Every morning I try to read about the saints and events from the day. I have assembled my own calendar of persons, events, and quotes but I also rely on Robert Ellsberg’s All Saints and Richard McBrien’s Lives of the Saints.
I also occasionally read María Berta Arroyo’s Profetas para un Mundo Nuevo, the second volume of short accounts of the martyrs of Latin America.
The entry for September presents a lesson that we could all learn.
Fortunato Collazo was a leader of his neighborhood, Juan Pablo II, in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho.
In the early hours of the morning of September 14, 1991, a group of Sendero Luminoso guerrillas broke into his house to kill him.
Another leader, Alfredo Aguirre, was awakened and walked into Fortunato’s house.
The guerrillas told Alfredo, “Vete de aquí; es pleito no es contigo. – Get out of here. Our complaint is not against you.”
Alfredo responded, “Si es contra mi vecino es contra mi. – If it against my neighbor, it’s against me.”
Both were shot and killed.
Such love, such solidarity, such sense of our connectedness are so needed in our world.
What would it be like if took Alfredo’s words to heart?
If it affects my neighbor, it affects me.