Through Dorothy Day's journey from young, communist journalist, to her awakening as co-founder of The Catholic Worker newspaper and "houses of hospitality," sheltering and feeding New York City's homeless during the Great Depression, is told in the above referenced PBS documentary available on the internet. She has been on my mind lately and I heard the following from her this morning.
Dorothy Day: Hello, Ann, I have been wanting to talk to you about peace in the midst of war and poverty. You are afraid of the poor, afraid of your own revulsion to the conditions of poverty, to the endless needs, heartache and misery that envelops those who have no goods, no health care, no home, and no power. And yet you were raised by those whose poverty in the world could not restrict their access to the infinite riches of God.
I have come here to talk to you and others at their behest. You know, better than most, of the wisdom of those who are apparently lost. You know of the gifts that you have received from those who have nothing. You know what real poverty is when it steals your access to grace.
Ann: Yes, and I feel I should be doing more - or at this point something.
Dorothy Day: Yes, we should all be doing more. Your path is opening and will become wider as you move along the road that God has mapped out for you. I am not talking about white guilt. I am talking about true communion with those whose worlds appear to be so different from yours, who struggle in ways that you have never experienced but whom you recognize as brothers and sisters.
What you offer here is what you are given to do at this particular moment in time. These transmissions, my words and the words of others, are being disseminated here where otherwise we would remain silent.
You feel you should do more, and yet circumstances restrict you to your home at the moment. It may always be so, who is to say. The point is for you, for each of us, to find our own way to contribute, to alleviate poverty of home and spirit for ourselves and others as best we can. In giving, as you know well, we receive back tenfold. Find ways to be more generous of heart. Circumstances change but opportunities for giving always abound.
Do what you can, do what you are called to do, and be open to the next calling from God’s messengers. We each take of what we have and give to others.
July 13, 2020