On Suffering and Futility: Dorothy Day’s Words on a Revolution of the Heart

Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 6:50 am

On Suffering and Futility: Dorothy Day’s Words on a Revolution of the Heart

While looking for an image to lead our episode with Paul Elie, I happened upon this lovely illustration in Malissa Winkowski’s thoughtful post on digitizing Dorothy Day’s work for The Catholic Worker. Included is this quotation from Ms. Day’s Loaves and Fishes:

“One of the greatest evils of the day among those outside the proximity of the suffering poor is their sense of futility. Young people say, ‘What good can one person do? 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; we can be responsible only for the action of the present moment but we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.

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 place, 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.'”

The takeaway: live “your love out loud even when it seems you have nothing to offer.” So lovely.

Share Post

Contributor

is the co-founder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

Share Your Reflection

Reflections

  • Gabby

    It’s a beautiful motto: “Live your love out loud.” Every day we can live our love through our actions, not just toward those naturally close to us (which is easiest) but on a wider scale.
    I find this post complementary, by chance, to Parker’s post of today, which offers that Nature owns us rather than our owning it. The relationship I notice is that we can think of ourselves as belonging also to people near and far we can help or serve.
    Thank you Trent and also Parker.

  • Pingback: Guiding Words on Perfectionism, Being Seen, and Racism | On Being()