By Alyssa Perez
This prayer, along with other Ignatian prayers, poems, reflections and art, first appeared in our free e-book, “Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: Through the Year with Ignatian Spirituality.” Sign up to receive it at jesuits.org/ebook.
Blessed Rutilio Grande, SJ, who worked among El Salvador’s poor, was executed by Salvadoran death squads on March 12, 1977. He was beatified on January 22, 2022, along with his two companions, Nelson Lemus and Manuel Solórzano, and Franciscan Fr. Cosme Spessotto.
If Christ is not to remain in the clouds
then “the Gospel has to grow little feet,”
Fr. Grande used to say.
The first Jesuit priest martyred in El Salvador,
Fr. Grande insisted on an inclusive liturgy—
Not just the ordained, but the lay.
That is the call for us to live out—
To be people with and for others, always.
It is a motto that we all know and love,
but Fr. Grande genuinely models the way.
As he told us in Apopa—we cannot simply stay!
We cannot stay put or stay silent,
We must act and go out from our homes and churches.
We must pilgrimage to the places in our community that need prayer,
To bring light and love to the suffering and pain we encounter there.
When one of us suffers, we suffer, all.
When one of us is lifted up, we are all lifted up together.
We must speak and demand human dignity and basic rights for all,
even the offenders.
We can be a reminder to others that they are good and loved,
Angels in disguise.
That this is a life worth living, and maybe even dying for.
May we be that prophetic mirror for others—
To remind them they are perfection in God’s eyes.
If Fr. Grande were here today—
who would he be walking with?
what would he be fighting for?
Now is the time for us to pray with our feet,
mine and yours.
How can we be the presence of Christ out in the world?
How can we be the little feet of the Gospel?
Pray to Fr. Grande. We are not alone.
He began living out the Gospel in his own hometown,
So take a prayerful moment to pause and look around.
Fr. Grande was a man of social action,
So let us join him and begin.
Not despite our belief in the Gospel,
But because of it.
Alyssa Perez works at Loyola Marymount University as the assistant director of Advocacy and Alternative Breaks and writes for the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Catholic Women Preach series.