Today is the eleventh anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.
The Gift of Peace is the book of reflections he wrote as he literally lay dying.
Here is an excerpt:

In the final analysis our participation in the paschal mystery -- in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus -- brings a certain freedom: the freedom to let go, to surrender ourselves to the living God, to place ourselves completely in his hands, knowing that ultimately he will win out! The more we cling to ourselves and others, the more we try to control our destiny -- the more we lose the true sense of our lives, the more we are impacted by the futility of it all. It's precisely in letting go, in entering into complete communion with the Lord, that we discover our true selves. It's in the act of abandonment that we experience redemption, that we find life, peace, and joy, in the midst of physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering.

This is the lesson we must first learn from Jesus before we can teach it to others.

Pacem aeternam dona ei, Domine.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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