Pilgrimpace's Blog

the long view
October 21, 2012, 7:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

This prayer is attributed to Fr Oscar Romero, murdered whilst saying Mass on the 24th March 1980, for his love of the people suffering violence and oppression.

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks, Andy, for your comment on my blog, “Transit Notes.” As I indicated in my posted reply, your comment came rather serendipitously because I had just spent the previous two hours reading a number of your postings on “Pilgrimpace”, as well as several of the pieces published on “The Society of Sacramental Socialists,” which was referenced by Robert in his interview with you.

This prayer by the late Fr. Oscar Romero was quite moving for me, because it offers a hopeful perspective for those of us who frequently become weary, frustrated, and impatient with the pace of spiritual and social change in the world. Yesterday, for example, a respectable poll of Americans revealed that 51% of Americans admit explicitly to being racially prejudiced against black people. Romero’s prayer reminds us that we cannot do everything; we need only do our part in our place and our time. That, to me, is a great message of hope.

Comment by George

Thank you George. There is such deep wisdom in this prayer, isn’t there,


Comment by pilgrimpace

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