Desire is perhaps the most important of things; to know or to have a sense that we are incomplete, that there is something lacking within us. O'Connor understands that an increase in the desire for the Lord is essential but that it is one thing to write about it and another to possess it within one's heart truly. We may write about it, but it can be as flat as the page upon which it is inscribed. We may extend, I believe, what O'Connor says to our speech and to so many other ways we express ourselves. We may speak of God and our desire might look alive but yet it can be a "horrible deception."
O'Connor knows enough of divine love to understand that for her desire to be "living" it will most likely include suffering. Yet, she is not quite ready for this, realizing that even if it should come should would likely close her eyes to it or fail to recognize it. All that can be done for the moment is to ask for God's protection and Mary's maternal care.
“Dear Lord please make me want You. It would be the greatest bliss. Not just to want You when I think about You but to want You all the time, to think about You all the time, to have the want driving in me, to have it like a cancer in me. It would kill me like a cancer and that would be the Fulfillment. It is easy for this writing to show a want. There is a want but it is abstract and cold, a dead want that goes well into writing because writing is dead. Writing is dead. Art is dead, dead by nature, not killed by unkindness. I bring my dead want into the place, the dead place it shows up most easily, into writing. This has its purpose if by God’s grace it will wake another soul; but it does me no good. The “life” it receives in writing is dead to me, the more so in that it looks alive—a horrible deception. But not to me who knows this. Oh Lord please make this dead desire living, living in life, living as it will probably have to live in suffering. I feel too mediocre now to suffer. If suffering came to me I would not even recognize it. Lord keep me. Mother help me.”
Excerpt From: Flannery O’Connor. “A Prayer Journal.”