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Dorothy Day: A saint like you and me

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George B. Horton of the Dorothy Day Guild discusses the Servant of God.

In my journal, while pondering the Servant of God, Dorothy Day, I once wondered whether she was a woman so far ahead of her time that she was uniquely suited to speak to ours.

I was thinking about how she was a woman who had an abortion well before such action became an all-too-common practice, and she regretted it long before anyone thought to formulate ministries designed to help women (and men) living with that regret.

During the rebellious and heady 1960s she was ahead of the times, too. More and more 21st-century lay people are taking up the prayers of the Divine Office, but Dorothy, as a Benedictine Oblate, quietly prayed the Office every day, decades before most of else felt called to it.

She also anticipated Pope Francis by some decades. Well before His Holiness appeared on our horizon, urging us out to the margins and telling his priests to “smell of the sheep,” Dorothy was — like Christ, whom she served — setting her tent among the poor and the forgotten, and accompanying them, day by day.

And in these divided times, where virtue-signalling is an easy way to fall into what can ultimately be soul-cripplingly bad company, Dorothy Day is a hopeful example to those who would say to friends on either side, “I am Christ’s, first.”

In this video, George B. Horton of the Dorothy Day Guild discusses Day, noting her devotion to the Mass, the Rosary and Scripture, and gives us a glimpse at what it looks like to shrug off times and trends to live within the presence of the Eternal Word.

Servant of God, Dorothy Day, pray for us. 

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