Monday, July 03, 2006

The Long Loneliness (182-210)

Okay. I like The Long Loneliness, really...

can you sense the "but" coming?

I've forgotten if the original list given by Renovare was called "Spiritual Classics" or "Devotional Classics" and I'm occasionally puzzled by the incorporation of some of the more autobiographical works into a category of devotional literature.

Hmmm...will have to look that up.

I have no notes on the chapter entitle "Paper, People, and Work." None.

Onto the section entitle "Labor."

Day says of Christ, "He spoke of the living wage, not equal pay for equal work in the parable of those who came at the first and the eleventh hour" (205). Interesting point. Intuitively I wanted to insert the phrase "minimum wage" for "equal pay for equal work." I wonder if this was a loose phrase or if there is a sense of this passage that I'm missing.

Ah, here's the passage, I had marked as the most troublesome for me:

"He died between two thieves because He would not be made an earthly King [....]His teaching transcended all the wisdom of the scribes and pharisees, and taught us the most effective means of living in this world while preparing for the next" (205).

One of the things I appreciate about Foster's Streams of Living Water, upon which parts of the Spiritual Formation Workbook seems to be grounded is the idea that in the different emphases of different traditions there is wisdom that can be gained. I have a deep respect for those brothers and sisters who have practiced in or advanced the Social Justice tradition, but I confess my knee-jerk, rigorously drilled I-V doctrinal, evangelical response to the first sentence was "Oh, is that why he died? I thought it was to wash away the sins of the world." I understand the two are not mutually exclusive, but I do remain concerned that in the writings that I would associate with the Social Justic tradition, Jesus can sometimes come across as a great teacher-thinker-exemplar (all of which he is) but a bit fuzzy on the whole Messiah-savior thing.

And yet...

So many who are advanced or practiced in the Social Justice tradition do (or appear to do) such a better job at following Jesus's teachings than I do that one feels a bit Pharisaical to question them on doctrine.

That being said, I'd feel on a bit firmer ground if there was a bit more about God/Jesus here and a bit less about the Catholic Daily Worker. But that's just back to the main point, which is that the subtitle is "Autobiography" of Dorothy Day, not the "Devotions of Dorothy Day."

Post Script--A search back to Renovare's page indicates that they do indeed label the list "Spiritual Classics" not "Devotional Classics"

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