Reflections for our Times

Volume 6 of the Romero Series is now available

Volume 6 of the Romero Series is now available

This final volume of the series contains the 19 homilies that Archbishop Romero delivered between December 9, 1979, and March 24, 1980, the day on which he was murdered while celebrating the Eucharist. It was a time of mounting violence and near anarchy in El Salvador. As the military rulers and their right-wing death squads strove to repress both the strengthening guerrilla forces and the surging grassroots organizations, Romero warned the nation repeatedly in his preaching about the danger of civil war.   Drawing on the scriptural themes of Advent and Christmas, Romero endeavored to keep the people’s hopes alive...

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Volume 5 of the Romero Series is now available

Volume 5 of the Romero Series is now available

Tags: Francis, Gospel, Homilies, jesus, Liberation Theology, martyrdom, Oscar Romero, Politics, Romero, Sermons, spirituality

This fifth volume gathers together Romero’s homilies during five grimly dramatic months in El Salvador, beginning with the archbishop’s mourning for another of his priests who was gunned down by a death squad. Despite the ongoing slaughter of innocent persons and the ruthless treatment of any dissident voice, he continued to speak out courageously in his weekly homilies to the nation and the world. These homilies reveal Romero above all as a pastor who trusted his people. And the people, intuitively sensing this great trust, responded in kind. Romero often acknowledged that his homilies were collaborative creations, involving not just...

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Do We believe in Jesus?

Tags: forgiveness, gospel, homilies, jesus, meditation, messiah, new testament, Pagola, spirituality

Meditation on Luke 9, 18-24    Once when Jesus was praying  in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist;  others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ  of God.”  Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law,  and he must be killed  and on the...

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Experience: Religious, Mystical, Human?

Tags: Mysticism, prayer, Religious experience, Spirituality, Theism

The eminent theologian Karl Rahner has said that the Christian of the future will be either a mystic (which means, someone who has experienced something), or he/she won’t be a Christian at all. Rahner´s prophecy is accurate, not only concerning Christians but also for anyone who experiences transcendence in these times. In the same way that modernity does not accept anything that is unverified by rationality, the post-modernity in which we live considers experience a privileged way of knowledge . Despite the risk of disillusionment that is inherent in experiences remaining superficial or induced by artificial means, it seems perfectly...

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Compassion as a principle of action

Tags: Compassion, Historical Jesus, Jesus, Pagola

The research on Jesus reaches a fairly widespread conclusion. Jesus of Nazareth was a man, perhaps the only one, who lived and communicated a sane experience of God, without distorting it with the fears, ambition and fantasies which different religions ordinarily project on to the divinity. Jesus never speaks of God as indifferent or distant, uninvolved with the life of human beings or interested only in his honor, his glory and his rights. At the heart of his experience we do not find the image of a lawgiver God who wants to govern the world through laws, while threatening his...

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The dignity of the lowest as a goal

Jesus lived in a society in deep crisis. Everyone expected a decisive event, even God’s intervention, that would reverse the situation. The Essenes of Qumran, the various groups of Pharisees, the radical “haberim”, the resistance movements against Rome, the apocalyptic seers, all proposed various alternatives. Jesus, on his part, was developing in his mind a completely original project: he called it “the Kingdom of God”, and he conceived it as the emergence of his compassion in the world. God is goodness without limits, incredible compassion towards those who suffer. The important thing is to accept, bring into and propagate compassion...

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The vocation of human beings - by Oscar Romero

Tags: Church, Compassion, El Salvador, gospel, Homilies, Justice, Politics, Pope Francis, Romero, solidarity

THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD IS A PROCLAMATION OF HUMAN TRANSCENDENCE  Acts 1:1-11 Ephesians 1:17-23 Mark 16:15-20       Dear sisters and brothers, when I was a seminarian I heard a story that comes to mind given the circumstances of today, and I want to share it with you. It was a story about a sailor who was sent to fix something high on the mast; as he climbed high up and looked down at the roiling sea, he became dizzy and was about to fall. When the captain noticed this, he told him, «Young fellow, look upward!» and...

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Giving God our Burdens

Tags: compassion, espiritualidad, healing, meditation, mercy, prayer, Secularism, spirituality, transcendence

Daily challenges, the difficulties of coping with a routine that is not feeding my soul anymore with the nourishment it needs, and my many personal limitations generate varying levels of stress that breathe in and out in an exhausting and consuming cycle. After time goes by, in my attempts to cope with the many afflictions, my daily struggle becomes a burden. As time went by and after observing no long lasting results regardless of how I tried, frustration kicked in. As a result of this, just a few days ago I prayed to you Lord, so that you would take...

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The Coming of the Spirit

Tags: compassion, homilies, Homily, mercy, oscar romero, Pentecost, romero, Spirit, spirituality

OSCAR ROMERO HOMILY: THE COMING OF THE SPIRIT WHO GIVES LIFE TO THE NEW COVENANT ….This week I received accusations from both extremes: the extreme right says that I am a communist , and the extreme left says that I am moving toward the right . I am with neither the right nor the left. I am trying to be faithful to the word that the Lord sends me to preach, faithful to the unchangeable message that tells both sides the good they do and the injustices they commit. And I think we’ve given very clear testimony about the gift of...

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Tags: christianity, compassion, fear, healing, meditation, mercy, spirituality

Talking with a friend of mine who has recently gone through a tough trial after spending 18 days in a hospital caring for her husband, a comment arose regarding the fact that after a specific age we should not have to be providing for anybody else. She is of course right and ideally, this is the way it should be; but in reality it works in a different way. Each of us knows how challenging life is these days. Partly due to the self imposed obligations and responsibilities, we continue pulling our own wagon during decades, and we never really...

