Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth's shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing.
I do not know You God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.
I want very much to succeed in the world with what I want to do. I have prayed to You about this with my mind and my nerves on it and strung my nerves into a tension over it and said, 'oh God please,' and 'I must,' and 'please, please.' I have not asked You, I feel, in the right way. Let me henceforth ask you with resignation - that not being or meant to be a slacking up in prayer but a less frenzied kind - realising that the frenzy is caused by an eagerness for what I want and not a spiritual trust. I do not wish to presume. I want to love.
From A Prayer Journal, by Flannery O'Connor, pages 3/4