Lent Day 4 – Peter Maurin and Concrete Acts of Love

by Bishop Robert Barron


Today I’d like to highlight one of the great Catholic figures of the twentieth century, Peter Maurin. He was born in May of 1877 in the south of France, one of 23 children—that’s not a typo. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and, early on, became deeply inspired by the example of St. Francis.

In 1909, Maurin sailed for North America and for about twenty years lived a sort of radical Franciscan life, performing manual labor during the day, sleeping in any bed he could find, dining in skid-row beaneries. Any money he made, he spent on books or gave to those less fortunate.

During these years, Maurin was trying to develop a coherent Catholic social philosophy. The main problem with society, he felt, was that sociology, economics, and politics had all been divorced from the Gospel. The Gospel was a private concern of “religious” people and had no discernable effect on the way the political, social, and economic realms were run.

In a word, he thought that society had lost its transcendent purpose. Life had come to be organized around the drive for production and the search for profits, rather than around the real spiritual development of the person.

Maurin knew that the Church had an answer to this, and it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Maurin’s program was what he called “a personalist revolution,” which meant the building of a new world within the shell of the old, rather than waiting for social circumstances to change. The Christian should simply begin living according to a new set of values.

In 1932, Peter Maurin met a young woman in New York named Dorothy Day. For some years, Dorothy had been trying to find her path, a way of reconciling her new-found Catholic faith with her deep commitment to social action. With the arrival of Peter Maurin, she felt that her prayers had been answered.

He told her to start a newspaper which would present Catholic social teaching and provide for greater clarity of thought, and then to open “houses of hospitality” where the works of mercy could be concretely practiced. And this is precisely what she did. Together Day and Maurin founded the Catholic Worker Movement. They operated soup kitchens and bread lines for the poor, and invited homeless people to stay with them.

Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day remind us that we simply cannot love Christ without concretely loving those most in need. Love of Christ and love of neighbor coincide. Heaven and earth must come together.

   

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  • William John Meegan

    Thank you Bishop Robert Barron; though, I have heard and read this story many time it is always good to hear about it again.

  • Krista

    The more things change in society.. the more they stay the same. We think that the technological revolution has made us so much more evolved than we were, but as Jesus said, ‘the poor will always be with us’. We never evolve beyond the need to help others.

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Amen I believe that the technological revolution has indeed increased the poor among us.

  • Der Hundsturm

    the lack of social spirituality that Peter Maurin grappled was not new to his age and seems forever commonplace. Throughout the last 2000 years, most of western civilization was christian/catholic but as socities, they never seemed to grow in it. I hear that today, the countries of latin and south america are some of the most catholic but have some of the highest homicide rates. Today, even with 2000 years of faith building, church pews are emptying and western values are turning secular. But cyclically it will probably ebb and flow. I dont understand this? Why does not faith perpetuate itself? Why dont cultures with christian values not look and act differently than non christian ones. In christian societies, why arent there more and more Peter Maurin’s and Mother Theresa’s with each passing generation? Why doesnt the faith of God grow? The questions are rhetorical of course, i get the fallen condition of humanity. Its discouraging though that faith cant make more of a difference in the world.

    • Mary

      Because of free choice many choose what we see, materialism, and not what we don’t see, God! We seem to be drifting away from God but there are many pockets of faithful believers out there. I listen to an APP called relevant radio. It keeps me learning and I know I am part of a faith community that is uplifting to say the least!!! Listen to fr. Simon says, he’s smart, humble and extremely smart! It’s a call in program!

      • Der Hundsturm

        Thanks very much for the app suggestion. Just dowloaded it!

