There are so many definitions of the word saint, the most common one is that a saint is a holy person who has a virtuous life and perfect faith, capable of miracles. But a journey of a saint is long and arduous.That is why Dorothy Day never wanted to be called a saint: "Don't call me a saint, I don't want to be dismissed that easily."
I encountered Dorothy when I started reading more about Mistic Christianism and the work of the Catholic Workers Houses. Then I was mesmerized with Dorothy's conviction and faith, that took her so many times to jail and very harsh situations. Still, her light was bright and she was able to bring hope in her ministry to many.
She was born November 8, 1897, in Brooklyn Heights, New York and she was very bright, so much that she was able to get a scholarship to study Journalism where she was always open to new ways of intellectual thinking and met many intellectuals of her time. She lived a life very true to herself, was very open to help others but still kept searching for meaning in her own life.
She went through a lot of hardships as a woman, trying to understand herself and what she was doing and went through a lot of disappointments with herself. Like falling in love and failing. Still, her conversion to real faith came later on when she became a mother and she had to choose the kind of life she was willing to live. It took a lot of courage on her part.
It was her faith journey, it was her conviction, something that many fail to understand. She was called proudful and crazy, a bad mother, and a troublemaker. And still, her understanding of God's love was very clear: “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
Her deep understanding of human poverty and loneliness brought her into a deep transformation of herself and others. Till the end, she was able to speak up for the hungry, homeless and immigrant. She was put in jail several times to protest against war and nuclear weapons. She was attacked and her life was in danger but she gave this advice: “Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.” She was talking about all the dispossessed, drug addicts, refugees, and alcoholics that she helped.
The reason we need to remember Dorothy today is that what she did, it can be something we face in our own journey. As women, as humans, we are living in times where a lot of contradictions and injustices arise. We can answer and find our own calling. To make this world a better place for all. Dorothy Day was very admirable, she willingly chose to stand and stay with the 'undesirable' because she saw the light in them. She saw the great need on that.
Love is extremely revolutionary: “The greatest challenge of the day is: How to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”
That was her calling, we need to uplift others the same way. Are we listening to our calling? She died November 29, 1980. Until her last day, she kept serving others. She kept speaking up. She made a difference.
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