— Philip Pullman
Context: They lay back, well fed and comfortable in the flower-scented night, and listened to Mary tell her story.
She began just before she first met Lyra, telling them about the work she was doing at the Dark Matter Research group, and the funding crisis. How much time she’d had to spend asking for money, and how little time there’d been left for research!
But Lyra’s coming had changed everything, and so quickly: within a matter of days she’d left her world altogether.
"I did as you told me," she said. "I made a program — that’s a set of instructions — to let the Shadows talk to me through the computer. They told me what to do. They said they were angels, and — well…"
"If you were a scientist," said Will, "I don’t suppose that was a good thing for them to say. You might not have believed in angels."
"Ah, but I knew about them. I used to be a nun, you see. I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn’t any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all."
Will and Mary in Ch. 33 : Marzipan