Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flannery for Lent

"I feel that if I were not a Catholic I would have no reason to write, no reason to see, no reason ever to feel horrified or even to enjoy anything."

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

"What first stuns the young writer emerging from college is that there is no clear-cut road for him to travel on. He must chop a path in the wilderness of his own soul; a disheartening process, lifelong and lonesome."


I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. . . . She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn't opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. The people who took me were Robert Lowell and his now wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them. Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the 'most portable' person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest is expendable."


~~ Flannery O'Connor 

4 comments:

Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas said...

I love Flannery! These are wonderful thoughts to carry around during this Lent.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Where do these quotes come from? (sorry for the preposition at the end there)

Karen Edmisten said...

They can all be found in The Habit of Being, except the third quote. That one is in Flannery, by Brad Gooch.