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83 Notable Quotes By Dorothy Day, The Founder Of Catholic Worker Movement

Famous As: American Social Activist, Journalist, and Anarchist
Born On: November 8, 1897
Died On: November 29, 1980
Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Founder / Co Founder: Catholic Worker Movement
Died At Age: 83
Dorothy Day was a famous American social activist who founded the ‘Catholic Worker Movement’. She became a journalist at an early stage of her life, and wrote for various socialist publications. As a social activist she stood for various issues like women voting rights and got arrested many times. With the help of her experience as an activist she wrote ‘The Eleventh Virgin’. After going through a spiritual enlightenment she co-founded the newspaper ‘The Catholic Worker’ which aimed at promoting Catholic teachings. The ‘Catholic Worker Movement’ initiated by her with the same motive spread to many countries like Canada and United Kingdom. She even turned to writing and penned down various autobiographical works. These autobiographies explained different phases of her life. She was honored with the ‘Pacem in Tetris Award’ for spreading peace and justice globally. She was also awarded the ‘Laetare Medal’ from the ‘University of Notre Dame’ for her exceptional service to the Roman Catholic society. We bring to you a treasure trove of quotations and thoughts by Dorothy Day which have been extracted from the vast sea of her work. Go through these quotes by Dorothy Day to enlighten yourself about the catholic society. 
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?

The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?

Dorothy Day
We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

Dorothy Day
Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.

Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.

Dorothy Day
I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.

I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.

Dorothy Day
Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.

Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.

Dorothy Day
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.

Dorothy Day
There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our own hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods.

There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our own hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods.

Dorothy Day

When you love people, you see all the good in them, all the Christ in them. God sees Christ, His Son, in us and loves us. And so we should see Christ in others, and nothing else, and love them. There can never be enough of it. There can never be enough thinking about it.

Dorothy Day
Think what the world could look like if we took care of the poor even half as well as we do our Bibles!

Think what the world could look like if we took care of the poor even half as well as we do our Bibles!

Dorothy Day

I do not know how to love God except by loving the poor. I do not know how to serve God except by serving the poor.... Here, within this great city of nine million people, we must, in this neighborhood, on this street, in this parish, regain a sense of community which is the basis for peace in the world.

Dorothy Day

Turn off your radio. Put away your daily paper. Read one review of events a week and spend some time reading good books. They tell too of days of striving and of strife. They are of other centuries and also of our own. They make us realize that all times are perilous, that men live in a dangerous world, in peril constantly of losing or maiming soul and body. We get some sense of perspective reading such books. Renewed courage and faith and even joy to live.

Dorothy Day

We need to change the system. We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists 'of conspiring to teach [us] to do,' but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York.

Dorothy Day
The biggest mistake sometimes is to play things very safe in this life and end up being moral failures.

The biggest mistake sometimes is to play things very safe in this life and end up being moral failures.

Dorothy Day

Poverty is a strange and elusive thing. ... I condemn poverty and I advocate it; poverty is simple and complex at once; it is a social phenomenon and a personal matter. Poverty is an elusive thing, and a paradoxical one. We need always to be thinking and writing about it, for if we are not among its victims its reality fades from us. We must talk about poverty because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.

Dorothy Day

Maybe I was praying for him then, in my own way. Does God have a set way of prayer, a way that He expects each of us to follow? I doubt it. I believe some people-- lots of people-- pray through the witness of their lives, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people and receive from people. Since when are words the only acceptable form of prayer?

Dorothy Day
Women think with their whole bodies and they see things as a whole more than men do.

Women think with their whole bodies and they see things as a whole more than men do.

Dorothy Day

True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding, full of beauty and grace, full of joy unutterable. There should be some flavor of this in all our love for others. We are all one. We are one flesh in the Mystical Body as man and woman are said to be one flesh in marriage. With such a love one would see all things new; we would begin to see people as they really are, as God sees them.

Dorothy Day
You can spend your time agonizing or organizing.

You can spend your time agonizing or organizing.

Dorothy Day
With prayer, one can go on cheerfully and even happily. Without prayer, how grim a journey!

With prayer, one can go on cheerfully and even happily. Without prayer, how grim a journey!

Dorothy Day
The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

Dorothy Day
You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right.

You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right.

