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The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist Paperback – September 1, 2009
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“Dorothy Day wanted to be good, and not just do good. . . . a fascinating memoir.” (David Brooks in the New York Times)
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Top Customer Reviews
Dorothy Day was a journalist who lived in the early 1900s and died in 1980. She was raised an agnostic. Her family did not practice a religion. Early in her life she attended churches with neighbors, and loved the feeling of communal worship, but felt discouraged by so many people who attended church only on Sunday and thought that was the end of their religious obligation to others.
An early memory that had a great impact on her was an earthquake during her childhood, in which the families who retained their houses opened their homes to those who had lost theirs, and the community banded together to help each other in brotherly love. She lived her life searching for this sense of community. During her college years she began an activist involved in political causes such as women's voting rights, and labor rights for women and children, and had sympathies with communist organizations, that, from her perspective, seemed to assist the needs of the poor more than any Christian church.
This is a conversion story, much similar to Thomas Merton's "Seven Story Mountain," but which inspired me much more than his good work. She felt an incredible need to worship God, so much that she believes that human beings have a deep psychological need to worship and when their devotion is misplaced on humans rather than the divine, it is a recipe for disaster.Read more ›
THE LONG LONELINESS is a classic spiritual tome and is often referred to as Day's spiritual autobiography. In many ways it is similar to Thomas Merton's SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN, and it is easily a close second in popularity with many Catholics. Though Day's writing style is much drier than Merton's writing and her story is not quite as spellbinding as the artist and aspiring writer turned monk, the reader can sense God working powerfully in Day's life. If the book were published today, it would probably be categorized as a memoir, rather than an autobiography since day does not as much tell her story as reflect on how God called her to a life of faith.
The book is a "must read" for anyone who loves and admires Dorothy Day. It is also a book that will interest people interested in religious social activism. Yet the book may speak most powerfully to those who are on a spiritual quest themselves, either knowingly or unknowingly.
And then she met Jesus. Actually the Call of the Spirit had been upon her, or inside her, since early childhood, but it wasnt until the birth of her child that she finally acknowledged fully and became a member of the Catholic church.
I can easily identify with her problems and issues with the church -- it always seems to be on the side of the Established, the Rich and Powerful, caring not and giving not to the poor and needy, the oppressed and voiceless. Dorothy found, as too few of us have, that God heart cries out for the poor, Jesus identified himself with the oppressed and voiceless, and, as James said, true religion that God honors is looking after the widowed and the orphans in their distress.
And so, with the help, mentorship and inspiration of her friend Peter Maurin, Dorothy continued her activist ways, in the name of Christ. She started the Catholic Worker newspaper, which championed the causes of the poor and working-class. She and her friends started hospitality houses, taking in and feeding any who needed it.
Like Mother Teresas, Dorothy Days story is really very simple -- she saw what there was to do, she took her Masters words to heart, and she started doing it. Without advanced programs, grants, visioning sessions, without much of a plan at all really, she just started doing it. And she has changed the world in important ways, giving glory to God all along the way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting introduction of one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. It's unfortunate that there are constant distractions from the content because of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Rudolph J. Schatz
Dorthy Day was an important person in the social justice movement in the 20th century. Unfortunately her name is not well known today. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Murray M. Cooper
Inspirational and instructive. A life dedicated to others. Good reading for Lent.Published 3 months ago by Maria Elena Garcia
A very interesting book. One can only admire such a dedicated Christian. I appreciate hearing of her untiring work.Published 5 months ago by Cassandra Foster