A church that doesn’t provoke any crises,
A gospel that doesn’t unsettle,
A word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin,
A word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin
Of the society in which it is being proclaimed—
What gospel is that?
Very nice, pious considerations
That don’t bother anyone,
That’s the way many would like preaching to be.
Those preachers who avoid every thorny matter
So as not to be harassed,
So as not to have conflicts and difficulties,
Do not light up the world they live in.
For Communists there is no God, only justice.
For Christians there is no God without justice.
Monsignor, we are subversives
A secret code on a card in a file who knows where,
Followers of the ill-clad and visionary proletariat, a professional
Agitator, executed for conspiring against the System.
It was, you know, a torture intended for subversives,
The cross was for political criminals, not a cluster of rubies on a bishop’s breast.
–Ernesto Cardenal, to Brazilian bishop Pedro Casaldáliga
Today there exist tremendous and unprecedented possibilities
for knowing the reality of our world just as it is,
with all that it has in it of anti-kingdom and all the deaths it produces.
As experience demonstrates, however, to know the world truly
and to allow oneself to be affected by it,
simple access to data is not sufficient,
as abundant and trustworthy as the data may be,
including those of the UNDP.
Serious analyses are not sufficient either, nor are truthful testimonies,
as important as all these may be for other reasons.
The reality of the anti-kingdom, its magnitude and its cruelty,
can be truly grasped only by experiencing it in actu, in action,
when it is actually dealing death.
That is what is capable of moving people not only to laments,
but to the struggle against the anti-kingdom.