Monday, 8 November 2010

Happy 113th birthday, Dorothy Day!

'Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.'

Today would be the 113th birthday of the Servant of God Dorothy Day, the cofounder (with Peter Maurin) of the Catholic Worker Movement. Both Dorothy and the CW have been - and continue to be - a huge influence over at least two of us at the House. Furthermore, the very first Frassati Society event earlier this year, on 1 May (the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, and the anniversary of the founding of the CW), was to the Catholic Worker Farm in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire (as well as to the National Shrine of St Joseph at Farnborough Abbey).

For those who don't know who Dorothy Day is, the following excerpt from one of her articles should give some idea...

‘It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. […] But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that He speaks, with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that He gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that He gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that He walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that He begs and longs for shelter. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving to Christ. […] Not because it might be Christ who stays with us, comes to see us, takes up our time. Not because these people remind us of Christ […] but because they are Christ, asking us to find room for Him, exactly as He did at the first Christmas.’ (‘Room for Christ’ [1945] in Selected Writings, 94, 97)

'New York's Mother Teresa' (l) chats with her close friend 'Calcutta's Dorothy Day' (r)

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