After I posted the last entry about Archbishop Romero, I realized that there was so much more to say about this man of God. To truly understand his passion, though, one must hear his voice and read his words. So this post is a collection of some of his quotes that I have found particularly meaningful. May you, too, be inspired to work for justice and mercy until Christ’s reign is realized.
“The Word of God has a religious mission … and a human mission: to love our neighbor means to be concerned about their needs, their concrete situation, and like the Good Samaritan, to help the poor fallen by the roadside.” ~~ April 7, 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
“The world does not say: ‘blessed are the poor.’ The world says: ‘blessed are the rich. You are worth as much as you have.’ But Christ says: ‘wrong. Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, because they do not put their trust in what is so transitory.'” ~~ January 29, 1978
“Many would like the poor to keep on saying that it is God’s will for them to live that way. But it is not God’s will for some to have everything and others to have nothing. That cannot be of God. God’s will is that all of his children be happy.” ~~ September 10, 1978
“Each time we look upon the poor, on the farmworkers who harvest the coffee, the sugarcane, or the cotton, or the farmer who joins the caravan of workers looking to earn their savings for the year … remember, there is the face of Christ … The face of Christ is among the sacks and baskets of the farmworker; the face of Christ is among those who are tortured and mistreated in the prisons; the face of Christ is dying of hunger in the children who have nothing to eat; the face of Christ is in the poor who ask the church for their voice to be heard. How can the church deny this request when it is Christ who is telling us to speak for him?” ~~ November 26, 1978
“I want to repeat to you what I said once before: the shepherd does not want security while they give no security to his flock.” ~~ July 22, 1979
“With this people it is not hard to be a good shepherd. They are a people that impel to their service us who have been called to defend their rights and to be their voice.” ~~ November 18, 1979
“I feel more pity than anger when they insult me and slander me. I feel pity for those poor blind people who can’t see beyond the person. Let them know that I hold no animosity, no grudge. Those anonymous letters that come don’t offend me with all their raging, nor what is said through other means or lived out in the heart. It’s not a pity of superiority, but a pity of thankfulness to God and of a prayer to God: Lord, open their eyes. Lord, let them be converted. Lord, instead of the bitterness of hate that they live in their hearts, let them live in the joy of reconciliation with you.” ~~ March 16, 1980, just 8 days before his assassination
Quotations taken from the following sources:
Marie Dennis et al. Oscar Romero. New York: Orbis Books, 2000.
Oscar Romero. The Violence of Love, translated by James R. Brockman. New York: Orbis Books, 2007.