Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

A Prayer By Flannery O’Connor

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Recently a prayer journal from Flannery O’Connor’s college days was discovered. The journal spans about a year and a half of her life. She was just twenty one and twenty two years of age when she penned many of the entries. It is a personal journal that was never intended for publishing. The entries are specific to the life of Flannery O’Connor. Her faith and her brilliance shines through even at an early age. The contents of the journal were released in book form this week. You can find out more about it here. Here is one of the prayers from young Flannery O’Connor’s prayer journal.

My dear God, I am impressed with how much I have to be thankful for in a material sense; and in a spiritual sense I have the opportunity of being even more fortunate. But it seems apparent to me that I am not translating this opportunity into fact. You say, deal God, to ask for grace and it will be given. I ask for it. I realize that there is more to it than that – that I have to behave like I want it. “None those who say, Lord, Lord, but those who do the Will of My Father.” Please help me to know the will of my Father – not a scrupulous nervousness nor yet a lax presumption but a clear, reasonable knowledge; and after this give me a strong Will to be able to bend it to the Will of the Father.

Please let Christian principles permeate my writing and please let there be enough of my writing (published) for Christian principles to permeate. I dread, Oh Lord, losing my faith. My mind is not strong. It is a prey to all sorts of intellectual quackery. I do not want it to be fear which keeps me in the church. I don’t want to be a coward, staying with You because I fear hell. I should reason that if I fear hell, I can be assured of the author of it. But learned people can analyze for me why I fear hell and their implication is that there is no hell. But I believe in hell. Hell seems a great deal more feasible to my weak mind than heaven. No doubt because hell is a more earthly-seeming thing. I can fancy the tortures of the damned but I cannot imagine the disembodied souls hanging in a crystal for all eternity praising God. It is natural that I should not imagine this. If we could accurately map heaven some of our up-&-coming scientists would begin drawing blueprints for its improvement, and the bourgeois would sell guides 10 cents the copy to all over 65. But I do not mean to be clever although I do mean to be clever on 2nd thought and like to be clever & want to be considered so. But the point more specifically here is, I don’t want to fear to be out, I want to love to be in; I don’t want to believe in hell but in heaven. Stating this does me no good. It is a matter of the gift of grace. Help me to feel that I will give up every earthly thing for this.

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