Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flannery O'Connor's Prayer Journal

“Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon . . .

“I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside . . .

“I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life; but I have been saying them and not feeling them. My attention is always very fugitive. This way I have it every instant. I can feel a warmth of love heating me when I think & write this to You.”
from A Prayer Journal

In 1946-47, Georgia author Flannery O'Connor kept a prayer journal that has been hidden until now. Discovered by Georgia State University emeritus professor William Sessions, it has been published and offers a most intimate glimpse of this beloved voice of the south.

Oddly enough, Jack and Chase were talking about a short story they read in their AP English class. The story was about a family who had been killed by a serial killer while they were on a road trip. It was vaguely familiar to me, so I asked the name of it. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by O'Connor. I had read this collection of short stories several months ago, and didn't enjoy it. However, new insight into this author, who died so young at the age of 39 from lupus, has reignited my desire to give it another chance.

I love this summary of herself: “Today I have proved myself a glutton—for Scotch oatmeal cookies and erotic thought,” she writes. “There is nothing left to say of me.”

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