Laboring prayer

The angel Raphael, speaking of the architect William of Sens as he works on the Canterbury Cathedral, in Dorothy Sayers’ The Zeal of Thy House:

“Behold, he prayeth; not with the lips alone,
But with the hand and with the cunning brain
Men worship the Eternal Architect.
So, when the mouth is dumb, the work shall speak
And save the workman. True as a mason’s rule
And line can make them, the shafted columns rise
Singing like music; and by day and night
The unsleeping arches with perpetual voice
Proclaim in Heaven, to labour is to pray.”

Let it be so, in these meager hours when I offer words on a page, or play a child’s game when I’d rather read, or bring down, as I go now to do, a dead tree for firewood. Let these labors be prayer, and let the prayers be counted worthy.


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