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 non secular magazine, lately chanced on 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 was once a scholar faraway from domestic on the collage of Iowa, A Prayer magazine is an extraordinary portal into the inner lifetime of the good author. not just does it map O'Connor's singular courting with the divine, however it exhibits how entwined her literary wish was once together with her longing for God. "I needs to write down that i'm to be an artist. now not within the feel of aesthetic frippery yet within the experience of aesthetic craftsmanship; another way i'll think my loneliness regularly . . . i don't are looking to be lonely all my existence yet humans in basic terms make us lonelier via reminding us of God. expensive God please support me to be an artist, please enable it bring about You."

O'Connor couldn't be extra undeniable approximately her literary ambition: "Please aid me pricey God to be an excellent 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 device to your story."

As W. A. periods, who knew O'Connor, writes in his advent, it used to be no accident that she begun writing the tales that may turn into her first novel, Wise Blood, throughout the years whilst she wrote those singularly imaginitive Christian meditations. together with a facsimile of the whole 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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Example text

Dear God, I am so discouraged about my work. I have the feeling of discouragement that is. I realize I don’t know what I realize. Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted. That is so far from what I deserve, of course, that I am naturally struck with the nerve of it. Contrition in me is largely imperfect. I don’t know if I’ve ever been sorry for a sin because it hurt You. That kind of contrition is better than none but it is selfish. To have the other kind, it is necessary to have knowledge, faith extraordinary.

O’Connor, Flannery—Religion. I. , editor of compilation. II. Title.

This has its purpose if by God’s grace it will wake another soul; but it does me no good. The “life” it receives in writing is dead to me, the more so in that it looks alive—a horrible deception. But not to me who knows this. Oh Lord please make this dead desire living, living in life, living as it will probably have to live in suffering. I feel too mediocre now to suffer. If suffering came to me I would not even recognize it. Lord keep me. Mother help me. ] It is certainly His provision for all mediocre souls—a tool for us; for Bloy’s statue it is—how to call it?

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