Saint's Lives and Writing: December 2003 Archives

Finished the Dorothy Day Book. And while it is insufficient to understand the intimate details of Ms. Day's spiritual life, there were elements of it that were both laudable and lamentable. Perhaps it is merely the presentation, but much of Ms. Day's activism strikes me as principle first, Christ second. Now, this is probably a result of just a striking blow at biography, so please don't let my words persuade you--they don't even persuade me.

But there is much that I like in what Ms. Day has to say. Most famously she is quoted as saying "Don't call me a saint, I don't want to be dismissed that easily." And I think that the statement is often taken out of context and misunderstood. If I read Ms. Day aright (and again, on this brief acquaintance, it's highly likely I do not) those who use this quote as an argument against canonization are dead wrong.

Ms. Day was not saying that sainthood was not a good thing or that to become a saint was not a desirable goal. It strike me that her statement is simply that once you've been labeled a saint your works are extraordinary and beyond the ability of any normal human being. It gives everyone an excuse not to try. This, it seems to me, is what Ms. Day is arguing against.

Finally, a wonderful quote, among many good things in the book:

Thank God for retroactive prayer! St Paul said that he did not judge himself, nor must we judge ourselves. We can turn to our Lord Jesus Christ, who has already repaired the greatest evil that ever happened or could ever happen, and trust that He will make up for our falls, for our neglects, for our failures in love.
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This page is a archive of entries in the Saint's Lives and Writing category from December 2003.

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