Our Lady of Victories and Dorothy Day

General Intention: + For the creation of structures of beauty and goodness.

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7th Work of Justice and Peace: Ensure fair distribution, subsidiarity, economic opportunity, justice, and food security for everyone everywhere.

Let us pray together in peace, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, help the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, bring justice to the poor, peace to all nations, and solidarity among all peoples. Open our eyes to see the beauty, joy, redemption, and goodness which comes through obedience to the call of your Son our Lord. Teach us to be a refuge of hope for all who are oppressed by injustice and violence. Give us strength to stand against the demonic powers which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant From this day all generations shall call me blessed. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

Dorothy Day, friend and partner of the poor, guiding spirit for the Catholic Worker, home always open to the unwanted, early, often lonely, witness in the cause of peace and conscience, eloquent pattern of gospel simplicity, Dorothy Day, disciple of the Lord, may we continue your gift of self to the needy and your untiring work for peace. Help us to follow your example and dedicate our lives to the creation of structures of beauty and goodness, wisdom and mercy.

Thoughts for the journey during the Jubile Holy Year 2000.

Dorothy Day was an early advocate of women's rights who wrote for radical leftist newspapers in the early years of this century. She was a bohemian as they said in those days -- but when she looked in her heart of hearts, she found it empty. By the grace and providence of God, she found our Lord and was baptized into the Catholic Church. Thus began a journey which led to the founding of the Catholic Worker movement, together with Peter Maurin and the other first Workers.

She worked her entire life to create and live structures of beauty and goodness. In the midst of the slums of New York, they provided hospitality to the poor while working for social justice. They learned that the works of mercy and the works of justice and peace are one and the same, different aspects of the same journey, all going the same direction. Long before it was a theological mantra, the "preferential option for the poor" was a living reality in the life and work of Dorothy Day. She was an informed critic of current events, prophetically looking for the truth in a given situation, and finding Jesus in the poor, rejected, and marginalized.

Her example inspires us today to consider how we can ensure fair distribution, subsidiarity, economic opportunity, justice, and food security for everyone everywhere. First we must see the structures of sin that bind us in poverty, and name the demons which oppress us. As we open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to the Spirit's guidance, we can discern our response to the signs of these times. We can buy farms and dedicate them for the purpose of raising food for the hungry. We can organize microenterprise co-operatives in every city to provide opportunity for the poor. We can look at our own individual situations, and adopt lifestyles of simplicity and frugality, rejecting the culture of materialistic conspicuous consumption in favor of a life of living simply, that others may simply live. We can discern the cry of the widow and orphan in our own neighborhoods, and be the hands and feet of God in relieving distress and creating justice. Dorothy Day used to quote St. Catherine of Sienna -- "All the way to heaven is heaven." May this be our prayer, in Jesus' holy name.

Selected Links

Dorothy Day Library on the Web

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