Monday, September 16, 2013

Hat tip to Flannery O'Connor

This week's issue of The New Yorker magazine features excerpts from the journals of Flannery O'Connor, in which she writes of faith and prayer.  The journal entries date from 1946, when O'Connor studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  I love imagining her walking down the same streets that surround the two buildings where I work. 

One entry, on the subject of charity, aided me this morning as I was already in prayer over the overabundance of criticism and judgment I've just heard among church people whom I cherish.  It's tough not to respond to judgment with more judgment.  O'Connor addresses her journal entries, "My dear God."  Here's what she penned in her notebook:

"All this is about charity.  Dear Lord please make my mind vigilant about that.  I say many too many uncharitable things about people everyday.  I say them because they make me look clever.  Please help me to realize practically how cheap this is.  I have nothing to be proud of yet myself.  I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule.  Please help me to stop this selfishness because I love you, dear God."   (The New Yorker, 9/16/13, p.29) 


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