On The Vicissitudes Of Christian Community

DorothyDayFeed.jpgWe had to remind ourselves very often of how much Mr. O’Connell had done for us in the years that we lived at Easton. Of course, John Fillinger worked with him at first; Jim Montague worked on the Buley house; Gerry Griffin and Austen Hughes had put up Jim’s house just before Helen came home from the hospital with her first child. The truth was, no one could work with him long, because of his violent and irascible disposition.

How to write about people–how to understand people, that is the problem. “I write for your comfort,” St. Paul said. “I am comforted in order that I might comfort you.” And so I too write as things really were, for your, my readers’ comfort. For many of you have old, and sick and sinful people with you with whom you have to live, whom you have to love.

Often one is accused of not telling the truth because one tells only part of the truth. Very often you have to write about the past, because you cannot write the truth about the present. But what has occurred in the past holds good for the present. The principles remain, truth remains the same. How to write truthfully without failing in charity.

The Catholic Worker – March 1952, ‘A Friend Of The Family – Mr. O’Connell Is Dead’, Dorothy Day