A Good Woman Is Hard To Find
by Timothy Lusch
The Scandal of Grace and the Disgrace of Rejection
The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor
Flannery O’Connor, Southern writer, devout Catholic, and devoted owner of peacocks, understood the scandal of grace. Her stories are infused with it. Author of two novels and three collections of short stories, she famously described the subject of her writing as the action of grace in territory largely held by the devil. She understood the profound truth that we become by grace what we are not by nature. Most of us live by nature, demanding of others what we will not give. But if by grace we give others what they do not deserve by nature, the life we save, as O’Connor has it, might be our own. Giving requires sacrifice and we all want the crown without the cross. O’Connor reminds us this is impossible, although she does it often in a humorous and violent way. The best gifts come in ugly wrapping. And that is what is so amazing about grace (if you spend your time watching The Bachelor you may be surprised to know that “amazing” actually means something other than a description of a date).
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”