“The true summit of my life has yet to arrive. I mean the abyss which is the mystery of God ….”
– Theologian Karl Rahner
As he ended his homily, Romero looked up from his text
“May this body immolated and this blood sacrificed for humans nourish us also…”
glanced at the chapel doorway
“so that we may give our body and our blood to suffering and to pain….”
and saw the steadied weapon aimed at his heart.
Romero held the grainy Host firmly between his fingers
and nodded toward what was about to alight, smiled,
and foresaw the enactment, the life of the world to come.
His duties complete, the tumult gone and the locusts vanquished,
the saints, martyrs, and witnesses crowded gently at the archbishop’s back.
They nudged Romero toward the door, murmured prayers
and words of welcome, and wiped buckshot from his bloodied cassock.
The archbishop stepped off, and hurled himself into the full sum of happiness.
Note: We recommend reading this poem on the largest screen format available to keep the line breaks intact.
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Anne Rowthorn says
This wonderful and poignant poem deserves to go viral. Thank you!
I visited the chapel where Romero was killed. It was a lovely late afternoon with sun streaming in, and a wedding was in progress. Great happiness filled the chapel. Romero would have smiled.
Ann Floreen Niedringhaus says
Really appreciated this poem — brought back memories of a 1980’s visit to El Salvador with Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education. We visited Romero sites and even met Martin Baro, who was killed with other priests and their housekeeper on the University campus a couple of years later. He was the only person there who confronted us directly, saying. “If you live in a democracy, why can’t you do something about the U.S.’s Central America policy.” What would he think of the US now?!!!
I had a weeklong retreat at Collegeville Institute years ago — wonderful experience with Michael Dennis Browne and fellow participants: Sharon Chmielarz and Susan Sink. They both wrote cover notes for my first full length poetry book ALL ENTANGLED, which came out in May 2021 and is available through Amazon and several MN and WI independent bookstores, particularly Next Chapter Book in St. Paul, MN (where I live). Have also had a couple poems here: ANXIETY, LIGHTING CANDLES ON ALL SAINTS’ DAY.
An amazing poem. I was able to visualize and feel the scene. I didn’t know you were a poet.