Showing posts from May, 2020

St Dorothy Day?

When Pope Francis addressed the U.S. Congress in 2015, he chose to single out four 'morally exemplary Americans'. The first two were obvious, known choices; Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. However, the second two, Catholic choices, probably had many of the journalists present scrambling for Google search. They were the Trappist contemplative monk, Thomas Merton; and, the founder of the Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day.

None were chosen as moral exemplars of family life but of their social witness grounded in a living faith. This may have been part of Francis's point as he repositions the Church from a focus on the bedroom towards social action. They all remind us that to be an exemplar does not mean for us to be perfect.

Dorothy Day, for example, had, to put it in the vernacular, 'one heck of a life' that is ably told in John Loughery and Blythe Randolph's new biography, 'Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century'.

She was born into a p…

A hairbreadth decision, a lifetime lived under its shadow.

At the risk of turning this blog into 'The Claude Houghton Appreciation Society', herewith a fourth of his novels reprinted by Valancourt Books, 'A Hair Divides'.

Gordon Rutherford is an aspiring writer who in a split moment must decide whether or not to admit to the accidental death, in unlikely circumstances, of a recent acquaintance in fear that he will be accused of his murder. He decides not to, hiding the body, with fateful consequences. For twenty years, his undiscovered act follows him, reaping its ably described psychological consequences until an encounter with a third person, his acquaintance's female companion at the time, the book rolls to its denouement: with its potential for exposure, prosecution, and death - and yet hauntingly, in t…