Dorothy Day
When it comes to labor and politics, I am inclined to be sympathetic
 to the left, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, then I am far to
 the right.

When it comes to labor and politics, I am inclined to be sympathetic to the left, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, then I am far to the right.

Dorothy Day
Common sense in religion is rare, and we are too often trying to be heroic instead of just ordinarily good and kind.

Common sense in religion is rare, and we are too often trying to be heroic instead of just ordinarily good and kind.

Dorothy Day
Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed.

Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed.

Dorothy Day

To feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the harborless without also trying to change the social order so that people can feed, clothe and shelter themselves is just to apply palliatives. It is to show a lack of faith in one’s fellows, their responsibilitie s as children of God, heirs of heaven.

Dorothy Day
We should live in such a way that our lives wouldn't make much sense if the gospel were not true.

We should live in such a way that our lives wouldn't make much sense if the gospel were not true.

Dorothy Day
People, wherever they are, can make a community.

People, wherever they are, can make a community.

Dorothy Day
My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms.

My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms.

Dorothy Day

If you are rushed for time, sow time and you will reap time. Go to church and spend a quiet hour in prayer. You will have more time than ever and your work will get done. Sow time with the poor. Sit and listen to them, give them your time lavishly. You will reap time a hundredfold.

Dorothy Day
To me, birth control and abortion are genocide.I say, make room for children, don't do away with them.

To me, birth control and abortion are genocide.I say, make room for children, don't do away with them.

Dorothy Day
True obedience is a matter of love, which makes it voluntary, not compelled by fear or force.

True obedience is a matter of love, which makes it voluntary, not compelled by fear or force.

Dorothy Day
Communities are made up of the unlovable as well as the lovable.

Communities are made up of the unlovable as well as the lovable.

Dorothy Day
If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.

If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.

Dorothy Day
You see I'm such a fool that I'm never afraid of appearing foolish.

You see I'm such a fool that I'm never afraid of appearing foolish.

Dorothy Day
What else do we all want, each one of us, except to love and be loved, in our families, in our work, in all our relationships?

What else do we all want, each one of us, except to love and be loved, in our families, in our work, in all our relationships?

Dorothy Day
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.

Dorothy Day

Whatever I had read as a child about the saints had thrilled me. I could see the nobility of giving one's life for the sick, the maimed, the leper. But there was another question in my mind. Why was so much done in remedying the evil instead of avoiding it in the first place? Where were the saints to try to change the social order, not just to minister to the slaves, but to do away with slavery?

Dorothy Day
We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.

We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.

Dorothy Day

I felt that the Church was the Church of the poor,... but at the same time, I felt that it did not set its face against a social order which made so much charity in the present sense of the word necessary. I felt that charity was a word to choke over. Who wanted charity? And it was not just human pride but a strong sense of man's dignity and worth, and what was due to him in justice, that made me resent, rather than feel pround of so mighty a sum total of Catholic institutions.

Dorothy Day
The only solution is love.

The only solution is love.

Dorothy Day
If you are going to try and change things, you had better have your wits about you.

If you are going to try and change things, you had better have your wits about you.

Dorothy Day
Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.

Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.

Dorothy Day
The final word is love.

The final word is love.

Dorothy Day
It is people who are important, not the masses.

It is people who are important, not the masses.

Dorothy Day

The works of mercy are the opposite of the works of war, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, nursing the sick, visiting the prisoner. But we are destroying crops, setting fire to entire villages and to the people in them. We are not performing the works of mercy but the works of war.

Dorothy Day
Our rule is the works of mercy... It is the way of sacrifice, worship, a sense of reverence.

Our rule is the works of mercy... It is the way of sacrifice, worship, a sense of reverence.

Dorothy Day
Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair.

Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair.

Dorothy Day
The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them.

The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them.

Dorothy Day
Writing is hard work. But if you want to become a writer you will become one. Nothing will stop you.

Writing is hard work. But if you want to become a writer you will become one. Nothing will stop you.

Dorothy Day

I was always much impressed, in reading prison memoirs of revolutionists, such as Lenin and Trotsky ... by the amount of reading they did, the languages they studied, the range of their plans for a better social order. (Or rather, for a new social order.) In the Acts of the Apostles there are constant references to the Way and the New Man.

Dorothy Day

People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.

Dorothy Day
God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them

God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them

Dorothy Day
People say,

People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.

