Few are those who truly believe this, and fewer still are those who actually live it out. Dorothy Day was one of them. Day was a social activist, journalist, Catholic convert, mother, political radical, pacifist, servant of God, and more. Yet Day embodied what it means to put faith into action for social justice, deeply seated in her conviction to serve the poor and vulnerable. Her prophetic witness continues today.
Whenever I groan within myself and think how hard it is to keep writing about love in these times of tension and strife which may at any moment become for us all a time of terror, I think to myself, "What else is the world interested in?" 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. God is Love. Love casts out fear. Even the most ardent revolutionist, seeking to change the world, to overturn the tables of the money changers, is trying to make a world where it is easier for people to love, to stand in that relationship with each other of love. We want with all our hearts to love, to be loved. And not just in the family but to look upon all as our mothers, sisters, brothers, children. It is when we love the most intensely and most humanly, that we can recognize how tepid is our love for others. The keenness and intensity of love brings with it suffering, of course, but joy too because it is a foretaste of heaven.*
As you seek to live into a way of love, let this encourage your hearts. It is only within the love of God and neighbor that we see heaven here on earth. This is the way God's kingdom comes.
So we pray for the Spirit of God to infuse our hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies with the power of love. May we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to perceive God's redemptive work all around us. And may we have the courage to take some risks, to put our bodies in the way of grace, to step in and join God there. Enter into the mystery of communion you were created for. Love and be loved.
by Jessica Ketola
* Excerpt from "On Pilgrimage," The Catholic Worker, April 1948, 1, 2, 11.