Advent: Preparing to Meet God Face-to-Face


Sister Jozefa was known for her cookies and her loving, ever-present smile.

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

On the first Sunday of Advent, we are invited to prepare for the return of Christ, Christ our universal judge and savior.

It’s especially poignant for me this year.

Sister Jozefa had been ailing and so I stopped in to see her after dinner. She was sleeping, so I blessed her and spoke a few quiet, loving words. She died later in the evening.

Sister Jozefa was from Slovenia; she and her family were what were called Displaced Persons. During World War II, they suffered dreadfully, living  in a holding camp for 4 years before they came to the United States.

Coming to our community to help in our kitchen, Jozefa eventually became a  Benedictine Sister.

As I study the readings for this first Sunday of Advent, I am reminded that Sr. Jozefa followed St. Paul’s prescription for living a life of virtue, of “keeping our eyes and our heart fixed on the Lord Jesus.”

Her life was one of vigilance not only from political enemies (she once climbed a tree to avoid capture), but of vigilance for the Lord.

She lived the life of a Benedictine who keeps God ever before her eyes.

At 10:00 p.m., Sr. Jozefa met God face to face as He called her into the Kingdom of God.

Having Sr. Jozefa as a loving member of our community enables all of us to be alert to the signs of the times as we await the fullness of God’s salvation, when Christ will come to judge the living and the dead at the end of time.

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