CategoriesChrist and Mystic ChristianityThe Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics All the Way to Heaven

All the Way to Heaven

Product no.: 978-0767932813
Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, has been called the most significant, interesting, and influential person in the history of American Catholicism.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Now the publication of her letters, previously sealed for 25 years after her death and meticulously selected by Robert Ellsberg, reveals an extraordinary look at her daily struggles, her hopes, and her unwavering faith.

This volume, which extends from the early 1920s until the time of her death in 1980, offers a fascinating chronicle of her response to the vast changes in America, the Church, and the wider world. Set against the backdrop of the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Vatican II, Vietnam, and the protests of the 1960s and ’70s, she corresponded with a wide range of friends, colleagues, family members, and well-known figures such as Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan, César Chávez, Allen Ginsberg, Katherine Anne Porter, and Francis Cardinal Spellman, shedding light on the deepest yearnings of her heart.

"These wonderful letters (wonderful even in a merely human sense) can almost startle us with their revelation—natural, unpretentious, non-preachy— of what it means to be holy. Dorothy Day loved our Lord in the darkness of a real world, one where she met with distrust, betrayal, grinding poverty, and anxiety. These sorrows did not keep her from God. They drew her into His own redemptive suffering. There are no letters like these."      ~Sister Wendy Beckett

"I never expected much of the bishops, Dorothy Day wrote to Gordon Zahn in 1968.

In all history, popes and bishops and abbots seem to have been blind and power-loving and greedy. I never expected leadership from them. It is the saints that keep appearing all through history who keep things going. What I do expect is the bread of life and down through the ages there is that continuity.

That’s just one of the helpful insights in the first-ever collection of Dorothy Day’s letters, All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day, edited by Robert Ellsberg. Following the recent publication of her diaries, these letters reveal more of Dorothy Day and her struggle to serve the impoverished and practice that 'harsh and dreadful love' she often spoke about. All the Way to Heaven chronicles that heroic life over six decades. Set against the backdrop of the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Vatican II, Vietnam, and the daily struggles of life in the Catholic Worker, Dorothy’s letters offer a deeper insight into her extraordinary journey - as well as encouragement for our own journey to peace.

Dorothy really was a saint, precisely because she was faithful to the painful struggle for justice, service and disarmament - that is, she was faithful to the God of peace."        ~National Catholic Reporter

"Unless the seed falls to the ground and die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. I don’t expect any success in anything we are trying to do, either in getting out a paper, running houses of hospitality or farming groups, or retreat houses on the land. I expect that everything we do [will] be attended with human conflicts, and the suffering that goes with it, and that this suffering will water the seed to make it grow in the future.

I expect that all our natural love for each other which is so warm and encouraging and so much a reward for this kind of work and living, will be killed, put to death painfully by gossip, intrigue, suspicion, distrust, etc., and that this painful dying to self and the longing for the love of others will be rewarded by a tremendous increase of supernatural love among us all. I expect the most dangerous of sins cropping up among us, whether of sensuality or pride it does not matter, but that the struggle will go on to such an extent that God will not let it hinder the work but that the work will go on, because that work is our suffering and our sanctification. So rejoice in failures, rejoice in suffering!

What are we trying to do? We are trying to get to heaven, all of us. We are trying to lead a good life. We are trying to talk about and write about the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the social principles of the church, and it is most astounding, the things that happen when you start trying to live this way.

To perform the works of mercy becomes a dangerous practice. Our Baltimore House was closed as a public nuisance because we took in blacks as well as whites. The [staff] were arrested and thrown in jail overnight and accused of running a disorderly house…. It is a good thing to live from day to day and from hour to hour."  (Jan. 1948)

This volume and its companion, The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day, complete the publication of Dorothy Day’s personal papers, part of the Dorothy Day–Catholic Worker Collection housed at Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries in Milwaukee, Wiscon­sin. According to her wishes, these materials were sealed for twenty-five years after her death in 1980.

Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert. In 1933, with Peter Maurin, she established the Catholic Worker, creating a community dedicated to direct aid for the poor and homeless, solidarity with the dispossessed, and social change. Day participated in the labor struggles of the 1930s, the Civil Rights movement, and nonviolent, pacifist opposition to WWII, Vietnam and Cold War militarism, and her cause for canonization is open in the Catholic Church.

Robert Ellsberg was part of the Catholic Worker community in New York City for the last five years of Dorothy Day’s life (1975-80), and served for two years as managing editor of The Catholic Worker. He has also edited Dorothy Day: Selected Writings and All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day, and is the author of All Saints.

Editor Ellsberg, Robert
Author Day, Dorothy
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 624 pp.
Publisher Image Books 2012
Browse these categories as well: The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Christian Classics: Ancient and Modern, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Holy Woman and High Priestess, Noteworthy Releases 2012

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