Monday, February 25, 2013

Dorothy (mon)Day QOTW: Who is My Neighbor?

"Of what use is it to teach catechism and tell the children of the love that is necessary they have for their neighbor, without having them go out and act on that love. If you love your neighbor you wish to serve him.

You cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament without becoming sensitive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and these inspirations are to be put into practice."

 Dorothy Day, "A Long Editorial, But it Could be Longer," Feb. 1935

Two letters came last week addressed to the people next door.

Who knew that something so everyday, so banal could produce a fear of the unknown, the churning of angst in the pit of the stomach?

The dilemma was this: do I walk next door and hand deliver their mail or do I simply leave it for the mail carrier to bring the next day?

When did I become afraid of the neighbors? Certainly, I didn't grow up like this, when the yard next door was simply an extension of my own and the street was a limb on the body of my parents' property.

There's this creeping fear of others that permeates the way we live today in  subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The security-system signs posted on front lawns; car alarms and panic buttons on keychains; motion-sensors glaring their bright lights at the movement of a squirrel. All of these things have their place, but put together they paint quite a dreadful picture of domestic insecurity.

Our homes have become prisons, all in the name of safety.

How can we be of service to our neighbor when we are afraid of him?

I took the road more traveled and left the letters for postal carrier to deliver. I really am in need of a savior.