The final word is love

The end of Dorothy Day’s autobiography:

“But the final word is love. At times it has been, in the words of Father Zossima, a harsh and dreadful thing, and our very faith in love has been tried through fire.

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The generosity of life I seek

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.

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Why I am not an ideologue

I am working my way through The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. As she was beginning her work in journalism, it was 1917 in New York City. A massive time of upheaval.

She was still not convinced of Christianity, but her work in journalism kept her from attending any meetings of Socialists, though she declared herself a Socialist at the time. In her writing and in her exploration of the tremendous upheaval in her world, Day was insightful in her observations of leaders and ideologies.

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EVERY generation deconstructs… and some even reconstruct

I am reading The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. It struck me how she went through her own “awakening” in the early 1900s in much the same way I did when I was in college. I reflect on that because “deconstruction” is the “buzz word” of our time… and it’s not really at all. It may look slightly different in every generation, but it’s not something “wholly owned” by any particular generation.

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Throw the pebble

“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. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

– Dorothy Day

The way of community

“I still think that the only solution is the land, and community, a community which is unjudging and which forgives ‘seventy times seven,’ as Jesus Christ said. We who think in terms of community at least have the assurance, the conviction, that we are on the right path, going in the right direction, taking the right means to achieve the goal of increased love of God through an increased and proven love of our brothers. So many in these days have taken violent steps to gain the things in this world — war to achieve peace; coercion to achieve freedom; striving to gain what slips through the fingers. We might as well give up our greatest desires, at least our hopes of doing great things toward achieving them, right at the beginning. In a way it is like that paradox of the gospel, of giving up one’s life in order to save it.” — Dorothy Day, from The Reckless Way of Love

Be Faithful, Leave the Rest to God

“The main thing is never to get discouraged at the slowness of people or results. People may not be articulate or active, but even so, we do not ever know the result, or the effect on the souls. That is not for us to know. We can only go ahead and work with happiness at what God sends us to do.” — Dorothy Day, from The Reckless Way of Love

A life of peace

“Near the end of (Dorothy) Day’s life, Robert Coles asked her if she had any plans to write a memoir. She was a gorgeous and prolific writer, so it was a natural question to ask. She told Coles that she had once thought of doing that, and had pulled out a piece of paper and wrote ‘A Life Remembered.’ Then, ‘I just sat there and thought of our Lord, and his visit to us all those centuries ago, and I said to myself that my great luck was to have had Him on my mind for so long in my life’ She felt no need to write anything.

What must such peace and tranquility feel like?” — David Brooks, The Second Mountain

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May the love of God wake you in the morning

“Woke up this a.m. with the feeling very strong — I belong to Someone to whom I owe devotion. Recalled early love and the joyous sense of being not my own, but of belonging to someone who loved me completely.” — Dorothy Day, from The Reckless Way of Love