Thursday, June 30, 2022

Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador

"Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who served his people to the point of martyrdom during a long and bloody civil war, once wrote, “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.”

There is freedom in these words. There is liberation in not judging all our efforts as futile before we even get started. There is peace in surrendering to what’s demanded and doing what’s possible. There is something salutary in contemplating our own mortality, as long as we don’t let it keep us from being fully alive. What we do matters, even if only for a little while.

Anyone can imagine a long stretch of time, whether it’s a thousand years from now or the few hours until the next bedtime, and use that as an excuse for procrastination or self-destructive behavior. That’s not hard to do, and it doesn’t make you a deep thinker. What’s hard is facing up to our limited existence and conscientiously fulfilling our daily obligations to God, others, and ourselves, whether we feel like it or not. The former leads to misery and despair, the latter to what the Bible calls “beatitude”—the joy experienced by the saints and angels who behold God in heaven face-to-face. How we act informs how we feel. Living an ordered life leads to having an ordered soul. And it all starts with making your bed in the morning.

This summer, make your bed every morning."

- Bishop Robert Barron