"And in the last two years Fr. Roman experienced again a loss of freedom and ability as he
became ill. He remarked that dying was difficult. Little by little things were stripped away from him. First, he could no longer serve the Liturgy. Then he could only come to services in a wheelchair. Eventually he couldn’t even do that and had to remain in his monastic cell where he still kept his rule of prayer. When he celebrated his 93rd birthday three weeks before his death, he was asked if it was okay to sing “Many Years” for him. He said, “No. I am only now beginning to learn to die.” So he took joy in the smallest things. When the nuns thought his time was near, he astonished them when he awoke and asked for ice cream. The joy he had at that simple treat made him say that monks are only children with beards. When he could no longer get out of bed and keep his prayer rule he said “God has to take over.” Finally, he could not even speak but wordlessly was able to make the sign of the cross in prayer. Now he added to his voluntary poverty of earthly things the poverty of his physical helplessness and confinement. He fulfilled Jesus’ words in Luke’s gospel, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (6:20)"
~homily from St. Nicholas Church in MI