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Dusty Path

Tags: compassion, Crucifixion, jesus, lent, mercy, passion, spirituality

We have turned time into such an important aspect of our lives. It rules our days and is deeply rooted in each of our plans. It is an important aspect of discipline and a very strong reason for stress in our lives. As our age increases, the awareness of time and our own mortality becomes more obvious, due in part to the fact that the years we may still have available to live with health are more limited as time passes.After experiencing different ages in our lives, we slowly begin to concentrate the span of our attention within this tunnel...

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The Passion of Jesus

Tags: compassion, Crucifixion, curesma, Good Friday, jesus, lent, mercy, pasión, passion

To justify the death of an innocent victim like that of Jesus and, still more, to say that it was the divine will, would be to make of evil a human way of behaving, justifiable on the part of God and of human beings. Hence it would be very relevant to understand the historical fact and the theological meaning of the passion and death of Jesus not as a simple story one hears in Lent, but as an event that reveals a tragic reality that should make us wonder as to how far we are capable of going if we...

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Mística y oración

Tags: armando rojas guardia, compasión, espiritualidad, experiencia religiosa, misericordia, mística, mystic, oración, prayer, religious experience, spirituality

La cena que recrea y enamora “Mira que estoy a la puerta y llamo.Si alguno escucha mi voz y me abre,entraré en su casa y cenaré con él y él conmigo”.(Ap 3,20) Alguna vez escribí que la oración es el hecho capital de mi vida y que de ella ha dependido, en no poca medida, mi madurez y la fructificación global de mi espíritu. También escribí que el Dios incómodo de la oración me hace salir desnudo a la intemperie, exige de mí niveles cada vez más altos de conciencia y libertad, destroza con su sola e interpelante presencia el...

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Tags: christianity, compassion, Homily, Lent, mercy, Oscar Romero, Romero

LENT, RENEWAL OF OUR COVENANT WITH GOD   Homily of March 4, 1979. Texts: Genesis 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15   Dear sisters and brothers, the season that just began with Ash Wednesday is the most important one of the liturgical year. I want to ask you to experience this season with a sincere desire to follow Christ in the spirit of an authentically evangelical church. The essence of Lent is preparing ourselves to celebrate Easter and the paschal mystery that is the death and resurrection of Christ. By his death the Redeemer paid for all the sins of...

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On Secular Culture and Religious Crisis

Tags: agnosticism, atheism, christianity, hope, individualism, laity, postmodernity, religion, religious experience, secular

Our context —variously identified as “modernity”, late-modernity”, “hyper-modernity”, or “post-modernity”— is somewhat like quicksand. We are not only facing a time of changes, but, as the final document of the Assembly of the Latin-American Bishops held in Aparecida says, we are confronting an epochal change, and this means significant changes for human life, its configuration, its meaning and self-understanding, along with a feeling of enormous uncertainty, insecurity and anxiety.  One of the greatest impacts of the current changes is no doubt its effect on religion. If during the Age of Enlightenment, human rationality became increasingly visible and achieved the status...

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The fraternal wisdom of our words

Tags: crisis, hope, mercy, reign of god, solidarity

In the midst of a world wracked by fear and hopelessness, our words and actions as Christians are called to bear the burden of being testimonials. As prophetic provocation, they must also bear the message of hope and the possibility of a global future in which people of good will struggle for reconciliation among all cultures and religions of our world. Today, many people desperately bewail like Qohelet: «Vanity of vanities, all is vanity» (Qo 1:2). This is a clamor that as Christians we are called to heed and, amid these cries, to strive for a true, authentic, honest serenity on the...

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Crisis? What crisis?

Tags: crisis, jesus, mercy, new testament, old testament, reign of god, solidarity

In our world the word “crisis” has become a talking point. It refers to the tremendous fiasco of national and European political structures and its terrible social and economic consequences. In Greece, as in so many other places, the state of prosperity is collapsing and millions of people are pushed into poverty. In vain will we search for the term “crisis” in modern translations of the Bible. We would rather have to search for expressions such as “hunger” which, in fact, runs through the experience of the people of God from the times of the patriarch Abraham (who because of famine...

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Follow the Star: Feast of the Epiphany

We have seen his star rise   Text: Matthew 2, 1-12 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea,   during the time of King Herod,   Magi  from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?   We saw his star   in the east  and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ  was to be born.  “In Bethlehem   in...

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The Nativity of the Lord

Tags: Christmas, Compassion, jesus, love, mercy, Pagola, solidarity

Christmas is a feast full of nostalgia. Peace is what we sing about, but we do not know how to make it happen. We look for happiness, but it seems ever more difficult to be happy. We buy each other gifts, but what we need is tenderness and affection. We sing to a God who is a child, but in our hearts, faith lies extinguished. Life is not what we would like it to be, but we do not know how to make it better.    Christmas is not the only thing we think about this way. Our whole life...

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Forgiveness as a horizon

Tags: Compassion, forgiveness, jesus, love, mercy, Pope Francis, sin, solidarity

What caused most scandal and hostility towards Jesus during his activity in Galilee was his friendship with sinners. Never had anything like it happened in Israel. No prophet had gone to them with an attitude of respect, friendship and sympathy. What Jesus did was unheard of. The impression that John the Baptist had left was very different. John had denounced sinners. He had reminded them of the punishment that awaited them, and had introduced a major rite of purification and penance to free them from sin. His activity did not scandalize anyone. It was what one expected of a prophet,...

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