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Careful what you pray for

December 20th, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology

“You that cry out so loud for right and justice,
Do you mean justice? deed and word and thought
Judges in yourselves by one eternal measure
Of absolute and incorruptible right?
I do not think so. When you call for justice
You would make God your bailiff, to collect
Your legal dues; but not your almoner,
Still less your judge. Alas! you cannot bend
God to your service; yet He may hear prayers–
Sometimes His vengeance is a granted prayer,
When a corrupt heart gains its whole desire
And finds itself in Hell. Children, take heed,
And do not pray for justice; you might get it.”

Dorothy Sayers, “The Just Vengeance,” in Four Sacred Plays