How do Sr. Dorothy’s words and actions suggest she lived by this simple principle of honoring the dignity of each person?
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Sr. Dorothy lived an exemplary life of honoring the dignity and sacredness of each person she encountered. This can be seen when she fights for the rights of the poor winning the hearts of many people leading to her earning the name ‘Angel of the Amazon’. She was motivated by a strong desire to create an environment that encourages the development of the whole person and to develop relationships that respect individual differences (Fearns, 2007).
Dorothy identified with the poor and joined their struggle for justice accepting the outcome of her struggle. She saw them as being equal and important just like the rich and mighty, and she supported them in their fight for liberation. This can be related to the biblical story of Ruth, who told her mother-in-law that she would be with her anywhere she went. She worked with them trying to help them stabilize their agriculture. She fought against the logging companies, who always got permission for clearing large tracks of land even at the expense of the local population. She was accused of supplying guns to the peasants and was given death threats, yet she declined to surrender her mission. She said that the locals had the right to work for better lives on their farms with dignity (Fearns, 2007).
Sr. Dorothy’s criticism of straying too much from religion
Sr. Dorothy was criticized for straying too much from religion. This was always critiqued as she did what was expected of her. The purpose of religion is to make peace. The religious should rebuke the unjust without using violence. Dorothy sought justice and reconciliation to foster harmony for the good of all the people. This justice was sought without the loss of God’s love for all including her persecutors. Dorothy was even persecuted for her righteousness. She had a pile of letters that threatened her life yet she continued her work (Fearns, 2007). Jesus taught us in the beatitudes that the righteous will be rewarded for their righteousness.
What do you think is necessary to live a happy life? Did Dorothy live a happy life? What is your evidence?
We all desire to lead happy lives. We think that wealth and power will give us happiness. They are indeed necessary for our happiness. According to the Beatitudes, Jesus taught that happiness cannot be achieved through our worldly desires. Helping people is one of the best ways to live happily. Dorothy gave the poor some value by building schools and helping improve their lives. This clearly shows that she led a happy life.
Fearns, J. (2007). Helping You Find Life in God’d Work: Sister Dorothy Stang – The Angel of the Amazon. Web.