Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Poem by Oscar Romero

A friend shared this with me, and I was so moved by the words. Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador, was murdered in 1980, as he celebrated the Eucharist.

For those of us engaging in God's work in the world, his words are a welcome balm to the fear and anxiety that we are somehow not doing enough.

A Future not our Own: A Prayer/Poem by Oscar Romero

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.


george said...

liberation theology is bak in vogue agin i hear! with us i kno it is vital daily...i saw a film of his life and cried.

Fran said...

George, I read him in seminary and was totally moved.