Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: A Prayer Journal

I've not been exposed to much literature by Flannery O'Connor. I've known several individuals who are big fans of O'Connor's works. But, I don't really know enough to comment on her writing. Still, when I came across her prayer journal, it sounded like an interesting read.

This prayer journal was penned while O'Connor was a writing student at the University of Iowa. I'm sure she had no intention of seeing this published. However, writers will find comfort in her words as she prays to avoid mediocrity and for God to give her words and to make her story His story, allowing her to merely be the vessel carrying His words, a prayer I would echo.

I enjoyed the cries of her heart for God to bless her with success for her writing and to show her grace and truth. I think my favorite image conveyed was this:

"You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth's shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see, but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing."

She also prays: "Please let Christian principles permeate my writing and please let there be enough of my writing (published) for Christian principles to permeate." She prays for God to "take care of making it a sound story." Her prayers contain words Christian writers can relate to.

While it was a very slim volume, it was a joy to read her words. Plus, I was thrilled with the presentation of her actual writing at the back of the book. It brought back memories of my time spent transcribing the words of C.S. Lewis. I will continue to pursue the writing of truly great writers and perhaps it will assist me in becoming a better writer. Perhaps, my own prayers for God to grant me words and a story worth telling will be answered one day.

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