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The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day Hardcover – April 23, 2008
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Now, in The Duty of Delight, Ellsberg continues to enrich us with an edition of the diaries Dorothy maintained from 1934 to a few days before her death in November 1980. The manuscript of the diaries, housed at Marquette University (my alma mater, by the way) and sealed until 25 years after Dorothy's passing, is over a thousand single-spaced pages. Ellsberg has reduced the material by half by whittling away unessentials. Providentially, Dorothy's diary entries for the final year of her life, missing from the Marquette archives, was discovered after Ellsberg took on the editorship.
Ellsberg's Introduction to the diaries provides a nice overview of their content. Arranged by decades, the entries from the '50s through the '70s make up the bulk of the work. I began reading in the '70s section, since this is the decade in which I first became aware of the Catholic Workers, and gradually worked my way backwards.
Three things especially strike me about Dorothy's diaries.Read more ›
"What an impossible fellow I am, he thought, and how useless. I have done nothing for anybody. I might just as well have never lived..It seemed to him at that moment that it would have been quite easy to have been a saint. It would have needed a little self-restraint and a little courage. He felt like someone who has missed happiness by seconds at an appointed place. He knew now that in the end there was only one thing that counted - to be a saint."
Well now after reading 700 pages of "Duty of Delight" I am no longer afraid. Dorothy makes it look possible to be a saint. I believe without a doubt that she is now with God in heaven. What she did to get there, I can do. Reading her diary showed she slogged it out just like the rest of us with doubts, setbacks and sorrows. Through it all she remained faithful to daily prayer and the sacraments, including frequent Confession. She knew that it was in the little things that we find God, something she learned from one of her favorite saints, Therese of Lisieux.
Dorothy didn't always "suffer fools gladly." No matter. She was quick to apologize and always harsher in judging herself than she was other people.Read more ›
humiliation imaginable from being in jail to wiping up the most foul of human excrement. She washed and cooked and cleaned, she spent endless hours on cold trains and stuffy buses carrying the message of those less fortunate, of those succumbed to the wrath of alcohol and despair. And now for many of us, she has become the "kindred spirit", the model we follow in trying to live out her example of true love for all people. A card found in her final journal reads, " O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power and idle talk. But give to thy servant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love. Yea Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed from all ages to ages. Amen" (St. Ephraim) I highly recommend this volume for anyone striving to get into the heart mind and soul of a true and humble servant of God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This massive collection from Day's diaries reveals many facets of Day not usually exposed. For those who wish to study Day's life, this is the edition to acquire. Read morePublished 20 months ago by olderandwiser
I think it was editor Robert Ellsberg who wrote (elsewhere) that the truly impressive thing about Dorothy Day is that there is not the slightest difference between what she... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Julianne L. Wiley
This book gives us a peek at the interior life of a human being dedicated to God and her mission in life as she understood it with all its joys and sorrows. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Searcher
Dorothy Day's diaries extend from the early thirties until just before she died. They reveal a woman driven by love, by desire for social justice, by a passion to struggle with... Read morePublished on August 13, 2010 by J. Neill
Diaries can range from the self-serving to the self-revealing. Dorothy Day's diary falls firmly into the second category. Read morePublished on May 4, 2009 by hbw
the new book came in perfect condition, and it arrived promptly. And I'm enjoying the read. Appreciate it.Published on October 21, 2008 by J. Paul Francis