Dorothy Day had in incredibly influential man in her life, challenging her to the work she carried among the poor. His life had a profound impact on her. His name was Peter Maurin.
She would describe him in her book, The Long Loneliness, as one who sought the common good. He was grounded in his Roman Catholic faith, but broad in his thinking toward humanity.
“He ignored differences to stress concordances.”
This is a beautiful statement. One that draws me in. One that might best sum up my goal in life and ministry. He stretched it farther than I have articulated in my life to this point, but I have thought a lot about it as I read Day’s observations.
Maurin thought in terms of a common humanity. How are we living life in the world today… here?
I would have appreciated learning from him, I think. He desired to build a new society within the shell of the old. I think of that often, because I truly think it’s possible. I truly think there is where the Kingdom of God is most effective, and far more effective than any other human-made system.
Day’s early descriptions of him in her book give me pause for deep reflection in my own life. I have been in the Twin Cities for a week visiting with old friends, forging new partnerships, and listening to some great people. I reflect on 20 years of work in the Cities as I look to what is ahead for me in Alabama. I am encouraged. I delight in the friendships forged and the new thinking of so many great minds. It is energizing.
I have heard deep struggles. Struggles that resonate with me as I’ve done a lot of restructuring in my own life the past few years. In it I find hope. I find the way of the Spirit. It is the Spirit that will lead us into new possibilities as we navigate uncharted waters.
May my life be filled with generosity. Grounded in Christ. Grounded in my faith. And stretching in love toward others. Not fearful. Full of faith.