by his poignant recounting of a life well spent and discovering the great gift of inner peace amidst tragedy.
For me the whole book is a commentary on what he says on the first page. He learned to "let go." the rest is all a way of living a CHristian life from this point of view; not be attached to anything but keep your eyes on God alone.
Based on the Gospel of Jesus, this ability of "letting go" is the secret of Christian life; to allow God to work in us and through us require that we learn how to discern His will. Once we do this, we can live our lives without letting the storms determine the direction of our journey.
Cardinal Bernardin learned this the hard way.
I read the book in a couple of hours but had to go back again over and over to let the truth of his experience sink in my own heart.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter titles: they used his own handwriting. It was his wish. I liked that he reclaimed beauty (handwriting) in a world that was being destroyed by the ugliness of his illness.
easy read, thought provoking, life changing book.
Most recent customer reviews
The actual writing was substandard.