A Little Goes a Long Way (Body & Blood of Christ)

But Jesus went ahead and directed his disciples, “Sit them down in groups of about fifty”. They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up. (Luke 9: 14 – 17)

Dorothy Day’s 1963 book Loaves and Fishes chronicled the founding and early decades of the Catholic Worker Movement, which Day started with French worker-scholar Peter Maurin in 1933. Day’s story is dramatic and inspiring, with her radical roots, religious awakening, unpopular but steadfast pacifism, and courageous defence of civil rights and of all those who find themselves marginalised. It might be easy to conclude that she was an extraordinary person, a saint. But Day herself would have none of it, rejecting any talk of her sainthood with the reply, “Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily”.

Today, more than 40 years after Day’s death, Catholic Worker communities remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken, according to the website CatholicWorker.org. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems the world faces. But we can take solace, and guidance, in these words of Dorothy Day: “What we do is every little, but it’s like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest”.

All posts