Not a metaphysical exercise

From the  just-published prayer journals of the young Flannery O’Connor:

“My dear God, I do not want this to be a metaphysical exercise but something in praise of God. It is probably more liable to being therapeutical than metaphysical, with the element of self underlying its thought. Prayers should be composed I understand of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication and I would like to see what I can do with each without writing an exegesis. It the adoration of You, dear God, that most dismays me. I cannot comprehend the exaltation that must be due You. Intellectually, I assent: let us adore God. But can we do that without feeling? To feel, we must know. And for this, when it is practically impossible for us to get it ourselves, not completely, of course, but what we can, we are dependent on God. We are dependent on him for our adoration of Him, adoration, that is, in the fullest sense of the term. Give me the grace, dear God, to adore You, for even this I cannot do for myself. Give me the grace to adore You with the excitement of the old priests when they sacrificed a lamb to You. Give me the grace to adore You with the awe that fills Your priests when they sacrifice the Lamb on our altars. Give me the grace to be impatient for the time when I shall see You face to face and need no stimulus than that to adore You. Give me the grace, dear God, to see the bareness and the misery of the places where You are not adored but desecrated, ” –

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