Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dorothy Day - Review of Her Biography: "All Is Grace"

My friend, the Rev. Robert Orr, offers the following review of a biography on Dorothy Day:


I've just finished All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day by Jim Forrest.  

He does a remarkable job of telling the Catholic Worker story and introducing us to the beautiful woman Dorothy Day was.  

Again and again while I was reading it, I remembered you helping me get to work at the "Hippy Kitchen"/ Catholic Worker soup kitchen in LA.  In fact I used a flyer from that organization as a bookmark.  

I was struck by Day's "wild" life prior to her conversion, her empathy for men and women "on the street" during the depths of the depression, her need for solitude and community and how she balanced the two, her deep love of Russian literature,(especially Dostoyevsky) and the Orthodox Church, the birth of her daughter and her deep hurt when the father refused to marry her.  

Again and again she struggled to accomplish the "works of mercy" as she called them, and, of course, standing against war and the propaganda of war.  

Always she was a writer reflecting in her regular columns in the paper what was happening in her life, what she was thinking and praying about, and developments in the Catholic Worker movement.  

She remained a conservative Catholic who worked at seeing Christ in every human being.  She was a radical who challenged American society again and again - truly a person who taught us all what it means to follow Christ.  

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