By the time you have completed TfT training, you have prayed The Romero Prayer at least once. When we began the practice of opening circles, these words became a core prayer within TfT. In fact, right around the time this Bulletin arrives in your inbox, these words will be used for an opening circle at Surrey Christian for the pre-conference day for the Deeper Learning Conference. This prayer is a TfT staple.
Despite the prayer’s title, this prayer was not written by Oscar Romero, the Salvadorian Catholic archbishop assassinated while celebrating mass in 1980. These words were written by the late Bishop Ken Untener for a homily to celebrate the work of departed priests.
Minutes before his assassination, Romero did share the following words when preaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ:
One must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us, and that those who try to fend off the danger will lose their lives, while those who out of love for Christ give themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies, but only apparently. If it did not die, it would remain alone. The harvest comes about only because it dies, allowing itself to be sacrificed in the earth and destroyed. Only by undoing itself does it produce the harvest (see John 12:24).
In the last Bulletin, I explored the idea that root causes can often be traced to hope or fear. The Romero Prayer and the words above from Romero himself invite us to further contemplate the paradoxical relationship between hope and fear. To suppress hope or love is to prevent our full participation in God’s Story. As we teach and learn within our Christian schools, may we experience God’s fullness, planting deep roots in Deep Hope.