Thursday, October 19, 2006

Flannery: On the Eucharist

I saw the following Flannery O'Connor quote on "Martha, Martha" - and straightaway had to steal it.

"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."

3 comments:

Dan said...

There's another great Flannery O'Connor quote about the eucharistic that I remember, where the speaker compares it to the bright orange orb of the sun sinking below the horizon. If I remember correctly, she uses the flame image of a raging and burning sun, to imply that everyone who partakes in the eucharist cannot help but be changed.

I did a cursory look for it, but couldn't find the reference...

truevyne said...

Such intimacy in so few words....

onionboy said...

Read this, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' years ago in my Protestant days and even then thought it was brilliant.

O
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