"I can say in all sincerity that I am at peace. I consider this as God's special gift to me."
--Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, announcing on August 30, 1996, that his cancer had returned after fifteen months of being in remission. The Cardinal died November 14, 1996.
In the final two months of his life, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin made it his mission to share his personal reflections and insights in this book, The Gift of Peace. Using as a framework the previous three years, which included false accusation of sexual misconduct, diagnosis of cancer, and return of the cancer after fifteen months of being in remission, Cardinal Bernardin tells his story openly and honestly. At the end of his life, the Cardinal was at peace. He accepted his peace as a gift from God, and through this book, he shares that gift with the world. The Gift of Peace is part of the Cardinal's pastoral legacy; through this book his ministry lives on.
From The Gift of Peace:
"The past three years have taught me a great deal about myself and my relationship to God, the Church, and others. . . . Within these major events lies the story of my life-- what I have believed and who I have worked hard to be. And because of the nature of these events, I have spirituality and gained insights that I want to share. By no means are these reflections meant to be a comprehensive autobiography. They are simply reflections from my heart to yours. I hope they will be of help to you in your own life so you too can enjoy the deep inner peace--God's wonderful gift to me--that I now embrace as I stand on the threshold of eternal life."I invite those who read this book to walk with me the final miles of my life's journey.
Peace and love,
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin