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Dorothy Day: An Introduction to Her Life and Thought

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In this introduction to the life and thought of Dorothy Day, one of the most important lay Catholics of the twentieth century, Terrence Wright presents her radical response to God's mercy. After a period of darkness and sin, which included an abortion and a suicide attempt, Day had a profound awakening to God's unlimited love and mercy through the birth of her daughter.

After her conversion, Day answered the calling to bring God's mercy to others. With Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933. Dedicated to both the spiritual and the corporal works of mercy, they established Houses of Hospitality, Catholic Worker Farms, and the Catholic Worker newspaper.

Drawing heavily from Day's own writings, this book reveals her love for Scripture, the sacraments, and the magisterial teaching of the Church. The author explores her philosophy and spirituality, including her devotion to Saints Francis, Benedict, and Therese. He also shows how her understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ led to some of her more controversial positions such as pacifism.

Since her death in 1980, Day continues to serve as a model of Christian love and commitment. She recognized Christ in the less fortunate and understood that to be a servant of these least among us is to be a servant of God.

 



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Born in 1897, Dorothy Day was one of the most important lay Catholics of the twentieth century and many have embraced her cause for canonization. Pope Francis praised Day as an American whose "hard work and self-sacrifice" has "shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people." Pope Francis also said that Day's "social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints." This description by the Pope may come as a surprise to both liberals and conservatives who misidentify her as a dissenting Catholic.

In this short introduction to Day's life and thought, Terrence Wright shows that the Pope's praise is accurate. In plain language, Wright presents her radical response to God's mercy in her own life. After a time of sin and confusion including an abortion, a suicide attempt, and divorce, Day had a profound awakening to God's unlimited love and mercy upon the birth of her daughter, Tamar. Her determination to have Tamar baptized in the Faith ultimately led to her own baptism, and the strength of her conversion enabled her to embark on a lifelong mission to bring God's mercy to others.

With Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement, a lay movement dedicated to both the spiritual and corporal works of mercy through the establishment of Houses of Hospitality, Catholic Worker Farms and the Catholic Worker newspaper. Wright explores the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the Catholic Worker Movement and shows how its work is grounded in the richness of Day's own spirituality. Drawing heavily from Day's own writings, he reveals her love for Scripture, for the Sacraments, for the Magisterial teaching of the Church, and her devotion to particular saints including St. Francis, St. Benedict, and St. Therese. He also explores her understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ and shows how this underpins one of her most controversial stances, radical pacifism.

After her death in 1980, Day has continued to serve as a model of Christian love and commitment. She recognized God in the less fortunate and she understood that to be a servant of these least among us is to be a servant of God. Wright's book shows that, far from being a dissenter, Day was a faithful Catholic.

Paperback 162 pages

Release date 3/20/2018


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