By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, February 1948, 1.
Summary: Eulogizes Gandhi as a pacifist martyr and a clear example of “divinized humanity.” Sees his death as added to the sacrifice of Christ, sharing in the folly of the cross. Calls his way of non-violence “the full way, because he adhered to an Absolute.” (DDLW #463).
“Greater love than this no man hath–that a man lay down his life for his friends.” There is no public figure who has more conformed his life to the life of Jesus Christ than Gandhi, there is no man who has carried about him more consistently the aura of divinized humanity, who has added his sacrifice to the sacrifice of Christ, whose life has had a more fitting end than that of Gandhi. “A prophet is not without honor save in his own country … he came into his own and his own did not receive him.” The folly of Gandhi’s life, the failure of Gandhi’s life–it is the folly and failure of the Cross. The failure of the supernatural in the world. The failure of those who would teach love and non-violence in a world which has apostatized, which accepts no absolutes, has no standards other than utilitarian, is devoid of hope, persecutes the prophets, murders the saints, exhibits God to the people–torn, bleeding, dead.
Gandhi gained adherents, gained popularity, gained respect as he led his people to independence, for it was seen that the way of non-violence worked in that instance. Any nationalist would have followed him there. It was because he went the full way, because he adhered to an Absolute, because he insisted that there be no hatred, that Hindu and Moslem live together in peace–it was for these things he was murdered. It was because he believed in a Revolution that went beyond the social and ended in personal regeneration, because it was pacifist that he has now attained to that failure that leads to ultimate glory. Truly he is one of those who has added his own sufferings to those of Christ, whose sacrifice and martyrdom will forever be offered to the Eternal Father as compensating for those things lacking in the Passion of Christ. In him we have a new intercessor with Christ; a modern Francis, a pacifist martyr.