The Word Among Us

June 2016 Issue

Works of Love. Works of Justice.

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Publisher's Letter

The Influence of Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day wore many different hats. She was a drifter, a radical, a bohemian, an activist, and a journalist. She was an unwed mother who had aborted a previous child. She was also a convert, a mystic, and, above all, a devout Catholic. In fact, she is one of the most inspiring Catholic women of the twentieth century. More »


Embracing the “Mystery of the Poor”

In his speech last year before a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis cited four “great Americans” who, he said, “offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality”: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day. More »

“It Just Happened”

To have known Dorothy Day, as her granddaughter Kate Hennessy has said, “means spending the rest of your life wondering what hit you.” That is certainly the case for me. More »

A Lifetime Job

“Hell is not to love anymore,” writes Georges Bernanos in The Diary of a Country Priest. I felt when I read this that the blackness of hell must indeed have descended on our Lord in his agony. More »

Special Feature

The Prophet, the Painter, and the Pope

Take a good look at the image above. The great Dutch master Rembrandt painted it in 1630, when he was only twenty-four. It portrays the prophet Jeremiah on what may have been the darkest day of his life. The mood is somber and sorrowful; the contrast of light and dark suggests some momentous event. More »

The Gift of Chaos

On November 28, 1998, the priest presiding at our wedding asked, “Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?” Jill and I answered, “We will.” In the moment, the question didn’t seem especially significant. We had no idea how profoundly it would impact and shape our married life. More »

“Blessings in Disguise”

“All sunshine makes a desert.” It was an old Arab proverb, according to the instructor of a Bible study I attended shortly after returning to the Catholic Church more than twenty years ago. I remember being struck by her words as she proceeded to discuss the topic of suffering. I could definitely identify with the proverb’s meaning. More »