Flannery O’Connor’s dresser in her home in Milledgeville, Georgia.
related to it, the collection became the perfect one-book companion for our trip. We agreed on the following necessities for our pilgrimation: a daily rosary, daily Mass, music and food unique to the area, and stories or other O’Connor writings preferably shared aloud. We also included time for family visits and for experiencing the natural beauty along the way. We knew the trip was coming together nicely, but once en route, we were surprised at the
joy, peace and rest that we were experiencing, all because of a trip inspired by Flannery O’Connor! Not what I would have thought after first reading her. I think my reticence about O’Connor was really that I was a bit frightened by her. This shifted as I got to know her through her letter correspondences with close friends, her essays and talks to young writers, and the farm and town that fed her Gothic sensibility and imagination that she deftly put to work in presenting “the truth of things.”
“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it,” Flannery once explained. It is true her characters can be very hard to tolerate, and it is true it can be equally hard to accept God’s offer of grace, mercy and healing, especially in the most dire and violent of circumstances. Flannery O’Connor challenges me to look for grace, and then further challenges me to accept it.
Page 14 stthomas.edu/catholicstudies
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