Just a closer walk with thee, grant it, Jesus is my plea. Daily walking close to thee let it be, dear Lord let it be.” Refrain from an American Folk song.)
You will read about our beloved Sister Mildred in this issue. She was a rock, a powerful woman of faith and prayer. She understood her fragility. We knew her goodness.
We all knew her favorite song was “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” We sang it often as our opening at Vespers. On my part, I witnessed Sister singing prayerfully these lyrics of this song by heart as in her aging situation she was less and less likely to see. Sister listened at Vespers to the rest of the prayers but always chimed in with this song. Somehow in December of 2017, in my heart and hers too, we felt the end was near.
For some time after December, she still came to Vespers. It was at this time and during the times she could no longer come, that the lyrics of her favorite song began to speak to me more profoundly. I not only thought of Mildred but I found myself before the Blessed Sacrament praying that prayer during my evening contemplative time before the Lord. It became my mantra as I began to realize how much I wanted a closer and closer relationship to Jesus also. Why did I want it? Because the Lenten season challenges us to intentionally grow our relationship with the Lord. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons we have the season of Lent- to do what we can to more fully appreciate Jesus’ love for us, to allow ourselves to be changed, to become more like Jesus. When we work to embrace that challenge, Easter becomes real.
So I say thank you to Sister Mildred for gifting me the words to that song and her modeling of being Christ to others.
Life, death and Resurrection happen quite often at Villa St. Benedict. Between the family, staff, and caregivers - I call them care companions - we are able to witness and take part in many dying moments. While it is difficult, it is also rewarding. We see many being the face of Christ among us.
Our faith tells us that God gave His life that we might all journey to heaven to experience that Resurrection promised us where we will be embraced by the God for whom we have asked for “a closer walk with Thee.”
God bless you,
Sister Mary Bratrsovsky, OSB
Cell Phone: (630) 750-6010 or firstname.lastname@example.org