Monday, March 24, 2014

Oscar Romero: The Meaning of Death and Life

Photo by Leif Skoogfors. Used with permission.
On March 24, 1980, the Servant of God Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the Divine Providence hospital chapel, where he also resided. In the present time, El Salvador honors his memory with a week of celebrations, and people continue to pray for his beatification.

Once again, I wish to remember this great hero of the faith on the American continent, this bishop whose blood was not spilled in vain, who showed the cost of courage, of putting the gospel of Jesus above all ideologies, of the Church's right and duty to openly denounce evils and call everyone to conversion and to be transformed by the merciful love of God in Jesus Christ.  
"The voice of the Church continues to be known and wants to be the voice that preaches the eternal message of the Lord. Despite the distortions and ill-will and slanders and defamation the voice of the Church wants to be that voice that from the heights of heaven draws all things unto herself so that we can speak about the meaning of death and life, the meaning of government and the struggle for just demands, the meaning of well-being and misery and living on the margins of society and the meaning of sin. The Church wants to speak about all these realities so that, illuminated with the vision of eternity, we make this earth what it was meant to be, a foretaste of heaven and not a war zone or a place where passions run wild. Indeed, as sisters and brothers, as children of God, we are all on a journey toward heaven, toward [Christ] the head of the body."
(from a sermon of Archbishop Oscar Romero, 1979) 
Blood stained vestments worn by Archbishop Romero on March 24, 1980