Dorothy Day quotes express her desire to serve God and see the world more Christ like. Her quotes express her desire to see a more loving world. She spoke about many of the situations in life that could be easily remedied by a more Christian way of living. She worked with another activist Cesar Chavez and their contribution was profound.
Dorothy Day was an American social activist, journalist, Christian anarchist and Catholic convert. She was considered a political radical and believed to be the most radical in American Catholic Church history. She joins a long list of activists like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. who fought for change in America. Below are a number of her quotes
“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?"
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community."
“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system."
“Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
"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."
“The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor."
“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 them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--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 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 our friend."
“You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right."
“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."
“Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed."
“We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”
“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."
“It is people who are important, not the masses."
“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."
“The final word is love."
“True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding, full of beauty and grace, full of joy unutterable.
“Writing is hard work. But if you want to become a writer you will become one. Nothing will stop you."
“Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair."
"God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them."
“Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up."
"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."
“As Dostoevski said: 'Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams."
"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?"
“To love with understanding and without understanding. To love blindly, and to folly. To see only what is loveable. To think only of these things. To see the best in everyone around, their virtues rather than their faults. To see Christ in them!"
“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."
“When it comes down to it, even on the natural plane, it is much happier and more enlivening to love than to be loved."
“The best things to do with the best things in life is to give them away."
"Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.
“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do."
“Charity is only as warm as those who administer it."
“Once a priest told us that no one gets up in the pulpit without promulgating a heresy. He was joking, of course, but what I suppose he meant was the truth was so pure, so holy, that it was hard to emphasize one aspect of the truth without underestimating another, that we did not see things as a whole, but through a glass darkly, as St. Paul said."
“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."
“I don't think God is so jealous about our worship of Him that He will want to separate those who serve His purposes, serve His goodness, because they have read a book, even one written by an atheist, and have been moved, or because they have wanted to be fair all their lives, but have never stepped in a church, from those who have heard God's words in church or read His words in the Bible and become convinced by them."
“If I had written the greatest book, composed the greatest symphony, painted the most beautiful painting or carved the most exquisite figure I could not have felt the more exalted creator than I did when they placed my child in my arms."
“God put us here to go through this kind of mental gymnastics, and He certainly put us here to enjoy our sexual lives. He put us here to ask, to try and find out the best way possible to live with our neighbors. Of course, you can go through a life not asking, and that's the tragedy: so many lives lived in moral blindness."
“The world was in terrible shape, and I'm glad we stood up and said what we believed; but a lot of the time we'd say these beautiful things about justice and fairness and equality, but we weren't so nice to each other. We'd be jealous and we'd gossip, and we'd be moody and difficult and rude and inconsiderate. Why do I say 'we'? I mean I would be all that-- and if at the time I ever came near to knowing what I'd become, I'd dodge, I'd duck, I'd go on the offensive: the terrible Wall Street bankers. Lots of them were terrible-- and so were lots of us."
“It is we ourselves that we have to think about, no one else. That is the way the saints worked. They paid attention to what they were doing, and if others were attracted to them by their enterprise, why, well and good. But they looked to themselves first of all."
“I felt, even at fifteen, that God meant man to be happy, that He meant to provide him with what he needed to maintain life in order to be happy, and that we did not need to have quite so much destruction and misery as I saw all around and read of in the daily press."
“The only answer in this life, to the loneliness we are all bound to feel, is community."
“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."
“Most of our life is unimportant, filled with trivial things from morning till night. But when it is transformed by love it is of interest even to the angels."
“Paperwork, cleaning the house, dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience and acting intelligently, which is to find some meaning in all that happens – these things, too, are the works of peace."
Dorothy Day’s quotes are considered controversial and radical by many. Yet it is believed that within her remarks are many truths that would better society. I hope the good that she spoke would be a way of inspiring us all to live better lives.