Today, on the 35th anniversary of his death, I share a few, perhaps lesser-known words of soon-to-be-canonized Archbishop Oscar Romero: strong and challenging, very challenging, particularly for those of us who call ourselves Christian and who have the privilege of privilege:
Let's not try to remake Christianity to suit our tastes. Let's not try to tame the Gospel, rather, let us conform ourselves to the Gospel and try to follow the authentic Christ, if we truly want to be saved.
- July 30, 1978
This is the commitment of being a Christian: following Christ in his incarnation. And if Christ is God in his majesty who becomes a humble man even to dying like a slave on the cross and who lives with the poor, that's what our Christian faith should be like. A Christian who doesn't want to live this commitment of solidarity with the poor is not worthy of being called a Christian.
- February 17, 1980
True poverty is to concern ourselves preferentially with the poor as if it were our own cause. And, because of this, it is also to feel that one is poor and needs strength from God in all situations.
- December 16, 1979
Let us not be afraid to stand alone if it is a result of honoring truth. Let us be afraid of being demagogues and being ambitious to receive false adulation from the people. If we don't tell the truth, we are committing the worse sin. We are betraying the truth and betraying the people.
- November 25, 1979
Let us not look for immediate solutions. We can't try to organize all at once a society that has been so badly organized for so long. But, yes, let's organize a conversion of hearts. Some know how to live in the austerity of the desert, they know how to savor the strong redemption of the cross. They know that there is no greater joy than earning your bread with the sweat of your brow and that there isn't a more diabolical sin than to take bread from the hungry.
- February 24, 1980
God is joy, God doesn't want sadness, God is optimistic, God is the possibility of everything good, God is all-powerful to do good and to love. Who can be sad given a God whose presence fills everything.
- December 16, 1979
Faced with the horrifying quantity of blood and violence left us by this week's events, I want to make, in the name of the Gospel, a new call to all sectors of Salvadoran society; to leave behind ways of violence and to look more seriously for solutions through dialogue. Such solutions are always possible as long as humankind does not reject its own rationality and its good will.
- January 27, 1980
Let his words sink in.
And then let this voice (and her words, if you understand Spanish) penetrate your soul.