Our Lady's Little Scribe seeks to use the internet for sharing the Catholic faith and Franciscan spirituality, going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel.

The silk painting, shown above, is by Ty Mam Duw, Poor Clare Colettines, Hawarden, WALES GB. Their website is here. Ty Mam Duw is Welsh and means The House of the Mother of God. Our Lady of the Pearl cherishes their friendship and is grateful for their many kindnesses and prayers. The image is used with permission.

Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels
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Monday, September 12, 2011

EWTN Journey Home - Flannery O'Connor & Walker Percy

There was a great program on EWTN Journey Home this last week. Click here for the link to the video. Dr. Benjamin Alexander, a former Episcopalian, is the guest. I enjoyed his take on things (which are similar to mine – he just says it better) as he journeyed into the Church. He is an English professor, teaching at Franciscan University, and most of the discussion here is about Flannery O’Connor and her writings as well as Walker Percy.

This topic of Flannery O'Connor brings to me the memory of my husband Tom and me going to a weekly discussion group at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans on Flannery O’Connor. This was before our conversion to the Catholic faith. I was out of town one week, and Tom went by himself. This was back when he was in early stages of sleep apnea. They had an important guest speaker that night. He sat in very comfortable chair and commenced to fall asleep and to snore very loudly. He said he woke up with all these people standing around him and hollering at him. I was mortified and very embarrassed when we went back the next week.

My favorite story about O’Connor concerns her famouse defense of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist made during a dinner conversation with other writers and friends in the late 1940s or early 1950s. O'Connor reported the incident later to her friend Elizabeth Hester, in a letter dated December 16, 1955.

This is what O’Connor said:

“I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. . . . She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn't opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. The people who took me were Robert Lowell and his now wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them. Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the "most portable" person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable."

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