    • Emmalee

      As I have learned in many prayer time reflections is that much good is happening that we are not yet to see.l

  • Becky

    We were given the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes by God himself. Love thy neighbor as thyself. In this jubilee year of mercy we are called to be Merciful as Our Heavenly Father is Merciful!
    And yet we turn our eyes and faces when we see the poor and the beggars on the side of the road and under the freeways.
    It is because we are looking at them through our human eyes and not with the eyes of Christ.
    On judgment day……he will ask where are they?
    What have you done for the least of my people?
    Peter and Dorothy saw the need and with the eyes of Christ responded to their call!
    Blessed Mother Teresa saw everyone she encountered with the eyes of Christ and as Christ himself in her eyes.
    Lord help me to follow her example.
    Have a blessed day…..

    • specialteacreations

      The poor and the homeless disturb me greatly. I feel so helpless to improve life for them. Usually I am afraid of the homeless because most are men and look intimidating. Some may be mentally ill. The last two days I drove this poor 60 yr old homeless woman who wanted to rent something cheap as she had only $800 a month to live on. We found nothing. Even though subsidized rentals are at a minimum in our town, one look at her was enough reason to say there were no vacancies. She had long, messy gray hair matted to its roots. Here clothes were totally worn out and filthy. She stank. I fed her breakfast and gave her a $20 bill which was nothing, really. At the end of 2 days of effort, I realized there was nothing more I could do. We had called around for social services, but none were equipped to help her. The overnight shelters in church basements intimidated her as the cots were lined up next to each other and some other women were verbally fighting through the night. She preferred sitting up all night in all night restaurants catching a snooze sitting up. I found her in a church pew in the back as she was sleeping sitting up. I myself have only a modest retirement income. What am I to do?

      • Maureen Shannon Robertson

        I too feel helpless sometimes when it comes to the poor and especially the homeless. I do my best to do what I can, but it still seems inadequate. The homeless, in particular, bother me. There is a little tent “city” set up under an overpass on my way to work. It’s so very cold and we’re supposed to have record wind chills this weekend. Some are working poor that don’t have enough for housing and some are substance abusers who have no desire to change their ways and prefer to live on their own in a tent instead of gong to a shelter. Many are mentally ill. It’s so overwhelming.

        Would it be possible to find this woman a place where she can get cleaned up, maybe buy her some clothes at a Salvation Army or other thrift store, have her hair done, etc., so that she might have a better chance of being accepted at subsidized housing? Maybe you can gather some parishioners from your church and everyone contribute something to help her? Just some thoughts. Good luck and God bless you for your generous heart!

        • Emmalee

          We have a strong St. Vincent DePaul Society in my area. They are a great help to many.

      • Mary

        Salvation Army

    • Mary

      If you are afraid to give them money. My friends son was homeless due to drug use and she said to carry toothbrushes and small toothpastes with peanut butter crackers and bottled water in your car when you can. She also puts in a paper plate and spoon and little weimer cans too.

      • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

        What have you done for him?

        • Mary

          I have visited him in his current rehab at the Salvation Army and bought him clothes, sent him cards in the mail regularly and I’m friends with him on FB. His mom, sister and I spent the day with him on a weekend. He now goes to church weekly and I’m hoping this time he succeeds!

      • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

        Why did he have drug use?

        • Mary

          He was an adhd student and instead of getting him help or telling the teachers, his mom enabled him by doing. His homework with him until 10th grade. When his dad comitted suicide she put him in military schools and that’s where the troubles began. He sold his Ritalin to his classmates. Got kicked out etc.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            Why’d his Dad commit suicide… something was wrong there to begin with! Nagging by wives never evangelizes. FACt

          • Mary

            I think his dad loved his wife so much he couldn’t face her when he lost his security company and sold it with telling her. He actually forged her name on the papers. He left the papers on the family car he shot himself in. So sad.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            Couldn’t face her? Lack of communication and immaturity. Stop nagging hubs and keep the communication open = my point.

          • Mary

            Maybe…don’t know.

