In considering the tragedy of youths in El Salvador being lured into gangs, it is worthwhile to ponder these words of assassinated archbishop Oscar Romero:
God has sown goodness.
No child is born evil.
We are all called to holiness.
The values that God has sown in the human heart
and that present-day people esteem so highly
are not rare gems;
they are things that appear continually.
Why then is there so much evil?
Because the evil inclinations of the human heart
have corrupted people, and they need purification.
The original, pristine human vocation is goodness.
We have all been born for goodness:
no one is born with inclinations to kidnap,
no one is born with inclinations to be a criminal,
no one is born to be a torturer,
no one is born to be a murderer.
We have all been born to be good,
to love one another,
to understand one another.
Why then, Lord, have so many weeds
grown up in your field?
The enemy has done it, says Christ.
People have let weeds grow in their hearts:
Beloved young people,
about to choose your life’s vocation,
ponder how we are all called to goodness
and how the older generation –
my own, I regret –
is leaving you a heritage of so much selfishness,
of so much evil.
new wheat, newly sown crops,
fields still fresh from God’s hand,
be a better world.
JULY 23, 1978
From The Violence of Love, copyright 2003 by The Bruderhof Foundation, Inc., used with permission. Available for free download at http://www.plough.com/ebooks/ViolenceOfLove.html.