Archive for January, 2013

She lived life as though the Truth were actually true.

January 28, 2013

“She lived as though the Truth were actually true.” Dan Berrigan responding to the question, what had most impressed him about Dorothy Day.

Another year has passed and I find myself once again diving into the writings of Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker.

What is it about this woman, that I never met, that has so gripped my heart? Reading about her last days and passing brings tears to my eyes and the painful feelings of grief and loss.  Her death is as a light lost to the world.

I do not have any delusions about my ability to live the life she lived. I have tried and failed. The constant lack, the day-to-day struggle for the many simple things of life, was, for me, defeating.  There is nothing romantic about poverty, which Dorothy Day often called precarity.

I do not yet have the faith to live the life that Dorothy Day lived.  A life lived with the poor. A life lived in dependence upon providence and prayer.

However there is still much I, a Buddhist, can learn from Dorothy Day, a Catholic. Dorothy Day shows me that the teachings of the great religious teachers of this world are not just aspirational. They are livable and living teachings which each of us must strive to live. The “Sermon on the Mount” must be put in practice on a daily basis.  The Buddha’s compassion must be practiced in real and concrete ways in our daily lives.

In Dorothy Day’s life I find a woman of Faith struggling to live the teachings of Jesus as a response to the inner transformation that is the awakening of Faith.

In Dorothy Day’s life I find the inspiration to respond to the daily challenges of life with Faith.

In Dorothy Day’s life I find the strength to resist the temptation, albeit poorly, to respond to hatred with hatred.

And finally, in Dorothy Day’s life, I am challenge to live my Faith more deeply and to love more broadly.

Namo Amida Bu!