  • Aliziris Bombino

    Yes, Peter & Dorothy followed Jesus law of love- love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Beautifully hopeful…

  • Vilma

    Thought provoking reflection for sure. Sometimes we feel like our action must be something spectacular when in actuality that is not the case. http://www.shepherdoffaith.com

  • jesspinosa

    The legacy of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin of peaceful non-violence continues to this day. If you are interested in reading how, subscribe to Catholic Worker, published seven times a year for the princely sum of 25 cents U.S. or 30 cents foreign (that’s not a typo). Write to Catholic Worker, 36 East First St., New York, NY 10003. Read about how the modern-day Catholic workers are reaching out to Syrian refugees, their peaceful vigils at Guantanamo, the colorful characters who live and have died in their two houses, and enjoy the artwork of Fritz Eichenberg, Rita Corbin, etc. And if you are in the neighborhood, drop by for a delicious cup of soup, prepared by the staff and available to whoever happens to be there. Soon-to-be-saint-against her will Dorothy Day, pray for us.

    • Mary Jane Madeline

      Thank you Bishop Barron for giving awareness of true Charity. And thank you jesspinosa for addressing Catholic Worker.

    • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

      Bishop I like what you write here. The politics shouldn’t be a worry .

  • Joseph Cordova

    I have a fond admiration for Dorthy Day. (I’m now drawn to learn more about Peter Maurin.) I believe that Dorthy Day was a Benedictine Oblate. Was Peter Maurin associated with the Benedictines also?

    • Emmalee

      I checked Joseph. Go to www. A Benedictine has some answers. A Benedictine has some answers.

    • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

      Fransican not Bene….

  • Gloria La Bella

    A very informative article on true Catholic justice. Love never fails, for God is Love. Blessings!

  • Gloria La Bella

    Thank you jesspinosa for current information on Catholic Social Worker. God bless!

  • Patrick Cassidy

    I read something online before that discussed Bernie Sanders’ plan to redistribute wealth to the less fortunate. Many of his followers say that this is exactly what Christ is calling us to do. But, in fact, this is not true. Our Lord did not want thr government to tax us against our will, and then give it a way through government assitance. I have seen stories here of people actually interacting with these people (homeless, mentally ill, etc…) and we are compelled to help them with all our being. There is a huge difference between the passive way of bring taxed, and the personal way that many have experienced.

    We are not able to help all the people of the world, but even if we are to help one person, it will mean the world to them.

    • Rhonda

      THANK YOU Patrick….We agree whole heartily, it is true compassion when one gives of his own free will. When it is forcefully taken from you by a third party I believe that is called tyranny. I think we have lost the true meaning

      • concerned citizen

        wIt is true that we should love our neighbor on our own free will. But what does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself? How much should you love your neighbor? Mother Teresa said give until it hurts. But to truly love your neighbor as you love yourself would be to give your neighbor (as a whole) the same amount as you give yourself. At least in terms of the amount spent on unnecessary things. So if you buy yourself an expensive bag which is not necessary, then you should donate the same amount to the poor.

        • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

          Mother Teresa ended up having to be there and found her order because the Indian Gov and the Indian people felt the same way you did. Just give. Sorry God is not going to be like you playing the charity cop. You gave to the government … now you failed to be able to get into heaven. Just where’d you learn your catechism?

          • concerned citizen

            Tell me then what exactly is your definition of “loving your neighbor as you love yourself”. I know what I said is hard to do. The Apostles themselves told the same thing to Jesus. “Lord, then who can enter heaven?” And Jesus said, with man, it is impossible. But with God, everything is possible. Saints in fact, loved their neighbors even more than themselves. They followed Jesus’ last commandment. “Love one another as I have loved you.” And Jesus loved us so much He gave up His life for us so that we may gain eternal life.

      • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

        I give of my free will. If I give by government law, Jesus will still reward me. Make a free will not to give money by taxes FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. dUH. Get involved and stop making excuses.

    • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

      Taxes ? Give to Caesar what is his and to God what is his. Nothing there about politics You said that . Even as citizens we still give and I want to expose that you don’t want to help and make excuses

      • Patrick Cassidy

        First off, I said the Bernie followers are using that Christian logic to help him get elected. Did I not say we shouldn’t pay taxes, or help fund government programs? No to both. I said that people who begin to feel rewarded because they elected Bernie, who will push for income redistribution.

        And you do not know how much I give, nor do I know how much yougive. But, rest assured that I do help others and don’t make excuses to not help.

        Please read my post more carefully before you answer.

        • Barbara Ann Baugh

          It is my experience that if I give $1. 00 directly to the poor that person receives 100% of that $. If the government taxes me $10 more of my income will probably only receive 5 cents of the $10 Government is never as efficient as dedicated individuals . That goes for the healing ministries also

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            So this is an excuse not to give and vote a certain way. ????

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            Which way do you want me to Vote? Of course values reflect how we all vote. But I am saying that the money we give through taxes has no merit to us personally and since it is given without Love it has little value to the poor.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            You pay taxes without love? Jesus said to do all in love. How stupid and politically sectarian and compartmentalized.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            Yes, I pay taxes out of obligation “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” . I do so without emotion. And I certainly expect to receive absolutely NO grace in doing so. And I receive no Grace from the portion on my taxes that are “lavished” on the poor. Wake up stark you have an obligation to support the poor that is NOT included in your taxes. Please show me the paragraph that says to pray when paying taxes.
            How also do you “politically sectarian” What if there is as I see it no virtuous person out there to vote for. Was I wrong last election when I left the presidential slot blank and voted for good men and women I found in other slots. And this is what I intend to do in this election. Unfortunately I believe there will be more blank spots on my ballot than last time.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            If we get merit for the tiny portion of our taxes that actually gets through the bureaucracy to the poor. Do we also have responsibility for the taxes used to fund abortion and war.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            PRAY WHEN PAYING THE TAXES read the catechism for the common good ..

        • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

          I am just sick of Christian Catholic folks using Political junk as an out. got that?

          • Patrick Cassidy

            I’m not trying to fight here, but if you are saying that the government forcefully reditributing wealth is the same as our Lord’s commandment to help those in need, then really don’t understand the whole concept. If should to be a choice to give, as we are given Free Will. There are people who say that having the government intercede counts as their Christian duty, which it doesn’t actually.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            Just do what the Gospel for today says to do. Enough said very simple words to follow.

          • Patrick Cassidy

            Exactly. The government getting involved does not count as following the Gospel.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            This is a very exclusionary point of view. Are not the government members people? Or do we not say that they cannot be part of Christ’s church? So this is compartmentalized thinking. Ask Bishop Barron this. Are you there Bish? Is not the government saved people? Did not Jesus die for them as well? So does not God exist in HIS PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE NEEDY THEY SERVE? To say that God does not exist inside HIS PEOPLE IS HERESY. Jesus did not distinquish. He also helped the centurion who had a servant who was sick. He was not a Jew. There is no secret knowledge in either political party. That is a new view of American Gnostic philosophy. It is a double dance that says we do not have to help anyone and that the rich will smite us if we do so we are bad and sinful if we help. Just do it. NO matter what it is. Jesus said to help. Stop double dancing and refusing them. We here in Tampa and St Pete have a group called FAST Faith Action Strength Together. We work with the government to challenge the leaders to do more here. All of the churches work together yet we make the leaders accountable. It is non sectarian and the local Catholic church demands that the Florida legislature help the poor along with us. We have a left hand and a right hand here. Move here and find out and stop dodging this command. Where are you from? When’s the last time you went to confession? I went last week. We give no matter what or when we give. God is in His people. Tell him what you just wrote me.

          • Patrick Cassidy

            Do you think that most people would volunteer their money to give to the poor? Honestly, answer that. The government taking money out of people’s paychecks for public works does not count in the same way as going to a soup kitchen. It is the government’s responsibility to help people, not a choice. You can work with the government all that you want, but the government has to answer to all the people, not just the ones who are advocating to help everybody. So, while the government is called to be responsible for society, they are also charged with balancing the budget, which limits the government. People like you, and me, are not limited in the same way.

            I really don’t care where you went to school. I went to St. John’s University and have a degree in Biomedical Engineering and am 27. So, a a minor in theology doesn’t mean much in this conversation, to be honest. The government forcefully taking the money out paychecks takes the free will choice out of the equation. Some people choose to give to the needy, others don’t. It is these decisions that will separate us at the end. People are being lulled into a false sense of security thinking that they are doing the right thing, when they are not.

            I go to confession regularly, thank you very much. I am one of the first people to admit I am a sinner and don’t go around showing off my faith like other people. Maybe you should go into your inner room and pray to the Father in quiet, instead of showing off.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            Laughing at all this. Laughing that you have a higher and mighty way of thinking. I am 52 – twice your age and with age comes wisdom. What city are you in? What diocese? I am telling the Holy Spirit to tell your local bishop that you believe the government should not help anyone, just like in the view of Donald Trump. Bad news for all. That viewpoint blames the vulnerable and causes abortions because no one helps in the end. Trust me God will tell him. I still have the minor in Theology and challenge you to actually see how much you know about your faith and inside your insecurity. Move on from this viewpoint. Maybe I can even contact Fr. Larry Richards for some insight about this government giving. Sorry but I am very put up or shut up. It is Holy Spirit time and start listening. When did you last go? Inner room? Sorry but I went last week. Diocese of St Pete is my dio and my church is St Justin in Seminole warm Florida. And if you are going to write our bishop here, please sign your name in full and in ink.

          • Patrick Cassidy

            Government spending does not equal charitable works. Ask your priest or bishop if extra government taxing counts as a corporeal works of mercy. You can show the bisbop this post and you will be surprised at your answer.

            Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY
            Church: St. James RC church Seaford, NY
            Bishop Murphy

            Patrick Cassidy

            Go have fun, I’ll be waiting for your apology.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

            I have no apology. I am related to Murphy. Uh, my mother is. Tell him Marilyn Sullivan Diener said hello. She lives in Valrico Florida. YOu are not in luck.

          • Patrick Cassidy

            What are you talking about? Go talk to him yourself if you’re serious. I am right in this and your maturity about the whole thing is pretty unbelievable to be honest. God bless! :-)

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

            Good … will do. Get to know Catholic social teaching

          • Patrick Cassidy

            +1 516-379-4055
            Thats the office.number go ahead. You are the one trying to substitute the governments programs (funded by Christians and others) for your own personal corporeal works of mercy. But, you have a minor in Theology and are related to a priest, so I am surethat you are the wisest one in this conversation.

            Also, keep in mind our Lord did not say to let the government worry about the people, He went out amongst the hundreds and thousands, amongst the sinful and diseased. He wanted the Apostles to go out among the people. One government program does not mean you fulfilled your own personal duty.

            Also, as a closing note. Fasting without intention doesn’t count as fasting. So, then do good works without intention count as good works for Christ? Are the non-Christians intentionally following Christ’s will by allowing the government to take the taxes out? While you may be a follower of Karl Rant and the “anonymous Christian”, that is not what the Catechism.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

            You’re in New York? Let me just say this! Anything you do to the least of Christ brothers you do unto him. The word., period. He didn’t say whether it was government or anything else! We do a lot of stuff for people down here who is escape from the nasty north where people like you feel like you do! You and people like you did not help them, so they end up here in absolute poverty with nowhere to go. Sometimes, they even end up in California for a better life!
            Oh, I’m also related to a friar too! But, here’s my point just help people OK?!
            Ask God just how you are helping people and just do it. This is not about party politics this is about helping people! Oh yeah, make sure you’re not seen , otherwise you’re not gonna get a reward. What about charity?

          • Patrick Cassidy

            Just drop it already, to be honest. You tried intimidating me with talks of the calling the Bishop, you are flaunting relationships with priests and friars to make your arguments more legit, you ars trying to show off how good of a Catholic you are by stating how often you go to confession. You are letting your lack orf understanding, and pride, control you. I gave scripture and Catholic teaching to back up my claim that Government spending does not count as your own personal acts of charity, that are you still required to help on your own even if the government helps already. If you don’t have any actual evidence to back up your claim, then I suggest that you stop replying since you are hurting yourself in the long run.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

            THE LATES Uncle Martin Murphy and Aunt Marie Sullivan Murphy and TOR FRIAR GUS Donegan, TOR. …. YOU ARE NOT IN LUCK .

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom Tampa Lady

            AUNT MARIE Sullivan Murphy was her daddy’s sister. She died in the 80s

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            I research everything…. these Swiss guys pay you to tell people that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novartis BIG PHARMA. They were against universal health in the USA.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            And before you say anything degrading bout what I don’t know…. I have a BA from Francsican U., with a minor in Theology. OK? It is nothing new that you write here. I m 52.

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            Is that what people in your job teach you versus what Jesus and his church teach you?

          • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

            You work for big pharma … land of the birth control pill

    • Emmalee

      I really don’t want to be political but to clarify – so many large corporations and wealthy individuals do not pay any income tax. This is what some of the candidates are working to stop. Everyone needs to pay his or her fair share. The loss of the middle class equals the rich and the poor – we need to stop the bleeding.

    • concerned citizen

      That’s very true. Mother Teresa also said that to those who were criticizing her work.

      And it is also true for prayers. Never underestimate the power of prayers. Some people also criticize that prayer is a waste of time. That your prayers won’t bring peace to the world. Nor would it bring conversion to sinners. And so on. But like you said, even if just one soul is converted. Even if just one soul is spared from harm in the troubled areas of the world, it is worth all the prayers you did.

  • Anton D

    – “. . . building of a new world within the shell of the old, rather than waiting for social circumstances to change.
    The Christian should simply begin living according to a new set of values(Gospel of Jesus Christ).”

    – “. . . we simply cannot love Christ without concretely loving those most in need. Love of Christ and love of neighbor coincide.
    Heaven and earth must come together.”

  • James D. Blocksom Jr.

    Amen!

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    I am astounded at how those who loudly proclaim their “Christianity” yet fail to follow their Christian valued. In our area it is particularly shown against refugees from the Middle East. My son has spoken up against them.

    • Emmalee

      Hmmm – I wasn’t able to post in a prayer to St. Barbara. I just Googled it and found several. I am sorry it didn’t work.

    • Emmalee

      I find the social justice teachings and the second part of the great commandment – love others as you love yourself – sorely missing from many people – especially those in offices of responsibility in our country. Life is to be respected from womb to natural death – not pro baby and then kick someone to the curb.

    • http://www.irishmike.org/ Michael Lee Cornwell

      Barbara,

      Jesus wants you to know He is with you in a special way.
      A loving mother’s prayers do not go unanswered!

      Prayers,

      Michael

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      After I read the post I realize it was vague. My son has spoken up against those Christian’s who have shown prejudice against the refugees. At least our parish has worked to help refugee families.

    • http://findmeinflorida.wordpresscom stark61555

      Why is this so?

      • Barbara Ann Baugh

        There is great opposition to refugees in our area and those who lead the opposition are the loudest in proclaiming their “Christianity” I am glad that is not the position of the Catholic Community in this area

  • concerned citizen

    Thank you Bishop Barron. The stories of the lives of Peter and Dorothy are so inspiring just as the life of Blessed (soon-to-be-saint) Mother Teresa is. Mother Teresa always reminded people: I can do things, which you cannot do. You can do things, which I cannot do. But together we can do great things. One of the things which Mother Teresa did was to found the Society of Sick and Suffering Co-workers. “For every sister in the Missionaries of Charity, there was a corresponding sick and suffering co-worker. Mother Teresa saw that through the sufferings and prayers of the co-worker, in spite of the difficult job that her sisters face every day, they will be able to do great things.

    Mother Teresa who was linked to Jacqueline de Decker, admitted that she was able to survive the most arduous times of her life on the strength of her prayers.”

  • pcolpitts

    Thank you for giving a name to actions that are not random … They are in effect response to God’s intimate call to love one another as he loves each of us. A wonderful thought to share and live this Lent and beyond!

  • concerned citizen

    Can you love God without loving your neighbor? No, the Holy Bible says that if you say you love God and do not love your neighbor, you would be a liar. But can you love your neighbor without loving God? Maybe you can love only some of them, those that also love you and are good to you. But can you love your enemies without loving God? Can you love those who are despicable and unwanted without loving God? Blessed Mother Teresa was told once by a journalist, that even if she got paid a million dollars, she would not be doing what Mother Teresa was doing. And Mother Teresa answered, neither could I. I can only love the lepers with all their sores, the dying with all their sickness because I see Jesus in them.

  • Tina Salloum

    I didn’t know much about Peter Maurin until now. Thanks Bishop Barron. He was a fascinating personality.

  • Nicholas Lund-Molfese

    Thank you so much for this Bishop Robert Barron! Peter Maurin is too often forgotten. He lived the corporal and spiritual Works of Mercy with every ounce of his being! Like others inspired by Peter and Dorothy, my family and I are trying to do what he taught at Trinity Hills: the Catholic Worker House and Farm of the Catholic Church of Southern Missouri. http://www.trinity-hills.org and http://www.facebook.com/thills.org

  • Elizabeth

    Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day remind us that we simply cannot love Christ without concretely loving those most in need. Love of Christ and love of neighbor coincide. Heaven and earth must come together.

    Everybody has a calling and these two fine people saw the world differently than most during their lives. And each of them followed what God had planned for them.

    The peace that goes beyond human understanding shone from Dorothy Day’s face the day I met her. This was seven years before her death. This meeting occurred when I was an older student attending college on Staten Island and she was a Newman Club guest speaker. Dorothy Day’s radiant face and softness in her voice that day remain with me to this day.

    This is the first time I became aware of her mission and the Catholic Worker movement. I did have a signed copy of her book until I loaned it to someone and it was never returned.

    Dorothy Day’s life is an inspiration for the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI used her conversion story as an example of how to “journey towards faith… in a secularized environment.

    At Pope Francis meeting with Congress earlier this year, he mentioned Dorothy Day along with Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln.

    Both Merton and Day were influenced by the times in which they lived, and how they lived before their conversion. After their conversion they recognized God’s love is the answer to life. Dorothy Day utilized her profession as an American Journalist to bring the Catholic Worker movement to light. Thomas Merton after his conversion and starting with his autobiography entitled the Seven Story Mountain his Abbott asked him to write, continued to prolifically write on understanding the importance of trusting God in our lives.

    So just like St. Paul, St. Augustine and other saints were sinners before they converted, after their conversions they led people to God. And just like Jesus, they were not understood in their own time and place.

    Pope Francis made sure to have the year of the Family before the year of Mercy. I do not think it was a coincidence. The family is the domestic church. Children and parents, who follow God’s plan for them, have God’s graces to grow in wisdom and love. And it is with God’s love we come to understand Bishop Barron’s reflection summary.

    Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day remind us that we simply cannot love Christ without concretely loving those most in need. Love of Christ and love of neighbor coincide. Heaven and earth must come together.

  • richard ruesch

    I cannot imagine a more saintly person in most recent times, than Mother Teresa. I also imagine that she consistently prayed to the Holy Ghost for the necessary graces in order for her to do what she knew she needed to do, and was called to do, to fulfill the will of God. I also imagine that Mother Teresa had an effective working daily plan that helped her to overcome the four wounds that we all suffer from, as a result of Original Sin, to overcome sin and especially habitual sin. her arduous, active, virtuous life also helped her to avoid those kind of daily distractions, sometimes, possibly leading to idle curiosity and evil temptations. I also imagine that the critical mass of mankind’s sinfulness brings about God’s wrath on us, and the only way for rectification is for ALL of us to pray for God’s mercy. Pray, pray, pray.

  • Kathy Lamb

    Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin still have a following today.

  • Deng

    “Love of Christ and love of neighbor coincide. Heaven and earth must come together.” When this happens to every human creator of GOD then there would be peace around us, peace in out heart and soul and most especially peace in the whole world.

  • Linda Dokey

    Our World hasn’t changed much, we are still in need of Love of Neighbor and of God.

  • Sandy

    Thank you Fr. Barron for the simple way you share your knowledge with us. jesspinosa thank you I will pray for Dorothy Day for Sainthood

  • concerned citizen

    Let us not forget that prayers is also one of the spiritual works of mercy. St. Therese of the Child Jesus through her prayers and sacrifices became the Patron Saint of Missions. Never underestimate the power of prayers. Some people criticize that prayer is a waste of time. That your prayers won’t bring peace to the world. Nor would it bring conversion to sinners. And so on. But even if just one soul is converted. Even if just one soul is spared from harm in the troubled areas of the world, it is worth all the prayers you did.

  • concerned citizen

    What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself? How much should you love your neighbor? Mother Teresa said give until it hurts. But to truly love your neighbor as you love yourself would be to give your neighbor (as a whole) the same amount as you give yourself. At least in terms of the amount spent on unnecessary things. So if you buy yourself an expensive bag which is not necessary, then you should donate the same amount to the poor.

  • Seam Side Out

    How far we’ve come from where we started!

  • rtclovesmac

    Such a social revolution emerged out of the Kaos of the Geeat Depression, after a world had been brought to its economic knees.

    On one hand you you have the Catholic answer of service to others, and in the other hand this Kaos gave rise one of the greatest horrors the world has ever produced, Hitler.

    And today we see the rise of Isis indirect response to the rise of a morally corrupt social view that ties the pursuit of personal privilege to the false doctrine of political correctness

    When will we learn that Chfist alone is the answer no matter how nice the “alternatives” appear to be

  • Norma

    Thank you Fr. Barron, I am currently helping people, by donating clothing some times money. Nevertheless, I feel it’s not enough, and I also feel like I need to give more, but I know if help more I would be in trouble with my husband. I don’t even know if this guilt is normal. When can we say, I have helped, and it should be enough?

  • Penelope

    We were taking care of our granddaughters this weekend, and yesterday a commercial came on about a small child, who was starving to death. My ten-year granddaughter was so touched when she saw the child, so sad to see him suffering this way. It sparked a conversation about helping others. I told her about when my sister was young and raised money through back yard events using my mom’s clothesline with a sheet for a curtain, and how she donated the money to help the poor. My granddaughter talked about how she, her sister, and her friend made rainbow loom bracelets and sold them to donate for cancer victims’ support groups. They also help with Christmas baskets, preparing special school bags, and other fundraising events. I shared with her that I had worked for five years for an NGO, and how we sponsored a young child until she was a young woman, able to work on her own as a nurse. We also spoke about how when she was a grownup herself she would be able to help others in her own way as well.

    Helping others has been a normal part of their family life – when they grow out of their clothes, they share them with others they know need help, the same with their toys. They didn’t have a lot, but their mom, my daughter-in-law Sarah, was always reaching out to help others. Then, when they needed help, others were there to help them.

    If we have eyes to see, miracles happen every day, in the smallest of places, the human heart.
    Thanks be to God!

  • Joe DeVet

    Without denying the sanctity and good will of the founders and their followers, I must say that in my town the Catholic Worker Movement errs by promoting an unjust, self-contradictory and thus unworkable “economic system” called distributism. The originators of this idea (principally Chesterton and Belloc) were rightly concerned about the conditions related to the Industrial Revolution in Britain (though they failed to understand that the alternative would have caused even greater horrors). But the answer is not to make us all holy by making us all poor and economically confined, as distributism would. God is merciful, and so He spares us this misguided idea.