When we were young, we pledged allegiance every morning of our lives
The classroom rang with children’s voices under teacher’s watchful eye
We learned about the world around us at our desks and at dinnertime
Reminded of the starving children, we cleaned our plates with guilty minds […]
And now we drink our coffee on the run, we climb that ladder rung by rung
We are the daughters and the sons, and here’s the line that’s missing
The starving children have been replaced by souls out on the street
We give a dollar when we pass, and hope our eyes don’t meet.
–Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Stones in the Road”
The present form of the world passes away,
and there remains only the joy of having used this world
to establish God’s rule here.
All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism,
all the false successes of life will pass
with the world’s form.
All of that passes away.
What does not pass is love.
When one has turned money, property, work in one’s calling
into service of others,
then the joy of sharing
and the feeling that all are one’s family
does not pass away.
In the evening of life you will be judged on love.
–Oscar Romero, from The Violence of Love