Dorothy Day, Servant of God, is clearly admired by Catholics and non-Catholics alike for example, Senator Mikulski says that she identifies with Day as a political and compassionate leader. But my encounter with her has been a timid one. My previous—and fairly common–societal experiences call me to question Ms. Day and her mission. It is as if she is a gadfly that Socrates aspired to be and what many saints were. A gadfly that annoys and prods at falsehoods and inconsistencies until the truth is fully exposed. I have always desired to know what spoke to Day to disturb a system? To critically question the norm? We seem to applaud the fact that these people were great and we love sinking into their little facts of live and revel in their charitable actions and complex and fascinating stories. But we rarely make haste to consider what they experienced that spoke truth to them or how we can be recipients of our own mission of life.
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?
There is a difference between lauding someone’s character as heroic opposed to asking why they are heroic. We love Dorothy Day because we love that she fed the poor and we were willing to overlook some of her controversial political opinions because of the good of the former. But people fail to notice that her protests of the Vietnam War and the Atomic-bomb were intimately connected with her work for the poor. This surrounds a question not of what or when or how…but why? And I believe that question is the key to someone’s heroism. Perhaps it is synonymous with intent, but to seek deeper and not dismiss intent as a mystery is where the truth lies.
We pretend that the intent of a saint is a simple matter, but if it truly were that simple what stops more people from advancing to the saintly level in this game of life?
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