Catholic Soup is a food for thought blog based website designed to provide Catholic insight through personal experience.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Brother's Keeper


For the past few days, one of the monks here at the Monastery has been in the Hospital battling his last few days here on the earth. On September 1st, Brother Joseph Lawrence Niichel, O.S.B., entered eternal life. The brothers of his life, the monks, prayed with him before his death, prayed for the intercession of all saints, he was given his last rights and prayer for a great and peaceful death. As Br. Joseph laid there in bed, the Abbot of the Monastery came over, leaned over to his ear and said, "Brother Joseph, as your Prefect, Brother and Abbot I give you permission to let your spirit go, and pray for us you leave behind." Less than five minutes later, He rested.

Today, I was asked to be pallbearer for the 71 year old fellow. I was honored, I have never done it before with any of my family members who have deceased. To do it for the first time for Br. Joseph is a privilege and honor. As we carried the casket down the isle to the cemetery, even when we lowered the casket I remember thinking about what this man did in his life, where he was at, what his last thought was, or his last word. It was all visual for me, I remember just picturing him in mass when I saw him in his motor chair.
When we were lowering the casket into the ground, I was proud enough to smile for him being Brother and me helping to be his keeper.

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