Bernadette’s Testament of Gratitude

Recently I was having dinner with a friend who spoke to me about Tadeusz Dajczer’s book The Gift of Faith.

My friend had found this among the most startling and edifying spiritual books he’d read. In particular, he had been struck by the inclusion of St. Bernadette’s “Testament of Gratitude.”

Written shortly before her death from illness at a young age, my friend initially thought this “testament” was rather sarcastic and facetious.

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The Longest Line to See Nothing

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is a place to which thousands of pilgrims flock every day to see what isn’t there.

It is quite amusing, in fact, to wait in line for hours in order to see a place that you know to be empty.

Life is filled with a great many paradoxes. It is a paradox that the cross, which was an instrument of torture, became an instrument of divine reconciliation and the most enduring symbol of Christian faith. It is a paradox that the empty tomb became the sign of the fullness of Christian hope – that we “will not all die, but we will all be changed” and that “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

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