Oscar Romero, Martyr – The Long View

The words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Martyred in 1980

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime

only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,

which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

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.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

My grateful thanks to Mother Carrie for bringing these words to me, just when I need them.

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One comment

  1. Michael

    What words of comfort and inspiration! I know little to nothing about the man but may find some more of his words if I remmeber to.

    That’s an interesting icon – depicting him wearing glasses. It reminds me of those icons of St Matrona which depict her as blind. If icons depict the heavenly reality of the deified Saint in glory, having overcome, through Christ’s Resurrection, the symptoms of the fallenness of earth, then including walking-sticks, glasses, and other such things in icons seems very much out of place.

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