Thursday, September 12, 2013

"I cannot love Thee the way I want to."

A journal kept by a twenty-one-year-old Flannery O'Connor will be published in November as A Prayer Journal. Betsy Childs at First Things refers to excerpts from the book published in The New Yorker:
.... The young O’Connor, transplanted from Milledgeville, Georgia, to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, fears that her faith may falter. She prays, “I dread, Oh Lord, losing my faith. My mind is not strong. It is a prey to all sorts of intellectual quackery.” She demonstrates ardor even as she confesses her lack of feeling. Her deepest desire is that she will glorify God with her writing. After writing a story, she prays “Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story—just like the typewriter was mine.” ....
The only quotation from the book that The New Yorker makes available without subscription:
Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing....