Commentary on the Sixth Work of Justice and Peace

from the writings of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador

+Celebrate life, goodness, beauty, virtue, responsibility, and
joy. Practice peace, non-violence, servant leadership, harmony,
community, voluntary cooperation, and the proper stewardship of
God's creation. Pray without ceasing.

One of the signs of the present time is the idea of
participation, the right that all persons have to participate in
the construction of their own common good. For this reason, one
of the most dangerous abuses of the present time is repression,
the attitude that says, "Only we can govern, no one else, get rid
of them"

Everyone can contribute much that is good, and in that way trust
is achieved. The common good will not be attained by excluding
people. We can't enrich the common good of our country by
driving out those we don't care for. We have to try to bring out
all that is good in each person and try to develop and atmosphere
of trust, not with physical force, as though dealing with
irrational beings, but with a moral force that draws out the good
that is in everyone, especially in concerned young people.

Thus, with all contributing their own interior life, their own
responsibility, their own way of being, all can build the
beautiful structure of the common good, the good that we
construct together and that creates conditions of kindness, of
trust, of freedom, of peace.

Then we can, all of us together, build the republic -- the res
publica, the public concern -- what belongs to all of us and what
we all have the duty of building. July 10, 1977

Let us not be disheartened, even when the horizon of history
grows dim and closes in, as though human realities made
impossible the accomplishment of God's plans. God makes use even
of human errors, even of human sins, so as to make rise over the
darkness what Isaiah spoke of. One day prophets will sing not
only the return from Babylon but our full liberation. "The people
that walked in darkness have seen a great light. They walk in
lands of shadows, but a light has shone forth." December 25, 1977

To believe, to hope: this is the Christian's grace in our time.
When many give up hope, when it seems to them the nation has
nowhere to go, as though it were all over, the Christian says:
No, we have not yet begun. We are still awaiting God's grace.
With certainty, it is just beginning to be built on this earth,
and we will be a blessed nation and will escape from so much
evil. A time will come when there will be no abductions, when
we'll be happy and can walk our streets and our countryside
without fear of being tortured or kidnaped. Sept. 2, 1979