Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the assassination and martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Though many of us – inspired by his witness, his conversion, his commitment to justice, and his love for the people – already see him as a saint, there is renewed hope these days that the election of Pope Francis might speed along the canonization process. In celebration of his life and his influence, I offer here four of my favorite quotations, taken from the collection The Violence of Love.
I cry out against injustice,
but only to say to the unjust:
I cry out in the name of suffering,
of those who suffer injustice,
but only to say to the criminals:
Do not be wicked!
Some want to keep a gospel so disembodied
that it doesn’t get involved at all
in the world it must save.
Christ is now in history.
Christ is in the womb of the people.
Christ is now bringing about
the new heavens and the new earth.
I repeat what I told you once before when we feared
we might be left without a radio station:
God’s best microphone is Christ,
and Christ’s best microphone is the church,
and the church is all of you.
let each one of you, in your own job, in your own vocation –
nun, married person, bisohp, priest,
high school or university student,
day laborer, wage earner, market woman –
each one in your own place live the faith intensely and feel that in your surroundings
you are a true microphone of God our Lord.
“God’s reign is already present on our earth in mystery.
When the Lord comes, it will be brought to perfection.”
That is the hope that inspires Christians.
We know that every effort to better society,
especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained,
is an effort that God blesses,
that God wants,
that God demands of us.
Please feel free to share your own favorite Romero quotations in the comments section below