Friday, July 29, 2016
The example of Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day is one of my heroes, so I was happy to see that the latest issue of St. Anthony Messenger has an article about her. She may some day be recognized as a saint - something I would welcome.
Day was involved with radical secular causes in her youth, then, after converting to Catholicism, lived out the Gospel in a radical way. She also challenges the government, those in authority, the wealthy, the comfortable.
She believed that one had to live out one's faith without compromise - as uncomfortable as that might be, and with the risk of being viewed as a "failure" in the eyes of the world.
Indeed, she rejected much of our culture - including politics. She declined to vote, or to support candidates. She preferred to spend her time carrying out works of mercy, and standing up against the government when it oversteps its bounds.
One wonders how she'd react to out government's efforts to undermine religious liberty and conscience rights. I also suspect she would be critical of Catholic politicians who compromise the teachings of the Church on moral issues. (Tim Kaine?)
Here are some of her quotes:
“Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”
“People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.”
"Certainly we disagree with the Communist Party, as we disagree with other political parties that are trying to maintain the American way of life."
"The greatest challenge of the day is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?"
"We need to change the system. We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists 'of conspiring to teach [us] to do,' but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York."
"I too complain ceaselessly in my heart and in my words too. My very life is a protest. Against government, for instance."
"People say, 'What is the sense of our small effort?' They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that."
Makes me wonder about my own efforts.
Pax et bonum