Friday, July 14, 2006

"Evil is not simply a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be endured."

via Relapsed Catholic a story on hillbilly Thomist Flannery O'Connor:
Here's the rub: her stories might be more palatable to modern Christians if she were just writing shock-jock horror stories. Frank Peretti sells, after all. That sort of writing goes down easier because we don't really believe it. It feels like someone else's world. It's alien enough that we're not truly threatened. But O'Connor's world is too close. And if her picture of dark grace is right, then our typical take on life fails.

Since Victorian times, Christians have tended to picture grace as cottony and covered with rubber. Grace always comforts and smoothes our furrowed brows; it always, always wipes away our tears, so sorry for them. We believe God is all-good; He's pretty much a nursery-school attendant, pink and white, who doesn't want anyone to get cut. In fact, we're surprised when people actually bump their heads. Pain seems unnatural to us. It's a no-no, and God is on our side. He never touches the stuff Himself.
Douglas Jones, "Who's Afraid of Flannery O'Connor?"

A fine essay, marred only by a cavalier and equivocal(though I admit attention-grabbing) use of the word "evil" when pain or the disturbance of self-satisfaction is really what is meant.

No comments: