Friday, November 19, 2010

On Being Pushed

I so never thought that I would be writing anything about Dorothy Day, let alone something positive.  But I was intrigued by this post over at First Thoughts, which gives us some samples of Msgr. Charles Pope's (note: I don't actually know who that is) favorite Dorothy Day quotes, and I was intrigued by these:
  • Together with the Works of Mercy, feeding, clothing and sheltering our brothers, we must indoctrinate.
  • I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.
  • You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know.
So I clicked on the link, which took me over to this site, which comes complete with the totally right-on, but I have never heard it articulated so well statement that,
"I have found that, in order to stretch my boundaries and be truly challenged, I need to trust my teachers and leaders. It’s people I can trust who lead me to stretch my horizons."
This is most certainly true.  I don't know enough about Dorothy Day to know whether I can trust her.  Until I started clicking around on these links, my impression of her was that we disagree on a lot, and that may in fact still be true.  But Msgr. Pope is totally correct in stating that the best people to stretch us are the ones we trust.  When I think about that in my own life, I realize that the people that have pushed and stretched me the most, that have challenged me where I most needed to be challenged, have been people that I trust implicitly. 
It reminds me of this sentiment from one of my all-time favorite professors, Dr. R.R. Reno: 
"We can worry about getting on the wrong train in the foreign train station whose signs we can’t read. But we should also worry about dithering in the station too long and thus failing to get on the right train. We could starve to death in that station if we never leave. This, it seems to me, is the essence of Newman and Pascal’s insight. Sometimes, the dangers of failing to affirm the truth are far greater than the dangers of wrongly affirming falsehood.
If we see this danger—the danger of truths lost, insights missed, convictions never formed—then the complexion of intellectual inquiry changes, and the burdens of proof shift. We begin to cherish books and teachers and friends who push us and romance us with the possibilities of truth."
Of late, I have been absolutely blessed to have those in my life - books and teachers and friends who push me and romance me with possibilities of truth.  I love it.  Dear God, please keep putting those books and teachers and friends in my life.  ♥, Me.

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My Comments Policy: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23