Monday, March 24, 2008

Quotes from Archbishop Oscar Romero

Today markes the anniversay of the death
of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador.
Romero was murdered at the altar on this day
twenty-eight years ago.
I remember it distinctly, even though I was just a teenager in high school.

And so,
I offer a this video,
which contains actual footage
and the voice of Archbishop Romero.
A few quotes from this great man of our history
follow the video.
Please take the time to reflect on these words of his.

Oscar Arnulfo Romero; Pray for us.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How beautiful will be the day
when all the baptized understand
that their work, their job, is a priestly work,
that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar,
so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench,
and each metalworker,
each professional,
each doctor with the scalpel,
the market woman at her stand,
is performing a priestly office!
How may cabdrivers, I know,
listen to this message there in their cabs,
you are a priest at the wheel, my friend,
if you work with honesty,
consecrating that taxi of yours to God,
bearing a message of peace and love
to the passengers who ride in your cab.
November 20, 1977

What good are beautiful highways and airports,
beautiful buildings full of spacious apartments,
if they are only put together with the blood of the poor,
who are not going to enjoy them?
July 15, 1979

A religion of Sunday Mass
but of unjust weeks does not please the Lord.
A religion of much praying but with hypocrisy
in the heart is not Christian.
A church that sets itself up only to be well off,
to have a lot of money and comfort,
but that forgets to protest injustices,
would not be the true church of our divine Redeemer.
December 4, 1977

To those who bear in their hand, or in their consciences,
the burden of bloodshed, of outrages,
of the victimized, innocent or guilty,
but still victimized in their human dignity, I say:
Be Converted!
You cannot find God on those paths of torture and outrages.
God is found on the ways of justice,
of conversion,
of truth.
August 6, 1978

Everyone who struggles for justice,
everyone who makes just claims in unjust surroundings,
is working for God's reign,
even though not a Christian.
The church does not comprise all of God's reign,
God's reign goes beyond the church's boundaries.
The church values everything
that is in tune with its struggle to set up God's reign.
A church that tries only to keep itself pure and uncontaminated
would not be a church of God's service to people.
The authentic church is one
that does not mind conversing
with prostitutes and publicans and sinners,
as Christ did
-- and with Marxists
and those of various political movements
-- in order to bring them salvation's true message.
December 2, 1978

Not just purgatory
but hell awaits those who could have done good
and did not do it.
It is the reverse of the Beatitude
that the Bible has for those who are saved, for the saints,
"who could have done wrong and did not."
Of those who are condemned
it will be said:
They could have done good and did not.
July 16, 1977

How beautiful will be the day
when a new society,
instead of selfishly hoarding and keeping,
apportions, shares, divides up,
and all rejoice because
we all feel we are children
of the same God!
January 27, 1980

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