Re-introducing Easy Essays

Peter Maurin was a saintly and inspiring Catholic devoted to a life of prayer and service with the poor. Along with Dorothy Day, he founded the Catholic Worker movement. In 1934, he published a series of what he called “Easy Essays.” These very brief essays were powerful and to-the-point. They presented a radical vision for how Catholic Social Teaching can change our historical and political narratives, the life we live, and the world we all share.

In 2019, we call for new Easy Essays to continue building the Kingdom of God. Many people who are interested in integralism or the Catholic Worker movement aren’t sure exactly what all these ideas mean. Easy Essays will define important terms, explain the fundamental ideas of Catholic Social Teaching, provide historical insights, analyze data, and provide strategies to organize the Works of Mercy and take direct action.

All of this will be done in short essays, with simple language. Political life cannot be limited to only the academics. Long and complicated philosophic papers have their place, but the mission of our Easy Essays will be to provide straightforward answers to simple questions. Maurin’s Essays were about 100-150 words each. Ours will be bit longer, but never more than 500 words. It takes less than 5 minutes to read an Easy Essay.

We recommend reading more of Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays on the Catholic Worker website and this archive. Here are two of his Easy Essays which are still extremely relevant to integralism today:

Blowing the Dynamite

Writing about the Catholic Church,

a radical writer says:

“Rome will have to do more

than to play a waiting game;

she will have to use

some of the dynamite

inherent in her message.”

To blow the dynamite

of a message

is the only way

to make the message dynamic.

If the Catholic Church

is not today

the dominant social dynamic force,

it is because Catholic scholars

have failed to blow the dynamite

of the Church.

Catholic scholars

have taken the dynamite

of the Church,

have wrapped it up

in nice phraseology,

placed it in an hermetic container

and sat on the lid.

It is about time

to blow the lid off

so the Catholic Church

may again become

the dominant social dynamic force.

Church And State

1. Modern Society

    believes in the separation

    of Church and State.


2. But the Jews

    did not believe in it.


3. The Greeks

    did not believe in it.


4. The Romans

    did not believe in it.


5. The Mediaevals

    did not believe in it.


6. The Puritans

    did not believe in it.


7. Modern society

    has separated Church and State

    but it did not separate the State

    from business.


8. The State is no longer

    a Church’s State.


9. The State is now

    a Business Men’s State.

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