The quote comes from Archbishop Oscar Romero – it was his response when he was tending the sick at a hospital for incurables – and he said “We are all incurables.”
The poem below the quote is from Andrew Boyd’s little book of Zen-like meditations called Daily Afflictions.
It goes like this:
When you look around you, it is easy to feel hopeless.
Things always seem to be getting worse, not better
Even those of us still working for a better tomorrow
can have a bad day, week, or lifetime, when all seems lost.
But such a lapse of faith should not be feared.
On the contrary, you should welcome it as a revelation.
Our situation is hopeless. Our cause is impossible.
You are faced with a stark choice.
Do you dedicate yourself to an impossible cause?
Or do you look after your own, making do as best you can?
The choice is clear: you must dedicate yourself to an impossible cause.
Why? Because we are all incurable. Because solidarity is a form of tenderness.
Because the simple act of caring for the world is itself a victory.
Take a stand – not because it will lead to anything,
but because it is the right thing to do.
We never know what can or can’t be done; only what must be done.
I dedicate myself to an impossible cause.
(I add a line here at the end…)