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He had always loved her feet,

was come.

and now he might kiss them of right.

The old priest came smiling in and took Fernando gently away to make his confession. It was made in a few minutes, almost before the lad knew he had begun; then they went to the chapel, and the boy made his profession of faith; he hardly heard his own words, for an echo in his ear: "Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee." Peter grieved at himself, at being no better than he was, cried thus to Him who knew. Denials, cowardice, failures, Christ knew them all, and knowing all knew more-that in spite of all the man loved Him. Only the echo was a variant "Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I do believe it all."

Then came conditional baptism and absolution, and absolution from excommunication, and Fernando was a Catholic.

The Mass that followed seemed different from any he had heard yet It belonged to him and he to it. Already he understood it better, differently. Only those who can remember know what the first Mass one hears as a Catholic is like. The hearer is not that only, or a witness only; he is part of it. His life passes into it, and is merged in it.

The

God who offers it to God is Himself a man, and He has suddenly seized upon your own manhood and made it a part of His, and you and He are offering together.

At the end, down in the vestibule, they who had come to be present drew close, with friendly, brotherly congratulations, as though they said "You are one of us. You are come into our family, and henceforth will dwell in our house with us."

And behind them stood an innumerable company all the martyrs and saints, the great dynasty of popes, the vast unnumbered body of Catholics in all ages: all smiling encouragingly, and with the same word in their eyes," You are one of us.”

JOHN LONG, LTD., PUBLISHERS, LONDON 1918
BRISTOL: BURLEIGH LED., AT THE BURLEIGH PRESS

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