Amid all of the post-election processing, commentary and discussion, I found myself thinking about Dorothy Day and what sort of wisdom this twentieth-century saint (at least by popular acclaim, while her official cause for canonization has been opened in the Church) might have to offer us on the day after an election. With that I offer several little quotes from Day that I feel are worth keeping in the back of one’s mind as we pause to consider what is next for our government and society at large.
These are challenging and edifying remarks that certainly cause me to re-evaluate my own manner of engaging with others and I encourage you to be open to that challenge as well. I hope, as I believe Dorothy Day would also hope, that the newly elected legislators and governors would be sure to keep the least among us in the forefront of their political agendas, just as Christ did.
- “I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”
- “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
- “It is people who are important, not the masses.”
- “What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words–we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”
- “Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed. “
- “Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
- “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart.”
[Ikon by my Franciscan brother, Robert Lentz, OFM]