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Monday, April 23, 2007

"The Church is my home."

While visiting relatives along the shores of Lake Ontario, I finally picked up my second hand copy of 'Dorothy Day, A Radical Devotion,' by Robert Coles. Despite having read one other biography and Day's autobiography, I am engaged by 'A Radical Devotion' because of all the fabulous quotes Coles was lucky enough to obtain and pass along in this book. The journalist in me would love to sit down and listen to the original interview tapes and read over the pages of hand written notes compiled by Coles in the early 1970's. There are passages in the book where I believe Coles tries to fit Day into a preconceived mold, however, he admits most of his own leanings early on and does not hesitate to provide quotations from Day that may contradict his earlier notions. As an orthodox Catholic, I feel at times I understand Day's words better than Coles. Where he sometimes has lingering questions, I am satisfied and pleased with the direction Day had lead the conversation. By the time the two met, Day was a seasoned journalist and interview subject (perhaps sometime media darling) and she remains mindful of her words throughout. There would be no Barbara Walter style surprise sobs during these interviews (at least not in anything I've read so far.) Day lived outside popular classifications; liberal, conservative, anarchist, radical, well-educated, down to earth. She encompassed all of these much to the chagrin of those who would like to pin her down. She articulates her points expertly and exactly and has no time to mince words with those who would like to spin her phrases to suit their own agenda. I would like to pass along some interesting quotes I come across in the book and then eventually review the book once I complete it. Enjoy and pick up a copy if you are able.
"I didn't ever see myself as posing a challenge to church authority. I was a Catholic then, and I am one now, and I hope and pray I die one. I have not wanted to challenge the church, not on any of its doctrinal positions. I try to be loyal to the church-to its teachings, its ideals. I love the church with all my heart and soul. I never go inside a church without thanking God Almighty for giving me a home. The church is my home, and I don't want to be homeless. I may work with the homeless, but I have had no desire to join their ranks."
Day quote, A.R.D pg 82