A reader sent this rare, 3 part video of an extended interview with Dorothy Day in old age. I'm guessing from the hairstyle of the interviewer and the cringe-worthy music that the interview took place during the early 70's. (Day died in 1980.)
Dorothy is utterly herself, clear-headed, matter of fact, simple and literate; moving readily from a discussion of the anarchist and pacifist principles behind the Catholic Worker to quoting St. Paul and the Imitation of Christ and then to describing birth control as "genocide". She utterly transcends the categories of our current debates, thank God. Dorothy was so deeply the product of pre Vatican II Catholicism and completely orthodox in her theology and devotion.
But she took the Scriptures and the commands of Christ literally (the interviewer asks her if she is really a "fundamentalist") and insisted on direct, personal, costly obedience. And that led her to political stands that we think of as belonging to far left hand side of the spectrum. Listen to her talking about God "delivering me from the fear of our enemies" and being a "fool for Christ."
I talk about Dorothy at every Called & Gifted workshop I teach. As I point out, we don't have to agree with Dorothy's politics but none of us gets out of her dilemma of how to live the life of Christ in our generation. Dorothy's long obedience in the same direction is a challenge to us all - where ever we fall on the spectrum.
If you can, take the time to watch all three videos. If not, I'd recommend starting with part 2. I can't embed this so you'll have to go to the site.
Here's an interesting trailer of a documentary on Day "Don't Call Me A Saint".