I just finished reading her book of short stories titled “Everything That Rises Must Converge” from the title of the first of the nine stories. My interest in this author was piqued by a person named Missy who discussed a story “A Temple of The Holy Ghost” written by Flannery. A child in the story goes into a trance-like state realizing she’s in the presence of God. This story is not in the book I read, a well-worn copy of which I borrowed from zgirl2, but is in a later volume of O’Connor’s short stories which I’ve ordered from Amazon.
Well, here I am, a lifelong UU, an agnostic at the far end of the religious spectrum from a deep Catholic such as Flannery O’Connor and yet I’m fascinated by her stories. They’re both humorous and tragic and a lesson which may be cruel is usually learned or experienced by a central character. Often a lifelong state of consciousness is suddenly transformed into something wholly new, a moment of truth is realized, if even for a few seconds before death. This is what the Catholic believes is God’s action through grace, I think, and it is apparently O’Connor’s intention to show in her stories how this works. Certainly I don’t fully understand this but I’m fascinated by the change of consciousness that can occur. What is this really? There is mystery involved here and what does it all mean?