“One thing I have seen this week—it has been a peculiar week—is my constant seeing of myself as what I want to be. Not the fulfillment of what I want to be, but the right genre, the correct embryo in the correct beast. The consequence of such a delightful state of coma will naturally be the eternal embryo—and eternal in no false sense. I must grow. I have a right I believe to show such interest in myself as long as my interest is in my immortal soul and what keeps it pure. “Save to the pure & in their purest hour,” Coleridge wrote—the gift of imagination functioned only then, only for those. Start with the soul and perhaps the temporal gifts I want to exercise will have their chance; and if they do not, I have the best in my hands already, the only thing really needed. God must be in all my work. I have been reading Bernanos. It is so very wonderful. Will I ever know anything?”
—From A Prayer Journal (with emphasis added), a collection of prayers written by Flannery O’Connor during her college days. This entry is from November 4, 1946.