Summary: Meditation on the spiritual weapons of voluntary poverty and manual labor. Lists work to be avoided and personal practices of nonparticipation while exploitation in labor continues. Calls for decentralized living. Recommends growing in acceptance of God’s providence and seeing good in others. Reflects on silence during Advent, a time of waiting and a time to examine one’s conscience, a time “to see only what is loveable.” (DDLW #486). On Pilgrimage , Catholic Worker Books, New York, 1948.
Summary: Vivid description of the pulsing sounds of worship and smells of death in a black neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Admires the works of mercy at Mary Frecon’s house of hospitality, and example of “the little way.” Recalls the wonderful time children had at their labor day retreat and laments their expenses on the farm and for the breadline in the city. (DDLW #484).
Summary: Calls picketing and demonstrating works of mercy–“rebuking the sinner, enlightening the ignorant, counseling the doubtful.” Reflects on the challenge of over-mechanization and urges changing over to more “living criteria” for life. Contrasts the noise of New York with the quiet of the farm, a good atmosphere for prayer and reading–“refreshment, light, and peace.” (DDLW #483).
Summary: Relishes life on the land, saying it is a place to retreat to, find God, and to go forth from as apostles. Summarizes five retreat talks whose focus is to increase the desire for sanctity, to a more complete love of God. Gives examples of her failure to love and the struggle to renew love of God and neighbor. (DDLW #482).
Summary: Praises God for May, the month of Mary and full of beauty. Recalls the Catholic Worker began in May sixteen years ago and summarizes their program and the many allied movements of the lay apostolate. Says their pacifism and distributism distinguishes them from other movements. Focuses on voluntary poverty as exemplified in Peter Maurin’s life, especially since he became ill. Reflects on holiness and the call to all to become saints. Includes quotations from her winter’s reading. Keywords: Gandhi, machine, philosophy of work (DDLW #480).
Summary: Ponders the mystery of the love of God for man and man for man. Urges readers to come to their farm for a retreat to renew strength for the apostolate. Express disdain for the Kinsey report on American sexual behavior and presents a sublime vision of sexual love. Includes an extensive passage by Fr. John J. Hugo who himself quotes saints, mystics, scripture, and Church prayers to illustrate how the nuptial union is an analogy of God’s love for us. (DDLW #479).
Summary: Finally Tamar’s son Eric is born. She comments on the child’s baptism and the beginning of her own faith. Considers the role of women as nourishers and upbraids herself for being self-indulgent, quoting St. Theresa of Avila at length on penance. As signs of Spring arrive they move to a “new-old” house and she plans to return to New York. (DDLW #478).
Summary: Still awaiting Tamar’s baby, she mentions neighborly visits and reflects on her family history, and criticizes poorly written books about Mary and the saints. Writes of “feasting and fasting” as Lent begins, enumerating the many mentions of food in the Bible and quoting Dostoevsky’s character Father Zossima on the importance of fasting. (DDLW #477).
Summary: States the objectives of the C.W. and defends it against the accusations of other Catholics and secular thought. Writes on such themes as marriage, sex, 10VQ’ human condition, poverty, economics and a variety of Church doctrines. All of these topics are treated from an orthodox Catholic point of view. The book is adapted from the diary she kept in 1948, when she spent the first four months with Tamar (daughter) and the rest of the year at Mott Street and the retreat farm in Newburgh. She noted that the book could be called a woman’s book, since parts of it are directed solely to women. As usual, much of the book dwells on the day-to-day happenings in her life. (DDLW #5).
Summary: Introduces the book as “a woman’s book, and for women,” dealing “with things of concern to us all, the family, the home, how to live, and what to live and what we live by.” (DDLW #475).
Summary: Describes her year as a nursing student–the long hours, fatigue, and the discipline it brought into her life. She admires the Catholic faith of another student and attends Sunday Mass with her. After a year she realizes “my real work was writing and propaganda” and leaves the hospital for Chicago. (DDLW #208).
Summary: Recounts her involvement with the I. W. W. in Chicago and, in some detail, an accidental jail experience. After a move to New Orleans she starts to make “visits” to Church. With the money from selling a book she wrote, she buys a beach house, enters into a common law marriage, and begins to “read and think and ponder, and I notice from my notebooks that it was at this time that I began to pray more earnestly.” (DDLW #209).
Summary: A vivid description of the bucolic life in the beach house on Staten Island. Elaborates on her growing faith and life of prayer, spurred on by the beauty, stillness, and knowledge she is pregnant. (DDLW #210).
Summary: An account of her final conversion after the birth of her daughter Theresa. She describes the struggle and anguish she felt while preparing for her and Theresa’s Baptism–knowing her decision would end her relationship with her agnostic husband. (DDLW #211).
Summary: Answers the question as to how she rejected Communism. In spite of Communism’s good ideals and the faults of Christians, she repudiates Communism as a heresy and rejects its resort to violence in class struggle. (DDLW #212).
You say that religion is morbid. This is quite a natural feeling on your part and it is a very…
Summary: An autobiography written as a letter to her brother John. Conversion story genre of her conversion from Communism to Catholicism. Compiled from articles in America and Preservation of the Faith. Discusses Dostoyevsky’s influence on her life and the lonely experience of her conversion Reads as a baptized version of The Eleventh Virgin, with emphasis on her religious experience throughout her life. Expounds on such topics as Eucharist, prayer, Marxism, capitalism, free will and St. Teresa of Avila. (DDLW #2).
Summary: Explains she is writing the book to answer her Communist brother and friend’s question: “How could you become a Catholic?” (DDLW #200).
Summary: Considers the difficult task of reflecting on her life and recounting her path to conversion. Some markers along her way included praying the Psalms, reading Dostoyvsky’s and Mauriac’s novels, and seeing the love of the poor found among those who don’t consciously accept Christ. Links her suffering with others to Christ’s within His Mystical Body. (DDLW #201).
Summary: Describes her sheltered childhood and her voluminous reading. After being baptized in the Episcopalian Church and loving the services she disavows organized religion as her sense of social justice develops. (DDLW #203).