"And, in the end, the love you take; is equal to the love you make." -The End by The Beatles
Physical work is hard. Mental work is harder. Spiritual work is the hardest of all for it is a solitary suffering that requires an endurance that can only be fueled by a burning love for God and God is within All.
Dorothy Day lived a diverse 83 years that culminated in 1980. She spent her youth amongst anarchists, communists and bohemians, in bars, on picket lines, in jail cells and through many unhappy love affairs. She ended life with a mile high FBI file and a paper trail that testifies that what she wrote, she believed, she did and lived.
She accomplished that and in the end; much more.
As an unwed mother she shocked her progressive friends when she entered the Roman Catholic Church, and from the inside, she began to critique it. She called herself a journalist, but she was also a spiritual writer and a St. Francis of Assisi-a lone prophetic voice of wisdom that challenged church-and state-and illuminated their corruption of the gospel/good news that Jesus said was non-negotiable for his follower's; to be NONVIOLENT, to forgive in order to be forgiven and to love even those who do not love back.
In a 1994 issue of The Progressive, Erwin Knoll reported "the day after the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor [was] a day when even the most committed pacifist might have been forgiven for maintaining a discreet silence"There was nothing discreet about Dorothy Day."
On the Sunday after Pearl Harbor, Day spoke out, "There is now all this patriotic indignation about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Japanese expansionism in Asia. Yet not a word about American and European colonialism in this same area. We, the British, the French, and others set up spheres of influence"control national states-against the expressed will of these states-and represent imperialism"We dictate to [all] "to where they can expand economically and politically, and we declare what policy they must observe. From our nationalistic and imperialistic point of view, we have every right to concentrate American military forces [Everywhere we chose]"But I waste rhetoric on international politics-the breeding grounds of war over the centuries. The balance of power and other empty slogans inspired by a false and flamboyant nationalism have bred conflict throughout 'civilized' history.
"And it has become too late in human history to tolerate wars which none can win. Nor dare we quibble about just wars"All wars are, by their very nature, evil and destructive. It has become too late for civilized people to accept this evil. We must take a stand. We must renounce war as an instrument of policy"Evil enough when the finest of our youth perish in conflict and even the causes of these conflicts were soon lost to memory. Even more horrible today when cities go up in flames and brilliant scientific minds are searching out ultimate weapons.
"War must cease. There are no victories. The world can bear the burden no longer. Yes, we must make a stand. Even as I speak to you, I may be guilty of what some men call treason. But we must reject war: Yes, we must now make a stand. War is murder, rape, ruin, death; war can end our civilization. I tell you that within a decade we will have weapons capable of ending this world as we have known it." [IBID]
In the pages of the all volunteer The Catholic Worker, which Dorothy Day founded, she advocated nonpayment of federal income tax as a protest against war and nuclear weapons. She stood her ground against Big Brother and corporate interests girded by her love for the NONVIOLENT Christ and under conviction that if the gospel that Jesus actually preached was practiced, it would transform the world.
In the 1950's an IRS employee asked Day to estimate her personal income tax for the previous ten years. She quipped, "You estimate my income for the past ten years, and you estimate what I owe. And how about, I won't pay that?"
Not until 1972 did the IRS bring another suit against Day's newspaper and also issued a threat to put it out of business. Dorothy responded:
"One of the most costly protests against war, in terms of long-enduring personal sacrifice, is to refuse to pay federal income taxes which go for war"Wars will cease when we refuse to pay for them"Our lives are open books-our work is obvious"Christ commanded His followers to perform what Christians have come to call the works of Mercy: feeding the hungry"visiting prisoners"And how opposite that is to the works of war which starve people by embargoes, lay waste the land, destroy homes, wipe out populations, mutilate and condemn millions more to confinement"Here in the Western Hemisphere, we went for precision bombing [reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki] we went for obliteration bombing.
"We are on the side of revolution"Jesus said that the worst enemies were those of our own households, and we are all apart of this country, citizens of the United States and we all share in its guilt"We disagree with all political parties dedicated to maintaining the status quo. We don't think the present system is worth maintaining"something else is necessary, some other vision of society must be held up and worked toward"We must reach our brother"the bridge is love and compassion-the suffering together which goes with love."
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