The following post comes to Open Tabernacle from Dean Taylor of the Empire: Through a Glass Darkly blog. Dean has kindly offered to provide Open Tabernacle readers with links to some important resources for learning about the life of the important 20th-century lay Catholic activist, Dorothy Day.
One Abbot Howard Hoffman referred to Dorothy Day (with Dan Berrigan, upper right) as, “the first Hippie.” High praise indeed. Day’s Weltanschauung included as its primary consideration aid to the poor. She remarked: “If anybody comes to you hungry…you don’t say to him, ‘go be thou filled,’… ‘go be warm’…You go ahead and see to it that he does get what he needs. You can’t pass the buck that way.”
Journalist, Catholic activist, non-violent anarchist, Wobblie, succor to the poor of inner cities across America, Day willingly lived the fertile ground of voluntary poverty as a site of Love—the love she held for her God as well as the love (caritas) she expressed for her fellow man.
For Day, if you would that a revolution occur in the world–a revolution of equity of every kind, brotherhood, and freedom for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—then start that revolution in your own heart and soul. Be the hero of your own life, and you will be a hero—a source of love in the world—to others.
To effect that freedom and change, Day would not be seduced by the world. In this way, she had freed herself up to effect the change she wanted to see occur—for both herself and the collective drawn to her.
Day explains her spiritual-activist philosophy in several important video interviews that I recommend to anyone wanting more information about her.
For more on Day please visit the Dorothy Day Transcripts, a blog with journal articles about Day, as well as transcripts of the two interviews mentioned previously.