This morning I attended a local planning meeting for the Christian Aid Week in May 2010. It was good to meet and talk with others, particularly those I had not met before - amongst other things, we shared ideas and dreams. But, for me, the most moving part of the morning was seeing footage and stills from Kenya, where the water shortage, due to ongoing drought, is taking a huge toll in human suffering.

So, as I have been reflecting on this, I thought I would like to share with you some of the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero about our response as Christians to the poor and those in need.

Archbishop Romero was outspoken about violations of human rights and social injustice in El Salvador and he became an advocate of liberation theology - which emphasises social justice and political activism. He was martyred in March 1980 whist taking a communion service in a hospital chapel.

He cuts to the heart of the problem of rich Christians in an age of hunger. His teaching is always based on the gospel message of Jesus - often quoting directly Jesus' words in a challenging way to those of us in developed countries. Sometimes we like to spiritualise away the plain message that Jesus taught. I hope that these words of Romero's will speak to your heart.


It is inconceivable that someone is called 'Christian' and does not make a preferential option for the poor as Christ did. It is a scandal when today's Christians criticize the church because it is concerned with the poor.

Homily Sept 9th 1979

This is the church that I want. A church that does not rely on the privileges and the worth of earthly things. A church ever more detached from earthly things, so that she can judge them more freely from her perspective of the gospel, from her poverty.

Homily Aug 28th 1977


I wonder what your feelings are on reading these words? Do you agree or disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts.

A prayer of Archbishop Romero's can be found here.

With blessings.

7 comments

  1. Margo  

    7 February 2010 at 02:41

    This is a lovely post, thank you for sharing. I was lucky enough to spend the anniversary of Archbishop Romero's death in his own church in San Salvador. His words are beautiful.

  2. Understanding Alice  

    7 February 2010 at 12:41

    Im planning this lent on doing a series for my young people called "giving up consumerism". If its alright with you I would like to use some of those quotes... and point people to you blog :)
    more and more I wonder, what else can i do, there has to be more... we are all too comfortable I think, at ease in our wealth. it should make us uncomfortable to the point of action.

  3. malcolmguite  

    7 February 2010 at 17:07

    Thanks, both these quotes will be v. helpful, both personally and in my work with "successful" young Cambridge students

  4. Kath Williamson  

    7 February 2010 at 17:32

    Thank you all for your comments. Alice, you may use my blog in any way you like! I'm never precious about anything I write.
    Margo - you were very fortunate indeed. I guess it was a very deep experience. If I weren't commanded not to, I would be quite envious. ;-)
    Blessings and thanks to you all.

  5. Jayne  

    7 February 2010 at 21:48

    ......a few things have made me think this week, I think the comment about being too comfortable in our wealth is a very honest and true one - yes, I give when and how I can, have regular direct debits and never walk past the Big Issue guy, but could I make more of a difference? I don't believe God would want me to live differently (although I know I do have too many clothes and shoes!) but sometimes it is difficult to know what to do to make a bigger difference. Anything which makes us stop and think is making a difference already and I believe we will be given opportunities and will have our eyes open wider when we have opened our minds to take action. Thank you Kath. x

  6. Kath Williamson  

    7 February 2010 at 23:42

    Thank you Jayne. If you want to do more than give, you can campaign. If you go to the Christian Aid website you can send various emails to express your views to politicians. The emails are pre-prepared so you just have to put in your details and send.

  7. Linda Tiongco  

    10 February 2010 at 13:32

    Christian Aid have a resource for Lent called 'Count Your Blessings' - you can find it and download if from their website. It's worth a look.
    http://www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/lent/count-your-blessings-resources.aspx