Friday, May 20, 2016

The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor (Part 1)

Hello blog.  Well, I see that you're still here. (I have Willie Nelson's "Hello Walls" running through my head right now.)  Let's dust you off a bit so that you can hold my notes about Flannery O'Connor.


I was going to type up my favorite quotes and authors/works to explore further in one post.  But, there is so much depth and richness to be mined in The Habit of Being that I am going to break this up into multiple posts.  Here's something for today:

From a letter to "A."*                                6 September 55
 . . . .I can't concede that I'm a fascist. The thought is probably more repugnant to me than to you, as I see it as an offense against the body of Christ. I am wondering why you convict me of believing in the use of force? It must be because you connect the Church with a belief in the use of force; but the Church is a mystical body which cannot, does not, believe in the use of force (in the sense of forcing conscience, denying the rights of conscience, etc.). I know all her hair-raising history, of course, but principle must be separated from policy. Policy and politics generally go contrary to principle. . . .                                                                                                                                -pg. 99

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally. A higher paradox confounds emotion as well as reason and there are long periods in the lives of all of us, and of the saints, when truth as revealed by faith is hideous, emotionally disturbing, downright repulsive.  -pg. 100
There is a question whether faith can or is supposed to be emotionally satisfying. I must say that the thought of everyone lolling about in an emotionally satisfying faith is repugnant to me. I believe that we are ultimately directed Godward but that this journey is often impeded by emotion.  -pg. 100

(*You can read more about "A." here.  Her identity was disclosed after her death in 1998.)

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