The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.— Dorothy Day
The most special Dorothy Day quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.
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. When we begin to take the lowest places, to wash the feet of others, to love our brothers with that burning love, that passion which led to the cross, then we can truly say, 'Now I have begun'.
We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.
Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.
Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.
What we would like to do is change the world.
..by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.
Do not give to the poor expecting to get their gratitude so that you can feel good about yourself. If you do, your giving will be thin and short-lived, and that is not what the poor need; it will only improvish them further. Give only if you have something you must give; give only if you are someone for whom giving is its own reward.
We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.
No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There's too much work to do.
People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.
As we come to know the seriousness of the situation, the war, the racism, the poverty in our world, we come to realize that things will not be changed simply by words or demonstrations. Rather, it's a question of living one's life in a drastically different way.
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.
There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our own hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods.
I do not know how to love God except by loving the poor.
I do not know how to serve God except by serving the poor.... Here, within this great city of nine million people, we must, in this neighborhood, on this street, in this parish, regain a sense of community which is the basis for peace in the world.
I cannot worry much about your sins and miseries when I have so many of my own.
I can only love you all, poor fellow travellers, fellow sufferers. I do not want to add one least straw to the burden you already carry.
An individual can march for peace or vote for peace and can have, perhaps, some small influence on global concerns. But the same individual is a giant in the eyes of a child at home. If peace is to be built, it must start with the individual. It is built brick by brick.
My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms.
You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you.
You will know. You will know when it's right.
An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all.
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
Women think with their whole bodies and they see things as a whole more than men do.
The biggest mistake sometimes is to play things very safe in this life and end up being moral failures.
You can spend your time agonizing or organizing.
Dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as well as our friend.
We need to change the system. We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists 'of conspiring to teach [us] to do,' but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York.
We are all called to be saints, St. Paul says, and we might as well get over our bourgeois fear of the name. We might also get used to recognizing the fact that there is some of the saint in all of us.
To feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the harborless without also trying to change the social order so that people can feed, clothe and shelter themselves is just to apply palliatives. It is to show a lack of faith in one’s fellows, their responsibilitie s as children of God, heirs of heaven.
"How can you see Christ in people?" And we only say: It is an act of faith, constantly repeated. It is an act of love, resulting from an act of faith. It is an act of hope, that we can awaken these same acts in their hearts, too, with the help of God.
As Dostoevski said: 'Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.
What else do we all want, each one of us, except to love and be loved, in our families, in our work, in all our relationships?
Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair.
Our rule is the works of mercy... It is the way of sacrifice, worship, a sense of reverence.
Most of our life is unimportant, filled with trivial things from morning till night. But when it is transformed by love it is of interest even to the angels.
Men are beginning to realize that they are not individuals but persons in society, that man alone is weak and adrift, that he must seek strength in common action.
I firmly believe that our salvation depends on the poor.
The final word is love.
Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.
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 for them to do.
If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.
They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.
My whole life so far, my whole experience has been that our failure has been not to love enough. This conviction brought me to a rejection of the radical movement after my early membership in the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Communist affiliates I worked with.
When we have spiritual reading at meals, when we have the rosary at night, when we have study groups, forums, when we go out to distribute literature at meetings, or sell it on the street corners, Christ is there with us.
Our faith is stronger than death, our philosophy is firmer than flesh, and the spread of the Kingdom of God upon the earth is more sublime and more compelling.
Where are the heroes and the saints, who keep a clear vision of man's greatest gift, his freedom, to oppose not only the dictatorship of the proletariat, but also the dictatorship of the benevolent state, which takes possession of the family, and of the indigent, and claims our young for war?
Paperwork, cleaning the house, dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience and acting intelligently, which is to find some meaning in all that happens-these things, too, are the works of peace, and often seem like a very little way.
The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have far to drop, you do not have much to lose.
The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love.
The Sexual Revolution is a complete rebellion against authority, natural and supernatural, even against the body and its needs, its natural functions of child bearing. This is not reverence for life, it is a great denial and more resembles Nihilism than the revolution that they think they are furthering.
The works of mercy are the opposite of the works of war, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, nursing the sick, visiting the prisoner. But we are destroying crops, setting fire to entire villages and to the people in them. We are not performing the works of mercy but the works of war.