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This book is riveting and should be required reading for history majors.
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His poetic verse creates "soudade" (Capeverdean for longing for) for a time of strong community ties. A must read in understanding the "Soul and Spirit" of the American-Capeverdean.
Whispers of the Past- It will tell you something.
Easy to follow and like his style in writing.
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World Peace. Fr Hans Kung says, "there can never be peace until the three tributarys of monotheasim can join in prayer to the ONE Father. Cardinal Bernardin leads the way to understanding of that faithful fact. jmk
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If you loved Cardinal Bernadin as we in Chicago did, you will of course love this book. But even if this is your first encounter, you will come to know him like a dear friend -- and learn much from his humility, his prayerfulness, his humiliation and exoneration, and his very public suffering and passing.
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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.
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. The same helplessness I nervously experienced when the heart specialist began taking my history. The Cardinal acknowledged then, as I did also, the state of great anxiety as patients wait to hear from doctors what their fate will be. "God was teaching me yet again just how little control we really have and how important it is to trust in him."
The Cardinal describes how terrible illness changes lives - - not only the life of the person carrying it, but also the lives of friends and family members who love and care for that person. We follow in the book's narrative the Cardinal's trajectory along illness as described by Therese A. Rando: keeping alive, understanding and acknowledging the illness, experiencing the pain, framing realistic expectations and completing unfinished business.
And in the midst of the Cardinal's struggle, he continued his own ministry to others with cancer. "Somehow when you make eye contact," he says, "when you convince people that you really care - - that at that particular moment they are the only ones that count - - then you establish a new relationship." It is all about entering into an intimacy with those we minister to, however brief, forever permanent.
Jesus learned this lesson from the Canaanite woman to whom he first avoided, saying he was sent to minister only to the house of Israel." She continued to confront him, to engage him. She established a relationship that from that moment forward propelling Jesus' ministry beyond Israel to embrace all the nations. For ministry, the Cardinal concludes, is about imparting a sense that "somehow you truly care and have somehow mediated the love, mercy and compassion of the Lord."
Ministry to the dying is all about strengthening the relationship between each person and God. I understand that each of our ministerial encounters is unique. Our need for healing is no different in dying than in living - - however the more apparent and actively sought out for. I strive to go to the bedside with practical skills fashioned around a dynamic toolbox of appropriate pastoral applications.
A dynamic shaped by what the Cardinal would call prayer and prayer's search for peace. Peace that accompanies recognition, acceptance, reconciliation. And as a pastor, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin offers us a simple prayer that we may find the gift of peace. It is in the journey toward death's great mystery that we call out to the Lord for peace. The peace that finds voice in prayer. Prayer that nourishes. Prayer that heals. Prayer that reconciles. Prayer that brings us to salvation.