THE DUTY OF DELIGHT – The diaries of Dorothy Day

THE DUTY OF DELIGHT – The diaries of Dorothy Day

I have just finished a book, The Duty of Delight – The diaries of Dorothy Day edited by Robert Ellsberg. Dorothy is my great inspiration in my spiritual growth. I've written about this amazing woman before.

Ellsberg, who worked with Dorothy for many years says she attended daily Mass, which usually meant rising at dawn. She prayed the monastic hours from a breviary. She devoted time each day to Dorothy day meditating on scripture, saying the rosary. Dorothy in her diary says: . "Without the sacraments of the Church I certainly do not think that I could go on."

This is a very lengthy book and there are many inspiring passages. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it. Here are some of the passages I thought worth noting

  • Around the middle of the day to take, even though it be to snatch, fifteen minutes of absolute silence thinking about God and talking t o God….I do plenty of spiritual reading to refresh myself and encourage myself…The thing to remember is not to read so much or talk so much about God, but to talk to God. To practice the presence of God…To be gentle and charitable le in thought, word and deed."
  • "Mr Breen is someone we will not soon forget.. He remained with us until he died. As the end drew near, we all sat around his bedside, taking turns saying the rosary. In his last moments, Mr Breen looked up at us and said "I have only one possession left in the world -my cane. I want you to have it. Take it – take it and wrap it around the necks of some these bastards around here." Then he turned on a beatific smile. In his weak voice he whispered "God has been good to me" and smiling he died.
  • Fr. Pacifique Roy, a saintly French Canadian priest, became one of Dorothy’s closest spiritual advisor's. Once, after he suffered health problems, Dorothy asked him whether he had offered himself to God as a victim. He said "We are always saying to God things we don’t really mean and he takes us at our word."
  • She referred to when people give happy smiles or sweet expressions. "Oh to start out each day and greet each encounter with open arms – a message from our dear Lord to a friend of His. Someone He sent, His guest, not ours. "The sacrament of the present moment" as Father McSorley calls it.
  • If we start in by admitting that what we can do is very small – a drop in the bucket – and try to do that very well, it is a begriming.
  • Two things we have to learn – not to judge others and not to mind others judging us.
  • Woke up with the words in my ears "live your own life" not Tomar’s, not the children’s, which is too exhausting. Women are that way, unfortunately especially about their own. Need for more detachment
  • For Helene: Of course the Church is corrupt! But this corruption must put on incorruption…So I rejoice as I have in my short lifetime seen renewal going on, or read of them..Certainly I knew when I became a Catholic that the Church was a human institution and at first I had a sense of my betrayal of the working class, of the poor and oppressed for whom I had a romantic love…
  • Aside from drug addiction, I committed all the sins young people commit today. I am glad we repeat the Confiteor every day at Mass….
  • My sense of guilt over promiscuity and abortion here, reminding me of my own sins…Without a morning mediation I could not survive.
  • Now I should rejoice that I am ‘just an old woman’ as a little boy said the Rochester House of Hope long ago. He said "All day long they say ‘Dorothy is coming’ and now she is here and she’s just an old woman."

0 thoughts on “THE DUTY OF DELIGHT – The diaries of Dorothy Day

  1. Washington is no differant than the other 49 states except we are better off than the majority. The solution is going to be how much of the stimulous package can our senators and reps. get. It appears the number will be around the 4.5 Billion to 5.5 billion. We have the politcial power to max out our needs. I see very little in the package to insure permanent jobs for the middle class. I would like to see emphasis put on saving jobs, for example, Boeing lays off l0,000, gov”t goes to boeing and states, you keep the l0,000 or near l0,000 on we will assist you on paying their wages, a large percentage but they also would have to hire l0% new employees in training programs, apprentice programs and gov. would pay the bill for the l0%, have standards, the trainee, has to be working 60 days before money starts, programs in place, etc. same with other co.’s with large lay offs, Germany has done such programs for years. The US has some programs similar also, state by state. We need to creae permanent jobs in the private sector, public works type jobs cannot be sustained by government over a couple of years and we need to keep government from running or attempting to run the jobs. We will work it out but it is going to take 4 to 5 years to create enough permanent jobs to help turn the economy around, and government regulations on all levels, enforced to make it work. It is a mess but we can do it. Permanent jobs in all of the business community need to be assisted in training, apprentice programs etc., Some stiff Jail time for those who cheat and abuse the system. CB

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