Art and Scholasticism

Obvious connections between Matthew 7:1-5 and this story. Mrs. Turpin was obviously someone who was constantly measuring others to her own standards. The way the story reads it does not make her seem as a "bad" person but the Word does not say that good people will go to heaven, as where she thought she was headed, rather those whom obey the Word and every word. Now, it is understood that in Mrs. Turpin's mind she was a "good person" because of her "good deeds" and I can see how she would think so but, in reflection to where she wanted to go (heaven) and the directions she had on how to get there, it seemed she, unfortunately, had the wrong map.

Nevertheless, we can see God's grace when she has this "revelation" of who can and will go to heaven... 1Co 1:28 And the low things of the world, and the things without honour, did God make selection of, yes, even the things which are not, so that he might make as nothing the things which are: Rom 2:11 For one man is not different from another before God. Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart - That is, whose minds, motives, and principles are pure; who seek not only to have the external actions correct, but who desire to be holy in heart, and who are so. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. In the light heartedness of the story I have to say Mrs. Turpin was a funny character in which someway many of us can relate. I am sure I know one or two persons that have some of Mrs. Turpin's "qualities". Nevertheless, I believe we all are just little judgmental of others ourselves, maybe not as drastic as Mrs. Turpin but, the point is that we are and we should try not to be.

My Answer/ Response

"Later he saw Jesus move from tree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioning him to turn around and come off into the dark where he was not sure of his footing, where he might be walking on the water and not know it and then suddenly know it and drown." The mind in question is that of Hazel Motes, the central figure in Flannery O'Connor's who can stand for all her characters who are haunted by Christ and convey to the reader the wild mystery of the human person. Flannery O'Connor lived less than forty years, (19251964) published two short novels and two collections of short stories, and is by general consent one of the great American writers of the 20th century. A sign of this was the inclusion of her composed workings in the important Library of America. A cradle Catholic, she was more concerned than most Catholic authors abut the relationship between her fiction and her faith. In retrospect, we can see that Flannery O'Connor was a beneficiary of the Catholic culture that flourished prior to the Second Vatican Council. She also experienced annoyances from that culture. This is not merely a quip. A book that exercised a great influence on O'Connor was Jacques Maritain's Art and Scholasticism. Nowadays many Catholic intellectuals would be embarrassed by the unabashed scholasticism of Maritain's little work. Even a fan of it would admit that it is pretty heavy on block quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas and that the view of art it conveys is as old as Aristotle. A later Maritain developed a mystical notion of the understanding of the artist as a connatural similarity with reality but there is not anything so fancy as that in the work that predisposed O'Connor.

When listening for God in Revelation, I can hear the belief of how only God is meant to be the only to judge those of the human race. Mrs. Turpin may be a woman that is of upper middle class status and treat others well, and also help those less fortunate than her, but it does not give her the right to criticize these people. She takes to no regard of their feelings and is thus not genuine in her kindness. Mrs. Turpin is quick to thank heavily God for what not He made her than what she has been blessed with, having no regard to the plight over others. Yet this thought process was not expressed entirely outright, it ravished her thinking with great nastiness and may have even been evident in her own disposition to one who can see beneath her exuberance, perhaps like the Girl. Even within her approach with God, she holds individuals free of conscience choices', where being a woman of "White-trash" is at the sole hand of God. The Girl's mother expressed the virtue of gratefulness through what I believed to be an anonymous explanation of her own daughter's disposition and her lacking sense of appreciation. Mrs. Turpin is certainly grateful for what God has given her, but she is far from grace. Grace is what is missing from Mrs. Turpin and can be evident even when exclaiming herself to be of a grateful person, self-righteous in her manner. As Mrs. Turpin judges those she believes to be beneath her, she finds herself being judged by another and later reflects to see this dislike towards her person as God's own view of her. God perhaps may have sent this message in a manner to awaken her from such judgmental thoughts. While Mrs. Turpin would not be the only person to hold prudence towards others, after all many of the other patients in the waiting room too were guilty, the incident with the girl may have been a message to pay better close attention to her own faults. These revelations that Mrs. Turpin in is struggling with comes to my mind in how it is wise to see how we too, including me, can learn that our own insecurities can create negative energy towards others. Kindness is only genuine when felt from the heart, and from the grace of God.

My Answer/ Response

The understanding of being a supporter, a follower of Jesus Christ; 2) the outlay of discipleship; 3) the authority of elegance in the knowledge of the believer; and, 4) the understanding of the minster as the location of that life of belief and devotion, a situation that she saw as all too person as well as great in origin. In addition to O'Connor's letters, serene and abridged by Sally Fitzgerald, in The Habit of Being, I will make reference to a current work by Paul Elie, a learning of four mid-twentieth century American Catholic authors: Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, Walker Percy and Dorothy Day. They drew the title for his study from the title of a Flannery O'Connor short story. I am also indebted to George A. Kilcourse, Jr., for his work, Flannery O'Connor's Religious Imagination: A World with Everything Off Balance. Flannery O'Connor supposed of herself as an author: "I sense that if I were not a Catholic I would have no basis to write, no rationale to see, no cause ever to feel appalled or even to take pleasure in everything" (p.114). The Church, she asserts, was "... the only thing that is leaving to make the appalling world we are pending to manageable" (p. 90). Why? Quite merely because the Church skilled as its central policy the personification, the conviction that God become individual and creaturely, with us, in Jesus Christ. Flannery O'Connor supposed that education, and, for her, its truth distorted everything in life: She said: "... the final reality is the personification, the there realism is the personification, and nobody believe in the personification; that is no one in your spectators. My viewers is the people who consider God is dead. At smallest amount these are the people I am awake of inscription for" (p.92). Thus there follow the disagreement of awareness between O'Connor and her spectators the collide between the supporter and the disbeliever, flanked by opposing sets of assumption about human knowledge.

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