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A Boy Knight by Martin J.

Daly touched her husband's arm and said


"But

it's the Missus I'm thinking about, Father. It will kill her. I can stand it. But she can't. Oh, if the good God had taken me instead!" He sighed heavily. "Of course, I feel Willie's going, too, almost as much as the mother, for I had just found him again. All these years he was lost to me, and mine the fault, the crime I should say, and it is God that is punishing me."

"I believe it, Michael. And He is punishing you here rather than hereafter. But His chastisements are different from men's. He draws good from His punishments. This will make a man of you, and you will save your soul. It brings God and His judgments before you. It shows you that we never know when He may call us, and that we should all be ready. Suppose He had called you suddenly two weeks ago, where would you be now?"

Michael said not a word. He just bowed his head.

Father Boone continued, "Be a man, Michael. Take your sorrow as chastisement from God. You deserve it, as you know. You did not appreciate the child God gave you, and He took him. Live now as a good man and husband. Don't worry over the Missus. Her faith will take care of her."

While he was speaking, Mrs. Daly came in. Turning to her, he said, "Mrs. Daly, I feel sorry for you and Michael, but I do not feel sorry for the boy. Willie is now with God. He died the way Christ wants His followers to die. He is with God

now. He would not exchange places with the most fortunate person in this world. He would not come back again if he could. God grant that you and I may finish our journey to eternity as acceptably as he has done!"

"Blessed be the holy will of God," responded the mother.

"Amen," said Michael.

"Now I am proud of you," declared the priest. "Your sorrow is great, but like true followers of Christ you carry your cross after Him. That is why He had His way of the Cross, so that when we have ours, we shall not be alone. Come into the front room and let us say a prayer for Willie's soul."

As they entered, the friends sitting around stood up. The six lads saying the beads continued their prayers, but on seeing Father Boone, they terminated the rosary at the decade they were saying.

When all was silence, the priest spoke out, "My dear people, let us all say the 'Our Father' for the repose of William's soul. When we come to 'Thy Will be done,' we shall pause for a moment, and dwell particularly on those words. All please kneel."

He began: "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Our Father....who art in heaven....hallowed be Thy name....Thy kingdom come....THY....WILL....BE DONE....on earth....as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread....and forgive us our trespasses....as we forgive those....who trespass against us....and lead us not into temptation....but deliver us from evil....Amen. May Willie's soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen."

He rose from his knees and quickly and quietly left the room. The boys soon followed, for it was late. One by one the others left, and the father and mother were alone with their dead. They sat silent for a long time. Then Mrs. Daly touched her husband's arm and said, "Michael, let us kneel down and say the 'Our Father,' the way Father Boone did."

Chapter VII


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