Dorothy Day: A Modern-Day Saint?

Oblate Sunday on November 20 featured oblate Clarey McInerny speaking about Dorothy Day. Her enthusiastic and animated presentation not only covered the life of Dorothy Day, but also her activism and leadership.

According to Clarey, Catholic Worker houses resemble the hospitality found in the Rule of St. Benedict. She continued in this vein of comparison. Poverty, as she sees it, reminds her of the Benedictine call to poverty. When you have enough for yourself, you share it. You take care of others as well as yourself. In fact, she dared to declare that “community is a commandment because we belong to each other,” much like what we find in the Gospel.

The last section of Clarey’s talk caught me especially because she posed a very practical question: “How can we live Day’s sense of community?” She suggested the following ways:

  • Practice humility—How am I in relationship to God? To others? Do I have more than enough? Is my way of life a gift of self to others?
  • Practice obedience—What does God need from me? What does my community need from me? Do I have gifts that I could be using to benefit others?
  • Look for and build commonality, even in the most unlikely places.
  • If you see a problem, look for a solution—don’t wait for someone to do it for you.
  • Pray, read Scripture, go to Mass—and invite others to do it with you.
  • Follow your conscience—but make sure you have educated yourself on the Gospel, too.

These ways fit perfectly into the season we are approaching. I feel I have been gifted with the formula I was trying to find for Advent.

Happy Advent, Everyone.

Mary Jane Berger, OSB

Photo: Clarey giving her presentation at Oblate Sunday, taken by Sister Carleen Schomer