LITTLE THINGS MATTER – July 2010

 Another reflection from American journalist and social activist, Jim Forrest, based on his experience of working with Dorothy Day in the 1960’s. Take the “little way.” – do the little things well. This was something that Dorothy borrowed from Saint Therese of Lisieux. She lived the .belief that change starts not in the future but in the present, not in the halls of power, but where I stand.

Changcandlep2ebegins not in the isolated dramatic gesture or the petition signed but in the ordinary actions of life, how I live minute to minute, what I do with my life, what I notice, what I respond to, the care and attention with which I listen, the way in which I respond. As Dorothy once put it: “Paperwork, cleaning the house,   dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience — these things, too, are the works of peace, and often seem like a very little way.”  She also said: “What I want to  bring out is how a pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that.”   What she tried to practice was “Christ’s technique,” as she put it, which was not to seek out meetings with emperors and important officials but with obscure people, a few fishermen and farm people, a few ailing and hard-pressed men and women.

Lord: help us to see that the little things matter, the smile, the welcome, the kind word and the trouble shared. Make us instruments to spread peace, care and love in the places where we live, among the people that we meet. AMEN