From The Spies of Warsaw, one of Alan Furst’s compulsively readable spy “noir” thrillers set in Europe on the eve of World War II:

For Mercier, it was the ceremony of the mass that eased his soul: the sweetish smoke trailing from the censer, the ringing of the bell, the Latin incantations of the priest. In Warsaw, he attended early mass, at a small church near the apartment, once or twice a month, confessing to his vocational sins – duplicity, for example – in the oblique forms provided by Catholic protocol. He’d grown up an untroubled believer, but the war put an end to that. What God could permit such misery and slaughter? But, in time, he had found consolation in a God beyond understanding and prayed for those he’d lost, for those he loved, and for an end to evil in the world.

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