Making it Matter, How to Mercy – Premium Content


We are not social workers. We are trying to be contemplatives in the heart the world. We have chosen to be carriers of God’s love. If the words of Jesus are true, ‘I was hungry, I was sick, I was naked, I was homeless, and you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40), then we are touching him twenty-four hours a day. So you, in your lives, in your own homes, can be in his presence twenty-four hours a day, if your lives are woven with prayer and sacrifice.

Made for Mercy

  • Mercy Is a Must
  • The Mission Is Ministry
  • Making it Matter
  • Managing the Moment
  • Mother of Mercy

Dorothy Day, American journalist, social activist, and Catholic convert.

The Catholic Worker Movement began simply enough on May 1, 1933, when a journalist named Dorothy Day and a philosopher named Peter Maurin teamed up to publish and distribute a newspaper called “The Catholic Worker.” This radical paper promoted the biblical promise of justice and mercy.

Grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person, their movement was committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, and the Works of Mercy as a way of life. It wasn’t long before Dorothy and Peter were putting their beliefs into action, opening a “house of hospitality” where the homeless, the hungry, and the forsaken would always be welcome.

“Together with the Works of Mercy, feeding, clothing and sheltering our brothers and sisters, we must indoctrinate. We must “give reason for the faith that is in us.” Otherwise we are scattered members of the Body of Christ, we are not “all members one of another.” Otherwise our religion is an opiate, for ourselves alone, for our comfort or for our individual safety or indifferent custom.

“We cannot live alone. We cannot go to Heaven alone. Otherwise, as Péguy said, God will say to us, ‘Where are the others?” (This is in one sense only as, of course, we believe that we must be what we would have the other fellow be. We must look to ourselves, our own lives first.)

“If we do not keep indoctrinating, we lose the vision. And if we lose the vision, we become merely philanthropists, doling out palliatives.

“The vision is this. We are working for “a new heaven and a new earth, wherein justice dwelleth.” We are trying to say with action, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are working for a Christian social order.

“We believe that all people are brothers and sisters in the Fatherhood of God…It is with with all these means that we can live as though we believed indeed that we are all members one of another, knowing that when “the health of one member suffers, the health of the whole body is lowered.” Dorothy Day, Aims and Purposes of the Catholic Worker Movement

Ora et Labora – pray and work – Benedictine daily schedule

At given times . . . occupied in manual labour. . . at other times in prayerful reading. RB 48.1

Mother Teresa on daily schedule of Missionaries of Charity

To be able to give life like that, our lives are centred on the Eucharist and prayer. We begin our day with Mass, Holy Communion, and meditation. (“Loving Jesus,” edited by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado)

From 6:30 to 7:30 we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. To be able to have this hour of adoration, we have not had to cut back on our work. We can work as many as ten or even twelve hours a day in service to the poor, following this schedule.

This is a time when we can regain our strength and fill up our emptiness again with Jesus. That’s why it is a very beautiful day.

Not by might nor by power but by my spirit says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

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