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By Flannery O'Connor

"I want to write a gorgeous prayer," writes the younger Flannery O'Connor during this deeply religious magazine, lately found between her papers in Georgia. "There is an entire brilliant international round me that I will be in a position to flip in your praise." Written among 1946 and 1947 whereas O'Connor was once a pupil faraway from domestic on the college of Iowa, A Prayer magazine is an extraordinary portal into the internal lifetime of the nice author. not just does it map O'Connor's singular dating with the divine, however it indicates how entwined her literary wish was once together with her craving for God. "I needs to write down that i'm to be an artist. no longer within the feel of aesthetic frippery yet within the feel of aesthetic craftsmanship; differently i'm going to suppose my loneliness consistently . . . i don't are looking to be lonely all my existence yet humans in basic terms make us lonelier through reminding us of God. expensive God please support me to be an artist, please permit it result in You."

O'Connor couldn't be extra undeniable approximately her literary ambition: "Please aid me pricey God to be a superb author and to get whatever else accepted," she writes. but she struggles with any hint of self-regard: "Don't allow me ever imagine, pricey God, that i used to be something however the tool to your story."

As W. A. periods, who knew O'Connor, writes in his creation, it was once no twist of fate that she started writing the tales that will develop into her first novel, Wise Blood, in the course of the years while she wrote those singularly inventive Christian meditations. together with a facsimile of the total magazine in O'Connor's personal hand, A Prayer Journal is the list of an excellent younger woman's coming-of-age, a cry from the center for romance, grace, and art.

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Extra resources for A prayer journal

Sample text

Help me to ask You, oh Lord, for what is good for me to have, for what I can have and do Your service by having. I have been reading Mr. Kafka and I feel his problem of getting grace. But I see it doesn’t have to be that way for the Catholic who can go to Communion every day. The Msgr. today said it was the business of reason, not emotion—the love of God. The emotion would be a help. I realized last time that it would be a selfish one. Oh dear God, the reason is very empty. I suppose mine is also lazy.

There is a certain shocking something about it. But Catholics have to think certainly—as far as they are able—or as far maybe as they want to only. Me. I have to in an attempt to do this am I trying to shock with God? Am I trying to push Him in there violently, feet foremost? Maybe that’s all right. Maybe if I’m doing it it’s all right? Maybe I’m mediocre. I’d rather be less. I’d rather be nothing. An imbecile. Yet this is wrong. Mediocrity, if that is my scourge, is something I’ll have to submit to.

Perhaps knowing you are below it is a way to begin. I say I am equal with it; but I am below it. I will always be staggering between Despair & Presumption, facing first one & then the other, deciding which makes me look the best, which fits most comfortably, most conveniently. I’ll never take a large chunk of anything. I’ll nibble nervously here & there. ] It is something huge, great, magnanimous. It must be a joy. Every virtue must be vigorous. Virtue must be the only vigorous thing in our lives.

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