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Total Rip-Off Tuesday: Dorothy Day

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer on the web. Not taking credit - just sharing good stuff.

Today's choice is about Dorothy Day's "dynamic orthodoxy" from First Things:


“She was utterly faithful to her vocation. There was nothing at all inauthentic about her.”

Often overlooked, he said, was her self-discipline. “If you study her diaries and letters, and meditations, what you find is an incredibly structured Catholic spiritual life, which to me, as a priest, is very impressive.”

It is something all Christians can learn from, and seek to emulate.

Because of her unusual love, Day always looked for the “better” in people, even when she knew they had flaws. Her daring political views—about war and economics—brought her into conflict with Cardinal Spellman, yet she always defended his honor. “If anyone spoke against him, she’d always stand up for him,” said friend and biographer, Jim Forest, to author Rosalie Troester:

And it wouldn’t be in generalities. She told me once that Spellman had priests who didn’t like to receive calls to go down to the Bowery to administer last rites. He told the person answering the phone, ‘If any of those calls come through give them to me personally.’ Dorothy knew things like that about people, and she would tell them to show their good side. She was quite different than most of us. If we decide we don’t like somebody, we make it a kind of hobby to collect reasons to not to like that person. We develop quite a number of reasons to justify our irritation. Dorothy had a lot of reasons to dislike Cardinal Spellman, but it was more her hobby to find out things to admire about him.

Dorothy’s goodness of heart and her “radical idealism,” as Father Kennedy calls it, achieved immense things, but also caused her to occasionally lose her footing. Though most of her social views were soundly rooted in the Gospel, the saints and papal encyclicals, she sometimes made imprudent political statements (particularly about Fidel Castro), which today make one wince. Some people accused her of being a tool of the Communists, or at least a naive fellow traveler. But it is important to remember, even as we acknowledge her mistakes, that her purpose in founding the Catholic Worker was to draw people away from Communism and into the arms of Christ. In this, she succeeded, as we know from converts she influenced. And Dorothy was the first to admit her errors and those of the circles in which she walked.
 Take a moment to read the entire article; it's very good.

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