Today is Fr. Roman Braga's 40th day ~
that is the 40th day since he fell asleep in the Lord
on April 28th of this year, 2015.
I wish I could be at Holy Dormition Monastery for this memorial but
it was not possible.
This past week I was able to go to a closer monastery,
St. Tikhon's and it was so comforting to
hear Fr. Roman prayed for in the liturgy and vigil service
that I was at.
I felt, in hearing him so prayed for, that
not only was he being remembered
but all of us who loved Fr. Roman Braga were
being remembered and prayed for as well.
Simply said, it made me feel cared for.
I never had the honour of taking to Fr. Roman for more
than a minute or so to get his blessing,
but once, right outside the dining hall, I got his blessing
and he smiled and said to me:
make yourself at home here [at the monastery]
and I felt so loved and blessed, as if
everything was suddenly very much full of sunshine.
I still remember my first time at Holy Dormition Monastery
and how it was my first Sunday after I was chrismated and
Fr. Roman gave instructions for preparation for Holy Communion
in Romanian and they were translated into English...
I remember his joy, his jokes and laughter at the table once
when I was there with very few people
and I esp. remember how he prayed in church
during that Lenten period of Great Lent.
I have to this day never heard anyone else pray the
prayer of St. Ephraim with so much contrition,
that Fr. Roman really knew himself to be a sinner.
I remember many times watching him in church,
knowing he was praying.
As I wrote earlier, it was enough to see him
and to just know he was praying to God
and also praying the Jesus Prayer.
It is like a child seeing their Father,
who they know in their very bones, is
a good Father who does good and
is one they can trust
to care for them,
succour them, guide, teach
and love them.
For me, while the older I get the more shadowed realizations
of my own inward poverty, it was always a real comfort to know
that Fr. Roman prays so deeply.
It is the reassurance that one has knowing
that their Father is there
and that everything,
will be taken care of
and that they can be at peace.
I told someone at church,
and I know I am not alone in thinking it,
that while there is real grief and loss at Fr. Roman's passing,
especially for those who were close to him,
yet it was happy, as so many of us dream of the day
that Fr. Roman's day of death, April 28th,
will be his new Saint's day
for us on earth while he is praying for us in heaven.
May God so grant and may we have Fr. Roman's blessing!
Memory Eternal dear and beloved Fr. Roman
and may God remember you in His Kingdom
and may we have your prayers and blessing!