All posts tagged: Oscar Romero

The Liturgical Staging of Saint Óscar Romero’s Theology

Oscar Romero usually dedicated Saturdays to preparing his sermons. Beginning in August 1977, he includes a section of news of ecclesial and national events that serve to frame the homily. On a few occasions he refers to these by a specific title (“The gazette of the life of our church,” “My diary of this week”), but most frequently the events are presented simply as the reality that the word of God needs to illumine. I refer to this as the diptych character of Romero’s preaching, which we will consider further in what follows. He insists that the exposition of the word of God is the most important part of the homily. But it is the narration of weekly events that is most distinctive and has elicited the strongest (positive or negative) reactions. On Saturday mornings, he met with colleagues to discuss both the lectionary texts and the events of the week. In the afternoons, Romero continued his sermon preparation by reading biblical and other theological texts. The signs of wear on the books in Romero’s …

Martyrdom Is No Bloodless Myth

The fifth canto of the British poet Geoffrey Hill’s poem “Genesis” contains what I think are among the most quietly terrifying lines in modern English religious verse: By blood we live, the hot, the cold To ravage and redeem the world: There is no bloodless myth will hold. And by Christ’s blood are men made free Though in close shrouds their bodies lie Under the rough pelt of the sea; Though Earth has rolled beneath her weight The bones that cannot bear the light. Hill structures his poem around the days of biblical creation, each day placing himself in the immanent frame of the divinely-authored world, a world right on the razor’s edge where despoliation and redemption meet with such a mathematical precision that neither seems to intermingle with the other. The violence of Hill’s sinful world resists its redemption through the generation of pain and the production of blood; the redeemer, however, meets blood with blood, his own blood, a counter-blood by which “are men made free.” Thus, when Hill delivers the line, “There …

A Crisis of Eucharist: Will Our Children Stay Catholic?

My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? . . . Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court . . . If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. But if you show …