Dear Companions on the Journey,
Today, March 24th, 2019, marks the 39th anniversary of the martyrdom of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador (today is also his feast day). Recognized as a saint by the Church in October 2018, Oscar Romero is one of the Paulist Center’s patron saints. An alcove dedicated to him, as well as to the four American women and six Jesuits murdered in El Salvador, can be found in the back of our chapel (visit it!). El Salvador is where our sister community, Hacienda Vieja, is located (watch for the special news about them after Easter).
Some Romero quotations:
For the church, the many abuses of human life, liberty, and dignity are a heartfelt suffering. The church, entrusted with the earth’s glory, believes that in each person is the Creator’s image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. As holy defender of God’s rights and of his images, the church must cry out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as the cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even though they be unbelievers. They suffer as God’s images. There is no dichotomy between man and God’s image. Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being abuses God’s image, and the church takes as its own that cross, that martyrdom.
A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed — what gospel is that?
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
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.
What do you think?
And let us pray for/with one another.
The Paulist Center