There’s an interesting article in The New York Times today about Cardinal Dolan’s support for the canonization and eventual sainthood of Dorothy Day, the American born mother of the Catholic Worker movement. Dorothy Day was a great writer and activist who continues to inspire many of us who seek to care for the vulnerable in Jesus’s name. Dolan, in some ways, exemplifies the rightward shift in the politics of the Catholic Bishops. At first blush it seems odd that Dolan would take such an interest in Dorothy Day – they seem to come from opposite sides of the Catholic spectrum. The article cites one possible reason that Dolan has begun to champion Dorothy Day:
“For quite a while, the church at the grass roots in the United States has been fairly badly splintered to a kind of peace-and-justice crowd on the left and pro-life crowd on the right,” said John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter. “And Day is one of those few figures who has traction in both those groups.”
It’s a very good article & I highly recommend reading it. In the meantime, though, have a look at some of these brilliant Dorothy Day quotes:
“I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
“Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
“Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed. ”
“We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”
“The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”
“Our Faith is stronger than death, our philosophy is firmer than flesh, and the spread of the Kingdom of God upon the earth is more sublime and more compelling.”“Women think with their whole bodies and they see things as a whole more than men do.”
“The sense of futility is one of the greatest evils of the day…People say, “What can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?” They cannot see that we can only lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.”
“What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words–we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”
“Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.
If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.
If we love enough, we are going to light a fire in the hearts of others.
And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much.”
“We are the nation the most powerful, the most armed and we are supplying arms and money to the rest of the world where we are not ourselves fighting. We are eating while there is famine in the world.”