Christianity and Personal Sacrifice

Folk theologian, philosopher and Christian servant Peter Maurin co-founded the Catholic Worker movement along with Dorothy Day. Peter and Dorothy believed in a radical Christianity that stressed the importance of each person responding to the gospel call in a uniquely personal and sacrificial way. Today there are Catholic Worker houses across the country where people who are poor are fed, clothed, sheltered and cared for by people who live in voluntary simplicity in order to care for their needs. While the word “Catholic” is in the title, the truth is that community members and volunteers in the movement come from broad and diverse backgrounds. I am very proud that a member of St. Mary’s, a recent graduate from Marquette University is part of the Casa Maria Catholic Worker community in Milwaukee. Some of our older youth group members recently made a trip to Casa Maria to learn about the work of that community and to give of their time, energy and compassion to help those living there.

Here are some words from Peter Maurin:

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 a personal sacrifice.…And 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, and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because of this the pagans say about the Christians, “See how they pass the buck”.

Taken from a collection of Peter’s Easy Essays

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