Thursday, March 27, 2008

"In the end, everything was a form of prayer"

From the first time I heard about Dorothy Day, I have been captivated by her life. I now realize that she shared the passion of words that my father had. They both used words as their tools. For my father these words were most often expressed in his poetry and sermons. Dorothy Day wrote many books including her autobiography The Long Loneliness and was the chief editor of the Catholic Worker papers.
She described the mission of the paper in an editorial:
For those who are sitting on park benches in the warm spring sunlight.
For those who are huddling in shelters trying to escape the rain.
For those who are walking the streets in the all but futile search for work.
For those who think that there is no hope for the future, no recognition of their plight- this little paper is addressed.
It is printed to call their attention to the fact that the Catholic Church has a social program - to let them know that there are men of God who are working not only for their spiritual but for their material welfare.

The Commonweal (a Catholic magazine) features an article by Robert Ellsberg who had the opportunity to spend some time with Dorothy Day. He shares what he learned from her, especially about the importance of writing. He states that, "Her diaries provide a unique window on (her) life, and on the witness of a woman for whom, in the end, everything was a form of prayer."

I am fascinated by the idea that "in end, everything was a form of prayer." I think this touches upon what Paul writes about in 1 Thessalonians. "Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

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