Authorized by baptism
FREE Catholic Classes
Lately, we've been speaking with many of our readers about their concerns for the church. Pat Marrin, a National Catholic Reporter editor, said it best: "These are difficult days for those of us who have invested our hopes and labors in the unfolding of the kind of church we thought was mandated by the Second Vatican Council. More than 40 years since the close of the council, whose keynote was 'full, conscious and active participation by all the baptized,' we are witnessing an institutional retreat into clericalism and theological absolutism. For many progressive Catholics, the options seem dismal: wait out this 'last hurrah' or drift away from a sadly dysfunctional church to find life elsewhere."
Yet, Dennis Coday, another National Catholic Reporter editor, reminds us that we are not the only generation to face institutional intransigence or failed leadership. One of the lessons of the past is that those who wait to be told what, when and how to live, quickly themselves become part of the lethargy and discouragement they are trying to get past.
And so we are invoking Dorothy Day as model and mentor to us because she trusted in the power of her baptism, the promise of the Spirit to give her the charism she needed to accomplish the works of justice and mercy she saw all around her waiting to be taken up. As cofounder of the Catholic Worker Movement, she once said she never needed a bishop to tell her how to live her Christian faith. Her point was not that we should ignore the hierarchy, but that we don't need to wait for an authority figure to tell us to pray, find community, consider the gospel command to love and serve others in our own circumstances.
What authorizes us is baptism. Be open, welcome the stranger, share what you have, be grateful. This is Day's message to all of us; this basic self-authorizing approach that led her into the more mature works of protest and service that characterize the Catholic Worker movement, rising up out of the hardest years of the Great Depression and within a monarchical church that often ignored or resisted her controversial stands on pacifism, social change and lay empowerment.
She was both deeply spiritual and realistic. She drew inspiration from the Eucharist and from Catholic social teachings, and she drew from the works of the great Russian novelists Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, whose words inspired the title of her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. "We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes in community."
Day found here a description of the human journey we all make if we take seriously our own baptismal promise. God calls out of isolation into relationship and into community for the sake of service. This journey makes us church in its simplest terms. And this becomes the place from which we move the world.
- - -
Sister Rita Larivee is the publisher/editor-in-chief of National Catholic Reporter.
National Catholic Reporter
Sister Rita Larivee - ,
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- 'Living Lent': EASTER SUNDAY - HE IS RISEN!
- Daily Readings for Thursday, April 18, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Good Friday
- 'Living Lent': Holy Saturday
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 19th, 2019 HD Video
- St. Apollonius the Apologist: Saint of the Day for Thursday, April ...
- Daily Reading for Thursday, April 18th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.