Priestblock 25487 by Jean Bernard is the auto-biographical account of Fr. Jean Bernard a Priest from Luxembourg who was arrested and imprisoned by Nazi Germans at Dachau from January 1941 until August 1942. The book is an incredibly lucid and detailed account of his 20 months of imprisonment, torture and deprivation. Fr. Bernard leaves us a great gift with his observation and insight into the psyches and the spiritual lives that he and his fellow Priests led while subject some of the most brutal treatment that humanity can provide.
This story goes to the heart of what being a Christian means. He Accepts the unacceptable and thanking God while being beaten, starved and worked to death. He watches as some resist to the point of insanity and others lose not only Christian virtue but seemingly all humanity. He himself fails in virtue and in action, but wills himself to chose his humiliation rather than lose the battle for his mind and soul.
This example helps me to be more willing to chose a little suffering voluntarily, joyfully relying on God' grace to help me. And truthfully I need God's grace to even make it through on afternoon without a snack. Each of the 70 times a day I reach for the crackers, or pretzels, or raisins, or chips it is only by asking for God's grace that I can manage even such a pathetic mortification. Thinking of the experiences of Fr. Bernard watching his friends, fellow Priests, die of starvation and infection without medical care amid stench and filth helps me to ask Jesus for enough love to bear some little suffering
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