Monday, March 21, 2005

Writings of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Faith consists in accepting God without asking him to account for things according to our standard. Faith consists in reacting before God as Mary did: I don’t understand it, Lord, but let it be done in me according to your word.
--December 8, 1977

The day when all of us Salvadoreans escape from that heap of less-human conditions and as persons and nation live in more-human conditions, not only of merely economic development, but of the kind that lifts us up to faith, to adoration for only one God, that day will know our people’s real development.
--January 15, 1978

When we struggle for human rights, for freedom, for dignity, when we feel that it is a ministry of the church to concern itself for those who are hungry, for those who are deprived, we are not departing from God’s promise. He comes to free us from sin, and the church knows that sin’s consequences are all such injustices and abuses. The church knows it is saving the world when it undertakes to speak also of such things.
--December 18, 1977

There is one rule by which to judge if God is near us or is far away, the rule that God’s word is giving us today: Everyone concerned for the hungry, the naked, the poor, for those who have vanished in police custody, for the tortured, for prisoners, for all flesh that suffers, has God close at hand.
--February 5, 1978

The guarantee of one’s prayer is not in saying a lot of words. The guarantee of one’s petition is very easy to know: How do I treat the poor? Because that is where God is. The degree to which you approach them, and the love with which you approach them, or the scorn with which you approach them--that is how you approach your God. What you do to them, you do to God. The way you look at them is the way you look at God.
--February 5, 1978

“I came to you weak and fearful.” God knows how hard it was for me also to come here to the capital. How timid I have felt before you, except for the support that you, as church, have given me. You have made your bishop a sign of Christianity.
--February 5, 1978

When the church decries revolutionary violence, it cannot forget that institutionalized violence also exists, and that the desperate violence of oppressed persons is not overcome with one-sided laws, with weapons, or with superior force. Instead, as the Pope says, revolutionary violence must be prevented by courageous self-sacrifice, by giving up many comforts. As long as there is no greater justice among us, there will always be outbreaks of revolution. The church does not approve or justify bloody revolution and cries of hatred. But neither can it condemn them while it sees no attempt to remove the causes that produce that ailment in our society. This is the church’s stand, one that makes it suffer terrible conflicts, but one that also makes it feel faithful to God’s justice and to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
--February 12, 1978