Dorothy Day died Nov 29 1980. When she was a child in Chicago, Dorothy went to visit her friend Katheryn Barrett in a neighboring tenement apartment. Bursting into the kitchen she found Katheryn’s mother kneeling on the floor saying her prayers.
Day writes, “I felt a warm burst of love toward Mrs. Barrett that I have never forgotten, a feeling of gratitude and happiness that still warms my heart when I remember her. …
One pauses to consider that behind every great saint there are undoubtedly many other anonymous figures like Mrs. Barrett, who could never conceive the influence of their simple witness.
Today Day’s cause for canonization is in process. Pope Francis cited her as one of 4 “great Americans.” [Robert Elsberg, publisher, Orbis Books]
Dorothy Day:Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.
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?
In the end we will hear what we are:
The orchard or the road leading past.
“Prayer is a perspective from which to behold, from which to respond to, the challenges we face. (Wo)man in prayer does not seek to impose personal life upon God; (s)he seeks to impose God’s will and mercy upon self. Prayer is necessary to make us aware of our failures, backsliding, transgressions, sins.
To pray is to open a door, where both God and soul may enter. Prayer is arrival, for Him and for us. To pray is to overcome distance, to shatter screens, to render obliquities straight, to heal the break between God and world.
A dreadful oblivion prevails in the world. The world has forgotten what it means to be human. The gap is widening, the abyss is within the self.”
-Abraham Joshua Heschel
Beatitudes of Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
-Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10
“Bless the leaders of the our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.
To all in administrative authority…Cabinet, Governors, Mayors (particularly, and currently, our Senators), grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of duties.
Give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.
To the officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.
-The Book of Common Prayer , p. 733.
‘You and I should form the habit of taking definite time each day to pray for peace with justice, for there is not peace possible without justice. […] We should not only pray, we should act, each contributing the best they have to the common purpose, each willing to make any sacrifice necessary…for there can be no individual self-preservation without the preservation of all.’
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
In this current cultural climate and in my new position as a social justice minister, I’ve found myself continually pondering what it is that motivates us to take a stand for the rights of others. How do we do this ethically and not paternalistically? I’m discovering that my spiritual path deepens greatly when I’m connecting my own identity to the identity of the whole, realizing that who I am extends far beyond the cones of this ego self. I am the Oneness that Holmes spoke of above: Self-preservation does not exist without the preservation of all. The wellness and dignity of the whole is an inextricable truth of Oneness.
Taking action on this belief can be difficult because to be a presence for healing and equity, we must become aware of what needs to heal in us and the unconscious ways we may be perpetuating inequity without meaning to.
There are many ways in which I have been sheltered from the inequities of the world because I have grow up in a society that unconsciously perpetuates systems that benefit some to the detriment of others. In other ways, as a person of color, I have experienced what race – and ethnicity – based inequity feels like.
To be in a place where I am genuinely present to creating a world of peace and prosperity for all means that I also am invited to be in a place where I get to explore my own privileges and inequities. I get to be in conversation with people who also want to heal and be agents of helping. These conversations can be uncomfortable and painful, but they are also medicine.
I think as we strive to create a world that works for all, we are being offered an invitation to heal and to be medicine in this world through vulnerable communication with folks who have different experiences than we do.
-Re. Masando Hiraoka
Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living in New Mexico
‘Infinite Spirit within me, Gaia, cause me to think and act kindly; constrain my mind to gentleness and peace; guide my thoughts into loving kindness and eternal forgivingness; and cause me in all my ways to follow the path of truth and justice. I judge no person and am judged by none. It is my sincere desire that everything I do or say or think will come into harmony with universal truth and justice. I judge no person and am judged by none. It is my sincere desire that everything I do or say or think will come into harmony with universal truth and peace, with love and joy. Consciously I let go of everything that is unkind and seek to so enter into communion with the Eternal Spirit that I shall reflect to my environment and manifest in all that I do the spirit of kindness, of justice, and of compassion.’