I HAVE SEEN YOUR TEARS by Bernard Haring ($6.95)


Subtitled: "Notes of Support From a Fellow Sufferer". "I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Indeed, I will heal you..." (2 Kings 20:5) In the 1970's and 1980's, Fr. Haring faced not only a painful examination of his work by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but also a long and death-defying battle with cancer of the throat, which eventually caused him to lose his voice and learn to speak anew. Gives consolation to the sick and stretches out a helping hand to those who look after them. Chapters include: Cancer and Denial, Gratitude Drives Out Fear, Work Nourishes Health, Living with Death, Sickness Is Not God's Vengeance and Suffering Is Worth the Trouble, among others.

Everyone experiences some form of sorrow or sickness. It is an integral part of humanity. Drawing on his own struggle with chronic illness, an internationally renowned theologian offers a consoling perspective on suffering. Each of us handles sickness and sorrow in different ways. Some may question their faith, others may turn to it. But we can find a fellowship of people who are acquainted with illness and then find comfort and strength through the sharing of our faith experiences.

It is just such sharing that prompted the author to write this book. With a storytelling approach, Father Häring presents a book that is a consolation for the sick and that stretches out a helping hand to those who look after them.

As one who has long suffered from a crippling illness, Häring asks the same questions faced by all believers: What help can we receive from faith? Should I expect our faith to provide healing? When healing fails to come, then what? Because Häring is a trained theologian who instructs seminary students, he has spent a lifetime drinking in the wisdom of biblical and historic resources. His gift in I Have Seen Your Tears is to distill the wisdom that has worked best for his own struggles and offer it to others.

The most valuable lesson Häring has to offer may surprise some. It is the strength which comes when fellow-sufferers tell each other how they are coping, particularly what they are learning about life and faith.

Häring shares his own experiences with candor, detailing the range of emotions he has felt, from anger and depression to resignation, serenity, and even joy. He describes the effects of his own chronic pain with a realism that will hearten fellow sufferers. In the end, Häring's suffering will not heal, like that of many who struggle with chronic illness. Along the way, however, he has discovered a deeper faith than most whose lives are far easier. And he communicates that faith in a profound, moving, yet simple manner.

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