Saturdays are Better with a Dash of Flannery O’Connor

I’m taking a break from my four-day editing marathon to give the editor in my head some rest.

In the meantime, I’m meditating on a few quotations from Flannery O’Connor.

The Christian writer does not decide what would be good for the world and proceed to deliver it. Like a very doubtful Jacob, he confronts what stands in his path and wonders if he will come out of the struggle at all.

I am beginning to understand this. I hope I learn better how to carry it out.

I mortally and strongly defend the right of the artist to select a negative aspect of the world to portray and as the world gets more materialistic there will be more to select from. Of course you are only enabled to see what is black by having light to see it by. … Furthermore the light you see by may be altogether outside of the work itself.

A murderous king once shouted, “Give me some light!” That should be my daily prayer as well.

Ignorance is excusable when it is borne like a cross, but when it is wielded like an axe, and with moral indignation, then it becomes something else indeed.

Forgive me, readers, for outbursts of moral indignation.

Forgive me when I speak in ignorance, or in a tone of condemnation. A blog is a dangerous thing. Its so easy to speak hastily, without attention to what one’s tone reveals about one’s heart. I need a stronger heart to better endure the corrosive influence of such spirits all around me, and to resist letting them drag me to down fight with the same dirty methods.

Our response to life is different if we have been taught only a definition of faith than if we have trembled with Abraham as he held a knife over Isaac.

I need to learn more every day about living in faith, rather than merely talking about it.

Christ spoke in such a way that even though he exposed the truth, sinners desired his company and followed him. While he demonstrated flashes of anger and even went so far as to call self-righteous religious leaders what they were, those seem to have been rare exceptions in his behavior. He was known for his grace and his compassion. I have voices of anger and condemnation ringing in my ears. It’s tough to guard against letting those voices influence me. As a famous wizard once said, we sometimes face a choice between what is right and what is easy.

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  • http://www.coulterfamily.net/ScottCoulter Scott Coulter

    “Christ spoke in such a way that even though he exposed the truth, sinners desired his company and followed him.”

    Jeff: thanks for that powerful, beautiful, and succinct reminder of the model Christians ought to be following. I think I’ll be putting this up on my wall.

    –sdc


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