Thanks to Sara Puddytat.
A friend just told me my posts have been rather dark lately. Seriously.
"O that my people would heed me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
At once I would subdue their foes,
turn my hand against their enemies.
The Lord's enemies would cringe at their feet
and their subjection would last for ever.
But Israel I would feed with finest wheat
and fill them with honey from the rock."
Mundus, a, um is an adjective for “clean, cleanly, nice, neat, elegant” and “morally pure, upright, free from sin” as in the famous phrases from the Vulgate “cor mundum crea in me Deus… create in me a pure heart O God” (Ps 50 (51):12) and, “beati mundo corde … blessed are the pure of heart” (Matthew 5:8). In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, before the the Gospel the priest says the prayer called the Munda cor meum:
“Cleanse my heart and my lips, O Almighty God, Who cleansed the lips of the Prophet Isaiah with a burning coal. In Your gracious mercy deign so to purify me that I may worthily proclaim Your holy Gospel.”
As an aside, mundus, -i refers in the first place to “a woman’s dress or ornamentation” such as cosmetics. It is also “the universe, the world, esp. the heavens and the heavenly bodies” and thus “the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, mankind”. This is the equivalent of the Greek kosmos, whence is derived English cosmos and cosmetics. - Fr. Z
Knowing they ('men from the Bowery') were “living on relief in lodging houses or sleeping in doorways,” Dorothy writes, “they were as poor, as destitute, as ‘down and out' as man can get. And yet how close they are to our Lord!” “I felt Christ in that man beside me and I loved him.” Then she offers a brief meditation: “Every morning, I break my fast with the men in the breadline. Some of them speak to me. Many of them do not. But they know me and I know them. And there is a sense of comradeship there. We know each other in the breaking of bread.” (Feb 27, 1939)
This meditation, re-phrased in the postscript to The Long Loneliness , signals the abiding importance for Dorothy of seeing Christ in the poor. But it was not easy. Later in the same entry, she writes “Today we had to send Mary O'Connor away to Bellevue. She had been with us since last April, almost a year.” Staying at the Worker helped her for a while, but lately “she had been keeping us up nights chasing imaginary pursuers with a broom . . . cleaning her room at two in the morning . . . attacking people, stepping on their feet, kicking them, spitting at them, throwing a plate with very poor aim. We took broom handle and scissors away from her.” (Feb. 27, 1939). A few months later, Day writes about a guest named Joe being drunk: “drunkenness and all the sins which follow in its wake are so obviously ugly and monstrous, and mean such unhappiness for the poor sinner that it is all the more important that we do not judge or condemn them.” (July 8, 1939) Not easy to see Christ in Mary and Joe. Not easy to see Christ in the families living nearby either: “I remember one family on the west side, a longshoreman who got only a day or so on the docks every few weeks. He drank, his wife drank, and their children were growing up disorderly and dishonest. . . . They sold the clothes they were given for liquor. We spent all one winter giving food and clothing to this family. It was indeed hard to see Christ in these poor.” (Jan 2, 1940) - A Review Essay: The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day