Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom in 1980 of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who gave his life as as a defender and advocate of the poor of El Salvador, whose oppression and suffering cried out to heaven itself.
On his feast day, I find myself reflecting on these words that he preached:
"For the Church the many abuses of human life, liberty and dignity are a heartfelt suffering. The Church, entrusted with the earth's glory, believes that each person is the Creator's image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. As the holy defender of God's rights and of God's images, the Church must cry out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as the Cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even though they be unbelievers.
The suffer as God's images. There is no dichotomy between humans and God's image. Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being, abuses God's image, and the Church takes as its own that Cross, that martyrdom."
Blessed Oscar Romero, Pray for Us!