Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Gift of Peace by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

From the dust jacket: 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.

The Cardinal's message throughout the book is turning to prayer for relief. He encourages young seminarians by urging them to develop a "strong prayer life in their best moments so that they can be sustained in their weaker moments".

This was the quote that resonated with me:

"Pray while you are well, because if you wait until you're sick you might not be able to do it."

This is so true for me. I tend to pray only in anguish. I do have some set times for prayer like the hour a week I set aside for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. But my most fervent prayer is always in desperation. I see that lack of sustained prayer coming back again to kick me in the rear. I prayed so regularly for my children the first weeks of school but then they all seemed to be settling in so I backed off; the prayer book stayed in my purse, I just stopped. But here I am facing three notes homes in three days about Tween and I think, what happened to my prayers? I can't say they went unanswered, they simply went unsaid.

Just a note - I have put the Kleenex away. This fourth book in a row with death as a major theme will wrap up the depressed/crying blog phase! I just finished a historical fiction novel and have a shelf full of upbeat,light reading to turn to for my next selection.

1 comment:

RAnn said...

Hi, I'm RAnn and I'm the host of Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival and I'd like to invite you to join us. You can see this week's edition at