Basil plays hide-and-seek in Blunderland

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Cardinal Basil Hume, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has described his spiritual life as "more a wandering in Blunderland than a resting and relaxing in Wonderland."

In his new book, Basil in Blunderland", published today, the Cardinal gives a frank account of how he finds it difficult to pray, adding that "to realise that we are inept and that we blunder is healthy". He likens a relationship with God to a game of hide-and-seek. Praying, he says, is "like telephoning somebody who appears to be deaf and apparently has nothing to say," but is, nevertheless, for everyone.

In the prologue, he refers to the Caucus-race organised by the Dodo in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. When Alice asked "What is a Caucus- race?", the Dodo replied: "The best way to explain is to do it," and, at the end of the race, the Dodo declared: "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes."

Both statements are, in the Cardinal's view, "profoundly theological". "In God's world everybody wins, but ... you have to join the race. If you refuse to run in God's race, you won't get a prize."

- Clare Garner

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