Lesson 3: Class of Nonviolence

“We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.”    Dorothy Day


3.1 Love is the Measure by Dorothy Day  3.2 Poverty and Precarity by Dorothy Day  3.3 Undeclared War to Declared War by Dorothy Day  3.4 This Money is Not Ours by Dorothy Day 3.5 The Scandal of the Works of Mercy by Dorothy Day 3.6 Dorothy Day by Colman McCarthy
[download all of the Lesson Three readings as a PDF file]


  1. Dorothy Day, like Mother Teresa, seems to be devoted to healing the symptoms (the victim) of a sick and/or evil society rather than confronting the causes of its illness. Is this a fair assessment; and if so, what would be more fruitful to bring about change?
  2. Dorothy Day once said of her church (Catholic Church), that, “She’s a whore, but she’s my mother.” Should we try to reform a corrupt institution by staying within it or is it smarter to abandon it and build a benign alternative? Did Gorbachev’s example of reforming the Soviet Union from within argue for this approach of staying “within?”
  3. “Where there is no love, put love and you will find love” was Dorothy Day’s lifelong theme. Does it play when dealing with unresponsive individuals, the scornful homeless, violent prisoners, those who hate and revile us?
  4. What do you think the notion of “turning the other cheek” means within the context of resisting violence and/or aggression?
  5. Would you vote for a pacifist like Dorothy Day to rule America? If so, why; if not, why not?

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