What I am asking for is really rather ridiculous. Oh Lord, I am saying, at present I am a cheese, make me a mystic, immediately. But then God can do that -- make mystics out of cheeses. But why should He do it for an ingrate slothful & dirty creature like me. [...] 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 every day, 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 just think of Him.
--Flannery O'Connor, A Prayer Journal
(New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2013), pp.38-39
(Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal dates from her time at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, when she was twenty years old, and was only recently discovered by her former colleague William Sessions. To read Marilynne Robinson's review of the volume, published in 2013, click here.)