Tuesday, January 13, 2004


A prayer/poem that I return to again and again is one attributed to the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who was murdered while celebrating mass in the Chapel of the Hospital de la Divina Providencia on 24 March 1980.

In Prophets Of A Future Not Our Own, Romero writes:

"This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

"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 God's grace to enter and do the rest."

(See full prayer here)

The Religious Task Force on Central America notes:

"Every year, in celebrations throughout El Salvador, among Christian communities animated by catechists in the countryside, in local churches, at Romero's tomb in the cathedral, people recite his words once again from the homilies that gathered up for them and reflected back to them the truth of their situation. This was a remarkable thing for the poor of El Salvador -- to hear someone pronounce their reality, to name the causes of their suffering, to denounce the injustice, to speak to their hopes and help them believe that it was right and good to believe that these hopes should be realized in this world -- that indeed this was at the heart of the meaning of the incarnation of Jesus Christ."

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