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The Fire That Must Burn


What is God but love? 

Isacredheart11321t is hard to believe in this love because it is a tremendous love.  It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).  If we do once catch a glimpse of it, we are afraid of it.  Once we recognize that we are sons of God, that the seed of divine life has been planted in us at baptism, we are overcome by that obligation placed upon us of growing in the love of God….

The love of God and man becomes the love of equals, as the love of the bride and bridegroom is the love of equals, and not the love of the sheep for the shepherd, or the servant for the master, or the son for the father.  We may stand at times in the relationship of servant, and at other times in that of son, as far as our feelings go and in our present state.  But the relationship we hope to attain to is that of the love of the Canticle of Canticles.  If we cannot deny the self in us, kill the self-love, as he has commanded, and put on the Christ-life, then God will do it for us.  We must become like him. Love must go through these purgations….

Love must be tried and tested and proved.  It must be tried as though by fire, and fire burns.



dayServant of God Dorothy Day. "The Fire That Must Burn." from The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2017).

Reprinted with permission. 

The Author

dday1ddayServant of God Dorothy Day (18971980) was an American journalist, social activist, and devout Catholic convert. In 1933, with Peter Maurin, she established the Catholic Worker. Day participated in the labor struggles of the 1930s, the Civil Rights movement, and nonviolent, pacifist opposition to WWII, Cold War militarism, and the Vietnam War, and her cause for canonization is open in the Catholic Church. She is the author of  The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus,  The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness, From Union Square to Rome, All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day, Loaves and Fishes, On Pilgrimage, and Wisdom from Dorothy Day: A Radical Love.

Copyright © 2017 Plough Publishing House
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