Musings of a Pertinacious Papist: Flannery O'Connor on the meaning of the Eucharist

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flannery O'Connor on the meaning of the Eucharist

"Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. [Mary McCarthy] 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." -- Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

I always loved this statement by O'Connor, who was a far more astute student of theology than most folks realize. For one thin, from when she was a young lady still living at home with her parents, she would read regularly from St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae before retiring. If you will, it was her bedtime reading. In her own way, she was also a remarkable apologist for the Catholic faith. Americans should be proud of her.