Thursday, July 23, 2015

The givenness of things …

Flannery O'Connor and Catholic Realism | George Weigel | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Flannery O’Connor’s novels and short stories are not everyone’s literary cup of tea; I once received an impassioned e-mail from a Polish priest who had read “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” after learning about Miss O’Connor in the Polish edition of my Letters to a Young Catholic – and had found the story appalling. How could I promote such things? I tried to explain that Flannery O’Connor was veryhard to translate. But the real problem, I suspect, was that my correspondent couldn’t quite grasp how Miss O’Connor’s genius lay in describing the work of grace (and the wickedness that grace seeks to repair) through what seems, at first blush, repellant, even horrifying.


  1. Recognizing grace is very difficult for readers and for sinners. I know this to be all too true. But, with each passing day, O'Connor remains my guide to that recognition. Perhaps I need to choose more guides. Hmmm.

  2. The best way to find guidance is prayer.

    1. My encounters with O'Connor are sometimes contemplative. As for prayer, I remain convinced that no one would be listening. I would hear only my own voice. And as I understand "prayer," that is not going to achieve much of anything. And so it goes.

  3. R.T., I don't think one "understands" prayer. One prays. And one's belief can start with almost nothing; a mustard seed. And one can even pray to increase that; I believe Lord, help my unbelief. And even God felt God's seeming lack of attention, lack of listening; My God my God why have You foresaken me.