Chago had listened reverently to the sermons. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
This was what he was doing now, and Hermiones apparition last night made him understand that it sort of worked. Indeed, it was a confort to know that for two thousand years, people did the same and felt a communion between the living and the dead. And
if we pray today for them and in their realm they pray for us
, the better. Hermione and him might be reunited, some day, in a better world.
She had sort of said it, even if not with these exact words, last night, when appearing to him. She was thinking of him, exactly how he was thinking of her. Prayer was just one step forth, and Josemas word about the liturgy as commemoration for the dead illuminated his thoughts again. He would leave Pepita enough money, before leaving, for having her commemorated at all masses. He could afford this, and he wanted it from all his heart.
Charity was, according to his brother, the next step in commemorating the beloved one who wasnt anymore with him. And making a substantial donation for the mission church in the jungle meant for him more than honouring Hermiones memory and his own mothers alike, who belonged to one of the tribes. It meant an atonement for the sins of his Army years as well. A part of the blood price he had received, going to wash the blood from his soul and not only. Yes, this was a good idea too, as Josema had read in the Holy Scriptures: From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
He was one of them.
He lived intensely the day in the cemetery. He knew that now a part of Hermiones soul and memory was there as well. He bowed his head when receiving his brothers blessing and continued the prayer:
Please, Lord, give all the departed souls eternal rest, and let Your everlasting light bright over them, so they may rest in peace. Allmerciful Father, please, take care of the souls in Purgatory, waiting for Your fair judgment! Remember Your endless love for them and show them the infinite qualities of Your beloved son. Free them of pain and sorrow, so that they can enjoy Your peace and the happiness of the place of eternal rest.
He knew already, from the novena
, most of the verses of this prayer. And there would be still time to learn them all by heart. The prayer gave him peace, both then and later, in the church, when alone with his brother, kneeled both in front of the altar.
When, late at night, overcome by tiredness, Chago fell in a deep slumber, Hermione appeared again in his dream. She was as beautiful as he had always known him, and as delicately smiling as in the day they had gone to admire the sea from the cliff above. Her words were sweet and encouraging, telling him that it was a good idea to leave her there, among his family, and that she felt welcome. That his prayers were the best proof of love now, and that God would look upon him with mercy and give him, some day, another woman to comfort him, a totally different one.
This made sense. Healing coming step by step, exactly how Josema and Old Garrick had told him. He still had to learn how to live every day without her, exactly how he had written in the letter, but at least he had his soul easier. He knew Hermione hadn't thought him to blame for what happened. He knew now, even if he was conflicted about it, that maybe God had different plans for the evil Fort Commander. And that he had to go forward, to find his peace and peace for Hermione's soul, somehow.
But what was the most important, he knew that his family was by his side, and that there was a ray of hope somewhere ahead. Somewhere in time.
[align=center] - Chago's story continues here
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