Dorothy Day, 1897-1980
Dorothy Day was founder of the Catholic worker, a newspaper and activist community supporting the poor and the marginalized in the first half of the 20th Century. I think she is the epitome of accepting freedom and power God gives to reject evil, oppression and injustice in its many forms.
“Money is the blood of the poor,” Leon Bloy said. And he went on to write that poverty is a heaven for those who chose her, a cross for those who do not desire her, but absolute poverty is hell. Destitution isolates men. “Poverty is the face of Christ, the Face that was spat upon, that put to flight the Prince of this world.” He spoke bitterly of that type of poverty, “that scandalous, revolting type of poverty that had to be helped, that was connected with no hope of glory and which has nothing to give in return.”
And this is the type of poverty which we have on a Catholic Worker farm. It is not self-sustaining, it has to be helped. And this is the bitterness which eats into the souls of those Catholic Workers who are married, who are raising families, who are trying to live, either on a wage or on the land.
In their suffering they reject the idea of almsgiving. And to protest this, is the point of this entire article.
Leon Bloy said, in a letter to Barbey D’Aurevilly, “I have become convinced that suffering is the only supernatural element here below, all else is human.”