Sunday, May 20, 2012

Óscar Romero - Authentic believer

In this strange age it seems that both "conservatives" and "radicals" from their own perspectives like to portray Archbishop Óscar Romero as having embraced a view of liberation in Christ that is only a political reality. This, of course is far from the truth, and misrepresents Romero who - at great personal cost - held together as one piece evangelical believing, credal orthodoxy and the vocation to speak out against social and political injustice. The following readings show this quite clearly. They are from The Violence of Love, which is able to be downloaded in its entirety as a pdf book HERE

Would that the many bloodstained hands in our land
were lifted up to the Lord with horror of their stain
to pray that he might cleanse them.
But let those who, thanks to God, have clean hands –
the children, the sick, the suffering –
lift up their innocent and suffering hands to the Lord
like the people of Israel in Egypt.
The Lord will have pity and will say,
as he did to Moses in Egypt,
“I have heard my people’s cry of wailing.”
It is the prayer that God cannot fail to hear.
September 18, 1977

* * * * *

Let us not tire of preaching love;
it is the force that will overcome the world.
Let us not tire of preaching love.
Though we see that waves of violence
succeed in drowning the fire of Christian love,
love must win out; it is the only thing that can.
September 25, 1977 

* * * * *

It would be worthless to have an economic liberation
in which all the poor had their own houses,
their own money,
but were all sinners,
their hearts estranged from God.
What good would it be?
There are nations at present
that are economically and socially quite advanced,
for example those of northern Europe,
and yet how much vice and excess!

The church will always have its word to say:
Progress will not be completed
even if we organize ideally the economy
and the political and social order of our people.
It won’t be entire with that.
That will be the basis,
so that it can be completed
by what the church pursues and proclaims:
God adored by all,
Christ acknowledged as only Saviour,
deep joy of spirit
in being at peace with God
and with our brothers and sisters.
October 9, 1977 

* * * * *

How I would like to engrave this great idea
on each one’s heart:
Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed,
of laws to be obeyed,
of prohibitions.
That makes it very distasteful.
Christianity is a person,
one who loved us so much,
one who calls for our love.
Christianity is Christ.
November 6, 1977


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