Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dorothy Day - November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980

"Dorothy Day is one of the greatest and most significant Catholics of the twentieth century. Today is the 30th anniversary of her death."
 - From an essay by Fr. Stephen Wang, which can be found here

Robert Ellsburg, in a short life, says of Dorothy:

"The enigma of Dorothy Day was her ability to reconcile her radical social positions (she called herself an anarchist as well as a pacifist) with a traditional and even conservative piety. Her commitment to poverty, obedience, and chastity was as firm as any nun’s. But she remained thoroughly immersed in the secular world with all the “precarity” and disorder that came with life among the poor."

6 comments:

  1. "DOROTHY DAY
    The Roman Catholic church will never name her a saint.
    We do."


    http://www.eskimo.com/~recall/bleed/1129.htm

    on national by nothing day - she would have liked that

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  2. i mean "buy" nothing
    by nothing is too existential

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  3. You're right, Marc ... didn't Dorothy say that she didn't want to be discounted by being declared a saint? (or was that Merton).

    Anyway, I love the irony underlying the insight that the Roman Catholic Church cannot name her a saint because we do.

    Yes, BUY NOTHING! Not sure if by nothing is too existential or not. Anything that approaches nada appeals to me.

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  4. Hello Beth & Marc -

    I am going to try an explain my thoughts on this, but I may fail...
    and I may be wrong......

    In the building (Archdiocesan Center)where I attend theology classes, there are free copies of the "Catholic Worker." I always pick one up, bring it home and read it. If you read the Catholic Worker, and if you do not understand the teachings of the Church, you would think it is a socialist/communist publication. Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day both preached a "socialist" agenda regarding faith and works. The Church does preach socialism. A pure socialism to share the good things that God has given you with the less fortunate. - "What you have done to the least of my brothers, you did it to me." And if we look at the early Church, we see that each member (St. Paul called them saints) would share with each other - as many religious communities who live the vow of poverty. Now, many conservative Catholics associate this (Catholic worker) thought with the current secular/socialist agenda (USA/Europe) which does not always uphold the dignity of the human person i.e. euthanasia, abortion.as the Church would like.

    I believe that Dorothy Day very much defended the dignity of the human person. And she served the Lord by feeding, clothing and housing the poorest of the poor.

    We all serve in different ways, we can not all do the same. To be canonized, many years of inquiry take place, and evidence of miracles must be investigated. Whether the Church "officially" names Dorothy Day a saint - it does not matter. When you are in heaven, you are a "saint."

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  5. You explained yourself very well, Brian. Thank you! It's a real challenge for me to lift myself above the divisiveness that clouds so many conversations these days. You're very good at being able to speak in a way that unites and finds common ground.

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  6. Well said Brian,

    Br. William

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