The Common Good

Romero's Glasses

Alex Bowie/Getty Images
Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917 - 1980) at home in San Salvador, 20th November 1979. Alex Bowie/Getty Images

Editor's Note: The following is a poem written by Trevor Scott Barton following reading The Violence of Love by Archbiship Oscar Romero, who was assassinated in El Salvador in 1980.


longing for a hero,

living love, peace and hope,

protecting ordinary people from extraordinary hatred and violence,

peaceful hero,

dying for the cause but not killing for it,

denying guns and bombs their power,

risking the violence of love.

Conserving tradition at first for the greatest,

seeing through your glasses at last for the least,

feeling the hunger of underpaid workers,

knowing the poverty of farmers,

hearing the warning, "Here's what happens to priests who get involved in politics,

holding tears of the disappeared.


calling all to view the liberating body of a slain priest,

serving the poor,

using words to build up humanity and tear down injustice,

"In the name of God, stop killing ..."

offering crucifixion,

discovering resurrection.

Trevor Scott Barton is an elementary school teacher in Greenville, S.C. He is a blogger for the Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center

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