Dorothy’s Diaries

Finally got hold of a copy of the diaries of Dorothy Day, recently published. Very worthwhile. Here are a few nuggets from the first 200 or so pages.

“Love is a matter of the will. If you will to love someone (even the most repulsive and wicked), and try to serve him as an expression of that love, then you soon come to feel the love.”

“Thinking gloomily of the sins and shortcomings of others, and it suddenly came to me to remember my own offenses, just as heinous as those of others. If I concern myself with my own sins and lament them, if I remember my own failures and lapses, I will not be resentful of others. This was most cheering and lifted the load of gloom from my mind. It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them.”

“As I came down the street a well dressed priest drove by in a big car. Then I passed another — also well dressed, comfortable….Then still another out in front of a most luxurious mansion, the parish house, playing with a dog on a leash. All of them well fed, well housed, comfortable, caring for the safe people like themselves. And where are the priests for the poor, the down and out, the sick in city hospitals, in jails. It is the little of God’s children who do not get cared for. God help them and God help the priest who is caught in the bourgeois system and cannot get out.”

“Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

“A sad world. We are surrounded by sadness. One must will to rejoice.”

“Oh, the cleavage between priest and people, the comfortable and the destitute!”

“To love our brother because Jesus, Son of God, gave us a picture of that love in the story of the prodigal son. That is the kind of Father we have. No judgment there. Only the madness of love, deep, profound, as profligate in its way as the son’s tawdry loves had been profligate.”

“O God, give me the grace ever to alleviate the crosses of those around me, never to add to them.”

“I will tell you personally over and over, O God, I love you, I adore you, I worship you. Make me mean it in my life. Make me show it in my choices. Make me show it from my waking thought to my sleeping.”

“I speak and write so much better than I perform. But we can never lower the ideal because we fail in living up to it.”

“God wishes us to feel His Immanence. He is near as teh breath we draw. We have Him present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, and if our faith were as a grain of mustard seed, we would be prostrate as we entered His presence. We take His Presence so much for granted!”



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