The Prayers of Flannery O’Connor

Today’s letter from Jen is one of my favorites so far:

“This morning, I finally cracked open Flannery O’Connor’s published prayer journal, which I’d borrowed weeks ago from the library. (Have I told you about my terrible library habits, how I never return books on time? I’ve come to view my regular fines as “subscription” fees, and that seems to assuage the guilt.) In her very first prayer, she writes, “I want very much to succeed in the world with what I want to do. I have prayed to You about this with my mind and my nerves on it and strung my nerves into a tension over it and said, ‘oh God please,’ and ‘I must,’ and ‘please, please.’” At the time of the writing the journal, Flannery was only 23 without any published writing of consequence. I have to admit that I was awed—and also a little bit aghast—at the audacity of her prayer. It makes me wonder if I could have that same kind of urgency about my calling.”

You can head here to read the letter in its entirety.

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What began as a Twitter conversation between two writers on creative work and family life has become an exchange of letters. Here is where Postmarked began:

Postmarked: Dear Shawn (1)