Sister Barbara Ann Bielenberg shared this reflection in a recent employee newsletter for St. Mary’s Hospital and Clearwater Valley Hospital Clinic, where she serves as mission director:

Drink, Steal, Swear, and Lie (the four things you need to do in life)

One day I was talking with Sr. Maria Elena Schaefers. She really amazes me and is such a delightful person to be around. At 90, she can hardly see a thing, doesn’t hear very well, but has a sharp mind, and is a very positive and caring woman. She still goes up to the prison with someone once a week and visits the prisoners. She has a beautiful gift for this.

Sister told me that she tells the prisoners, that the important things THEY NEED to do in life are: Drink, Steal, Swear, and Lie. You need to DRINK each day from the everlasting cup of life, some verses from the Bible. STEAL a moment each day to do something for someone who is less fortunate in some way than you are. SWEAR (not cuss) to do one thing better today than you did yesterday. When you LIE down at night, thank God for the good things you and your family received today, ask for forgiveness for what you have done wrong, and then turn over and go to sleep.

Thanks, Sister Maria Elena, for your help here. I love you!