Friday, April 18, 2014

"GO WARN THE CHILDREN OF GOD OF THE TERRIBLE SPEED OF MERCY"

Last night, on Maundy Thursday, I finished reading The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964). Upon finishing it, I have now read every published word by this writer about whom Thomas Merton wrote:
    [W]hen I read Flannery I don't think of Hemingway or Katherine Anne Porter or Sartre, but rather of someone like Sophocles. What more can be said of a writer? I write her name with honor, for all the truth and all the craft with which she shows man's fall and his dishonor.
The novel, from which this post's title, so appropriate for Lent and Eastertide, comes, had me thinking of the via negativa of St. John of the Cross.

It is high time I renewed my private devotion to her as an intercessor for my daughter, who was born while I was reading a short story about a character who shared my daughter's name, and whom I would later learn a similar disability, similar also to the one the authoress bore. During my daughter's major surgery, Flannery's letters comforted my in the PICU. Yes, it is time I renewed my devotion.


St. Flannery O'Connor, ora pro nobis

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