lifting the load of gloom, by dorothy day

I was reading an article by Robert Ellsberg in the Tablet about a collection of Dorothy Day's diaries that has recently been released (they were sealed for 25 years after her death in 1980). The book definitely looks like a must have. I was really struck by this bit:

While she was a witness or participant in many of the great social and ecclesial movements of her day, her diaries are a reminder that most of any life is occupied with ordinary activities and pursuits. Inspired by her favourite saint, Thérèse of Lisieux, Day was convinced that ordinary life was the true arena for holiness. Her spirituality was very much focused on the effort to practise forgiveness, charity and patience with those closest at hand.

Like most holy people, she often fell short of her ideals. We know this because she herself calls attention to her faults - her impatience, her capacity for anger and self-righteousness. "Thinking gloomily of the sins and shortcomings of others," she writes, "it suddenly came to me to remember my own offences, just as heinous as those of others. If I concern myself with my own sins and lament them, if I remember my own failures and lapses, I will not be resentful of others. This was most cheering and lifted the load of gloom from my mind. It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them."

Definite food for thought

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