The articles for the On Conscience theme were compiled and prepared by Nicholas Fustos (Westminster College, PA) and Angela Lahr (Westminster College, PA)
All the Way to Heaven is Heaven
First of a series of articles on distributism (see DOC #160 & DOC #161). Against the backdrop of harsh city life she points to life on the land as a way to find zest in life. Distributism is a third point of view, neither Communism or capitalism. “The aim of distributism is family ownership of land, workshops, stores, transport, trades, professions, and so on.” Recommends reading Belloc and Chesterson as an introduction to it.
On Pilgrimage (December 1948)
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 waitning and a time to examine one’s conscience, a time “to see only what is loveable.”
Are the Leaders Insane?
Passionate condemnation of the hydrogen bomb tests and industrial preparation of nerve gas for war. Upholds the supremacy of conscience and challenges each person to resist as they are able. Quotes spiritual writers in an effort to strengthen her faith and reduce fear.
On Pilgrimage – July/August 1963
Goes to Danville, Virginia, and describes the brutality of the police against demonstrators. Speaks at a spirited prayer meeting devoted to civil rights. Ties civil rights to education, jobs, health care, and averting war. Participates in picketing. Says, “We all have something to give.” Notes the death of friends.
On Pilgrimage – December 1965
Discusses freedom of conscience and obedience to Church and State in the context of Vatican Council II’s condemnation of nuclear war. Lauds the “little way” of St. Therese as the foundation of world peace and a means of social change.
On Pilgrimage – Our Spring Appeal
Appeals for help and answers the question “What is it all about, this Catholic Worker movement?” Describes the Catholic Worker as a school, a family, and a community of need. Says they are anarchist-pacifist, which is distinguished from nihilism. Asserts the primacy of conscience and “The most effective action we can take is to try to conform our lives to the folly of the Cross, as St. Paul called it.” Keywords: Catholic Worker philosophy, non-violence