It is no secrete that Flannery O’Connor is a bit of a hero of mine. Her writings have been very influential to me these past few years at seminary, but not in a normal way. I’ve read a lot of Barth and he has shaped my theology more than any other theologian and I never miss an opportunity to talk to people about him, but with Ms. O’Connor, it has been a more of a private journey. She has shaped my spiritual life– of which I don’t talk to many people about.
With that being said, I have recently found a prayer she wrote. This prayer describes my journey this semester.
What I am asking for is really very ridiculous. Oh Lord, I am saying, at present I am a cheese, make me a mystic, immediately. But then God can do that—make a mystic out of cheeses. But why should He do it for an ingrate slothful & dirty creature like me. I can’t stay in the church to say a Thanksgiving even and as for preparing for Communion the night before—thoughts all elsewhere. The Rosary is mere rote for me while I think of other and usually impious things. But I would like to be a mystic and immediately. But dear God please give me some place, no matter how small, but let me know it and keep it. If I am the one to wash the second step everyday, let me know it and let me wash it and let my heart overflow with love washing it. God loves us, God needs us. My soul too. So then take it dear God because it knows that You are all it should want and if it were wise You would be all it would want and the times it thinks wise. You are all it does want, and it wants more and more to want You. Its demands are absurd. It’s a moth who would be king, a stupid slothful thing, a foolish thing, who wants God, who made the earth, to be its Lover. Immediately.
If I could only hold God in my mind. If I could only always just think of Him.
This has been my journey this semester.
Lord, I am cheese. Make me a mystic.