Death of a Friend
Our Sister Ann Miriam stepped into the embrace of the Good Shepherd on April 22 - one month ago today. In loving tribute to her and all those who have made this journey to the Father we share this reflection by our good friend, spiritual father and diocesan priest - Msgr. Bernard Powers.
GOOD SHEPHERD PSALM
(Death of a friend)
May the Lord be your Shepherd picking you up in his arms, carrying you in love, bringing you home.
May you not want for the fullness of life, full like the Fall’s harvest... for the beauties of heaven, nor for the glories of life eternal.
In verdant pastures… in the company of the saints, in the presence of the angels, in the joyful kingdom of heaven
May He give you repose: peace before the throne of God… joy in seeing God face to face… celebration with the hosts of heaven.
Beside restful waters may He lead you... Into the splendor of the Father… into the risen life of the Son of God... into the beautiful and fascinating love of God the Holy Spirit.
May he refresh your soul removing all fear even the fear of dying… giving exciting joy, a joy that has a fullness… removing all sin, even the smallest… giving a fullness of the sacred, the very gift of God.
May he guide you in right paths guide you into mysteries that open like the beauty of a rose… guide you into celebrations that raise your song in song, greater than the music of the universe.
For His name’s sake for His honor… for His glory… May your presence before God glorify God.
Even though you walk in the dark valley or step forth into the unknown and the unexplored… Even though you let go of all material things, even physical life or experience the very darkness of death
May you fear no evil… but know the presence of the Redeeming Christ and the warmth of the Risen Lord… May you have the protection of the angels and the personal care of Mary and Joseph.
May he be at your side This Lord Jesus who is the Master of your life... This Lord Jesus who is the faithful Friend… This Lord Jesus who conquers death and opens the riches of holiness…
May he be at your side with his rod and his staff… With the graces of forgiveness and the graces of adornment… with the victory of the Cross and the gift of the Resurrection
May he give you courage to leave this world graciously and freely… to give your life generously Into his hands... to entrust yourself to the Father as you experience the Passover.
May he set a table before you A wedding feast, prepared for a bride… a banquet of love, prepared for the beloved… a heavenly banquet … to which you are invited.
May he set this table in the sight of your foes... your suffering and your sorrow… your sin and Satan… your dying and even your very death.
May He anoint your head with oil and crown you with glory and give you the robe of salvation… and adorn you with immortality.
May your cup overflow with excitement in new discoveries… with gratitude for the gift of salvation... with happiness in seeing friends who have gone before.
May only goodness and kindness follow you descend upon you overshadow you… embrace you… transform you
All the days of your life but especially this day, this day of dying and death… but especially this day, this day of Passover from this world to the next… Yes, this day, this day of beginning, of new creation, of resurrection.
May your dwell in the house of the Lord in freedom beyond suffering... in love beyond limit… in life without end… in the very fullness of the Triune God.
For years to come... Yes, even more, for all eternity where there is no more time…
Today, may the Lord be your Shepherd and hold you lovingly in the palm of his hand. Amen
Msgr. Bernard Powers