‘This story is much greater than we know and to despair (even if it is romanticised and made pretty with clever words) is to sulk, to sit on the fence, and to refuse the obvious: that life is “a mystery to be lived rather than a problem to be solved.”7 So we choose to “bet our lives upon one side in life’s great war“6 and to join with You in the sweet and patient work of grace like the priest who—faced with the overwhelming burden of the world’s suffering—refused to be intimidated by those who demanded that he first satisfy their criticisms of their own conveniently narrow understanding of God: a straw god in fact. Instead, like Christ, he chose to turn his back on their contempt and to “mine compassion”1a out of the pit of the world’s woes. Amen.’*

7Deborah Smith Douglas

6 Studdert Kennedy’s poem ‘Faith’

1aLes Miserable

*The Explorer’s Prayer: Part II