Dorothy Day

As we come to know the seriousness of the situation, the war, the racism, the poverty in our world, we come to realize that things will not be changed simply by words or demonstrations. Rather, it's a question of living one's life in a drastically different way.

Dorothy Day
Love and ever more love
is the only solution to every problem that comes up.

Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.

Dorothy Day

What we would like to do is change the world - make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended for them to do....We can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing that we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as well as our friend.

Dorothy Day
If you feed the poor, you're a saint. If you ask why they're poor, you're a Communist.

If you feed the poor, you're a saint. If you ask why they're poor, you're a Communist.

Dorothy Day
Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily.

Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily.

Dorothy Day

Over and over again, people had to disobey lawful authority to follow the voice of their conscience. This obedience to God and disobedience to the State has, over and over again, happened throughout history. It is time again to cry out against our 'leaders,' to question (since it is not for us to say that they are evil) whether or not they are sane.

Dorothy Day
As Dostoevski said: 'Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.

As Dostoevski said: 'Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.

Dorothy Day
When it comes down to it, even on the natural plane, it is much happier and more enlivening to love than to be loved.

When it comes down to it, even on the natural plane, it is much happier and more enlivening to love than to be loved.

Dorothy Day

How necessary it is to cultivate a spirit of joy. It is a psychological truth that the physical acts of reverence and devotion make one feel devout. The courteous gesture increases one's respect for others. To act lovingly is to begin to feel loving, and certainly to act joyfully brings joy to others which in turn makes one feel joyful. I believe we are called to the duty of delight.

Dorothy Day
Love in action is harsh and dreadful when compared to love in dreams.

Love in action is harsh and dreadful when compared to love in dreams.

Dorothy Day

What we would like to do is change the world...by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.

Dorothy Day

Do not give to the poor expecting to get their gratitude so that you can feel good about yourself. If you do, your giving will be thin and short-lived, and that is not what the poor need; it will only improvish them further. Give only if you have something you must give; give only if you are someone for whom giving is its own reward.

Dorothy Day
Charity is only as warm as those who administer it.

Charity is only as warm as those who administer it.

Dorothy Day
We must always aim for the impossible; if we lower our goal, we also diminish our effort.

We must always aim for the impossible; if we lower our goal, we also diminish our effort.

Dorothy Day

We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.

Dorothy Day
The best things to do with the best things in life is to give them away.

The best things to do with the best things in life is to give them away.

Dorothy Day
Everything a baptized person does every day should be directly or indirectly related to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Everything a baptized person does every day should be directly or indirectly related to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Dorothy Day

An individual can march for peace or vote for peace and can have, perhaps, some small influence on global concerns. But the same individual is a giant in the eyes of a child at home. If peace is to be built, it must start with the individual. It is built brick by brick.

Dorothy Day
We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.

We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.

Dorothy Day
No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.

Dorothy Day
There are two things you should know about the poor: they tend to smell, and they are ungrateful.

There are two things you should know about the poor: they tend to smell, and they are ungrateful.

Dorothy Day
The only answer in this life, to the loneliness we are all bound to feel, is community.

The only answer in this life, to the loneliness we are all bound to feel, is community.

Dorothy Day
Your love for God is only as great as the love you have for the person you love the least.

Your love for God is only as great as the love you have for the person you love the least.

Dorothy Day
What I want to bring out is how a pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that.

What I want to bring out is how a pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that.

Dorothy Day
An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all.

An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all.

Dorothy Day
If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because 
 I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.

If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.

Dorothy Day

I cannot worry much about your sins and miseries when I have so many of my own. I can only love you all, poor fellow travelers, fellow sufferers. I do not want to add one least straw to the burden you already carry. My prayer from day to day is that God will so enlarge my heart that I will see you all, and live with you all, in His love.

Dorothy Day
For to Ade,...the holy man was the whole mad, the man of integrity, who not only tried to change the world, but to live in it as it was.

For to Ade,...the holy man was the whole mad, the man of integrity, who not only tried to change the world, but to live in it as it was.

Dorothy Day
Have we even begun to be Christians?

Have we even begun to be Christians?

Dorothy Day
The vanity of Eve, that desire to exercise power, to seduce, to drag down!

The vanity of Eve, that desire to exercise power, to seduce, to drag down!

Dorothy Day