Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) founded, along with Peter Maurin, the Catholic Worker movement, which initiated a newspaper of the same name and the Houses of Hospitality. Day said, “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.” When a person showed up at a House of Hospitality, no matter who they were, they were invited in for a meal and given a bed, if available. She believed, as many had taught before her, that “all that we owned beyond our needs was stolen from those who were hungry.” She believed in voluntary poverty, which today we might think of as the simple living movement. It didn’t mean being trapped beneath the oppression of society and living in destitution. Rather, it meant knowing that the ultimate source of security came from someplace other than in material possessions.
Dorothy Day continues to inspire many within the ecumenical community. In this August series of Spiritual Classics, she is the first and also the most contemporary of our Christian Ancestors. Let us listen at her knee for a while and see what we have yet to learn.
Scripture: Romans 12 Especially verse 13 – Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.