Thursday, March 28, 2013

Flannery's Prayers

Surely some of the best selling items we've carried in the Andalusia gift shop over the years have been books about Flannery O'Connor's spirituality - titles such as Flannery O'Connor: Spiritual Writings (currently out of stock) and The Province of Joy: Praying with Flannery O'Connor, edited by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell.  Visitors ask us fairly frequently about O'Connor's spiritual practices.  Being the devout Catholic she was, Flannery's prayer life was pretty structured.  She prayed portions of the daily office (a replica of her breviary is on the bedside table in her room), did sacred reading ("lectio divina") of the Bible, Thomas Aquinas, etc., and participated in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church through daily mass attendance.  By temperament and personality, she was not drawn to less structured forms of prayer.  However, during the time she was at the University of Iowa in graduate school, O'Connor kept a prayer journal.  The prayers in this book contain some of her most personal devotional writings.  I'm very excited to announce that on November 12th, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will be releasing this journal edited by her friend Bill Sessions.  For a sneak peak click on this link.  While you're there, see if you can spot Flannery in the group photo that was taken with Pope Pius XII during her trip to Europe in 1958. 
- Mark

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