The Violence of Love

Icon by Robert Lentz

32 years ago today, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while saying mass in a hospital chapel in El Salvador.  He spoke out against the injustices and abuses of the CIA-backed dictatorship in his country.  He called for free elections and exhorted soldiers to lay down arms.  He was accused of being a Communist in liturgical vestments.  Today, he rests with the ranks of fellow clergy, like Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who made a down payment on human freedom with their lives.

The following is from one of his sermons:

We have never preached violence, except the violence of love, which left Christ nailed to a cross, the violence that we must each do to ourselves, to overcome our selfishness and such cruel inequalities among us. The violence we preach is not the violence of the sword, the violence of hatred. It is the violence of love, of brotherhood, the violence that wills to beat weapons into sickles for work.

November 27, 1977

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