Friday Prayer with Saint Flannery


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.