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March 15, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

The Wisdom of Dorothy Day on Poverty and Social Justice

Dorothy Day, a staunch advocate of the poor and founder of the Catholic Worker movement, once remarked:

“There are days when I want to stop all those poor people giving their coins to the church, and tell them to march on the offices of the archdiocese – tell all those people inside those offices to move out of their plush rooms and share the lives of the hungry and the hurt. Would Jesus sit in some big, fancy, air-conditioned room near the banks and the department stores where the rich store their millions and spend their millions? Would he let himself be driven in big, black limousines, while thousands and thousands of people who believe in him and his Church are at the edge of starvation? Would he tolerate big mansions and fancy estates and luxurious traveling, while people come to church bare-footed and ragged and hungry and sick, children all over the world? In my mind, there is only one answer to questions like these: No!

“I’m afraid that going to church puts many of us to sleep. We become so pleased with ourselves – our virtue, for attending Mass – that we forget about how others are living, who don’t have the kind of lives we have.”

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