A prayer journal by Flannery O'Connor

By Flannery O'Connor

"I want to write a gorgeous prayer," writes the younger Flannery O'Connor during this deeply religious magazine, lately came upon between her papers in Georgia. "There is a complete good global round me that I may be in a position to flip in your praise." Written among 1946 and 1947 whereas O'Connor used to be a scholar faraway from domestic on the collage of Iowa, A Prayer magazine is a unprecedented portal into the internal lifetime of the good 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 experience of aesthetic frippery yet within the feel of aesthetic craftsmanship; differently i'll suppose my loneliness regularly . . . i don't are looking to be lonely all my lifestyles yet humans in simple terms make us lonelier via reminding us of God. expensive God please aid me to be an artist, please permit it result in You."

O'Connor couldn't be extra simple approximately her literary ambition: "Please support me expensive God to be an exceptional author and to get anything else accepted," she writes. but she struggles with any hint of self-regard: "Don't permit me ever imagine, expensive God, that i used to be whatever however the tool to your story."

As W. A. periods, who knew O'Connor, writes in his advent, it was once no accident that she started writing the tales that will turn into her first novel, Wise Blood, in the course of the years while she wrote those singularly resourceful 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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It will be a life struggle with no consummation. When something is finished, it cannot be possessed. Nothing can be possessed but the struggle. All our lives are consumed in possessing struggle but only when the struggle is cherished & directed to a final consummation outside of this life is it of any value. I want to be the best artist it is possible for me to be, under God. I do not want to be lonely all my life but people only make us lonelier by reminding us of God. Dear God please help me to be an artist, please let it lead to You.

Right now I wonder if God will ever do any more writing for me. He has promised His grace; I am not so sure about the other. Perhaps I have not been thankful enough for what has gone before. The desires of the flesh—excluding the stomach—have been taken away from me. For how long I don’t know but I hope forever. It is a great peace to be rid of them. Can’t anyone teach me how to pray? 11/11 How hard it is to keep any one intention[,] any one attitude toward a piece of work[,] any one tone[,] any one anything.

It leads a good many people to God who wouldn’t get there otherwise. But cease to recognize it, or take it away from devil as devil & give it to devil as psychologist, and you also take away God. If there is no sin in this world there is no God in heaven. No heaven. There are those who would have it that way. But even among the literary now it is becoming popular to believe in God. 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.

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