What the Catholic Worker Believes

December 1st, 2009

What the Catholic Worker Believes

The Catholic Worker believes

in the gentle personalism

of traditional Catholicism.

The Catholic Worker believes

in the personal obligation

of looking after

the needs of our brother.

The Catholic Worker believes

in the daily practice

of the Works of Mercy.

The Catholic Worker believes

in Houses of Hospitality

for the immediate relief

of those who are in need.

The Catholic Worker believes

in the establishment

of Farming Communes

where each one works

according to his ability

and gets

according to his need.

The Catholic Worker believes

in creating a new society

within the shell of the old

with the philosophy of the new,

which is not a new philosophy

but a very old philosophy,

a philosophy so old

that it looks like new.


The Duty of Hospitality

People who are in need

and are not afraid to beg

give to people not in need

the occasion to do good

for goodness’ sake.

Modern society calls the beggar

bum and panhandler

and gives him the bum’s rush.

But the Greeks used to say

that people in need

are the ambassadors of the gods.

Although you may be called

bums and panhandlers

you are in fact the Ambassadors of God.

As God’s Ambassadors

you should be given food,

clothing and shelter

by those who are able to give it.

Mahometan teachers tell us

that God commands hospitality,

and hospitality is still practiced

in Mahometan countries.

But the duty of hospitality

is neither taught nor practiced

in Christian countries.


Christianity Untried

Chesterton says:

“The Christian ideal

has not been tried

and found wanting.

It has been found difficult

and left untried.”

Christianity has not been tried

because people thought

it was impractical.

And men have tried everything

except Christianity.

And everything

that men have tried

has failed.


Feeding the Poor at a Sacrifice

In the first centuries

of Christianity

the hungry were fed

at a personal sacrifice,

the naked were clothed

at a personal sacrifice,

the homeless were sheltered

at personal sacrifice.

And because the poor

were fed, clothed and sheltered

at a personal sacrifice,

the pagans used to say

about the Christians

“See how they love each other.”

In our own day

the poor are no longer

fed, clothed, sheltered

at a personal sacrifice,

but at the expense

of the taxpayers.

And because the poor

are no longer

fed, clothed and sheltered

the pagans say about the Christians

“See how they pass the buck.”

This entry was posted in Faith and Poverty, Health Care, Mobilization for Health Care for All, Spirituality & Centering Prayer. Bookmark the permalink.

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