Thus prayer is, for us, paradoxically, both a gift and a conquest, a grace a and a duty. But does that not mean, is it not a special case of the truth, that all duty is a gift, every call on us a blessing, and that the task we often find a burden is really a boon? When we look up from under it it is a load, but those who look down to it from God’s side see it as a blessing. It is like great wings — they increase the weight but also the flight. If we have no duty to do God has shut himself up from us. To be denied duty is to be denied God. No cross no Christ.