The Prayer by Oskar Klausenstock - Read Online
The Prayer
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An old Irish priest, dying in a hospital in Boston, meets a young Jewish man, a doctor in training. Although they don’t know it yet, they have little in common—except for their painful pasts. Still, Dr. K (his Polish last name is unpronounceable to the nurses) agrees to sit vigil on what could be Father O’Malley’s final night of mortality.

The priest soon speaks, reliving his bloody past in Ireland, where he fought in a failed revolution of 1916 as one of the rebels. Dr. K, a former inmate of multiple Nazi concentration camps, can relate to the old man’s sense of failure. He was unable to save his family from the camps and is now the last remaining member of that family.

In their conversation, Father O’Malley makes it clear that despite differences in faith, all men bleed red blood and all men deserve redemption. O’Malley prays he will see the sun of one more day—a final sign of God’s eternal forgiveness for past mistakes. Dr. K faces the guilt he has tried hard to forget. By morning, they are changed men; by morning, if they’re lucky, the Lord will hear them both.
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