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1. The mandate to practice social
justice is unsettling because taking on the struggles of the poor
invariably means challenging the wealthy and those who serve their
interests. “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”—that’s what
Dorothy Day, a Catholic social activist, said is the heart of the
In Chapter 1, Prejean describes her
call to work for social justice. No longer content to live a life
of quiet religious contemplation, Prejean is seized by a new understanding
of the Gospels and Jesus’ teachings. The transformation she undergoes
is a difficult one. It means foregoing peace and comfort for confrontation,
challenges, and problems. For Prejean, the call is a “mandate,”
an inescapable demand placed on her by Christ’s teachings. Dorothy
Day, known for her lifetime of work on behalf of the poor, inspires
Prejean with her idea that the gospels call people to confront the
rich. Comforting the afflicted is not enough. In order to fully
realize the message of the Gospels, those who directly or indirectly
participate in a system of social inequality must be challenged.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Dead Man Walking!