Thursday, August 28, 2008

It is more than usual to find the attitude among Catholics that since we possess the Truth in the Church, we can use this Truth directly as an instrument of judgment on any discipline at any time without regard for the nature of that discipline itself...The Catholic fiction writer, as fiction writer, will look for the will of God first in the laws and limitations of his art and will hope that if he obeys these, other blessings will be added to his work.

--Flannery quoted by John R. Traffas in 8/24/08  National Catholic Register (also here)

5 comments:

the booklady said...

Excellent quote. I'm wondering, however, would Protestantism be considered a 'discipline'? It seems -- among certain circles -- acceptable to bash (or criticise harshly almost disparagingly) our fellow Christians. Sometimes I understand this and put it down to sibling rivalry, i.e., the way my sister and I (and later my own kids) would do the elbow-pushing thing along the top of the pew at Sunday morning Mass--while we're supposed to have our hands folded in prayer. We would never treat an 'outsider' that way. Is that why we feel so free to scorn our Protestant brethren for the 'sin' of not seeing as we do, for finding God in different ways?

Personally, I have trouble seeing Protestants as one; there are so many different denominations and ways of thinking among the handful of Protestants I know. Yet I see, hear and read Catholic friends lumping them all together. Reading your quote made me wonder if we could even consider them as one group, one discipline--anymore than Catholics can be taken as a single group, although we are supposed to be more united and homogenized so to speak.

And yes, I agree with Mr. Traffas that, 'It is more than usual to find the attitude among Catholics that since we possess the Truth in the Church, we can use this Truth directly as an instrument of judgment'. Sad but true!

ts said...

I apologize for being so sloppy in my attribution - that was Flannery's quote, which I'd found in an article written by Mr. Traffas! I have since corrected this post.

You bring up many excellent points. One of which is it is hard to see Protestants as one and many of them would object to that notion.

I remember Archbishop Sheen once referred to the differences between Catholics and Protestants as a "lover's quarrel".

And I recall how our current Pope envisions not the conversion of Protestant denominations folded into Roman Catholicism but that as we both move forward, both progress, both move closer to Christ, our unity will be a byproduct.

the booklady said...

Ha! I should have known a blog devoted to Flannery would quote HER! Were you 'sloppy'? Or are you just being a gentleman? I tend to jump in where angels fear to tread... Ouch!

I love Flannery and I'm so glad to have found this blog devoted to her. After the Christmas season I'll have to come back and explore in depth. I've read "Wise Blood" twice now and still don't 'get' it. Maybe you can point me in the right direction.

Have a blessed Christmas! booklady

ts said...

Looking at it months later, I thought that quote was from Traffas too! Had to Google to make sure it wasn't.

Sometimes Flannery herself comments on the meaning of her works in her letters "Habit of Being". You might also want to check this out...

A very blessed Christmas to you also! :-)

the booklady said...

Thank you very much! That's an extremely helpful article! I love Amy Welborn as a reading guide having just availed myself of her assistance in reading "The Apostles". And I have the LOC version of O'Connor's works so I'm set when I finish up some other things.

I meant to tell you earlier that I loved what you wrote here, 'And I recall how our current Pope envisions not the conversion of Protestant denominations folded into Roman Catholicism but that as we both move forward, both progress, both move closer to Christ, our unity will be a byproduct.' I haven't run across that myself in my reading of his works but it sounds just like him!

I shall continue to read and follow your blog with great interest. May God bless you in your work!