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A different ointment

There is another voice, should one choose to hear it. Other sounds rise from the streets of the world, hatching plots and decisions, creating female recipients of green and gold able to give strength and a refuge to their content of balsams and life. In the July issue of our insert these voices have borne fruit: recounting roles, responsibilities and less known or expected ramifications, born apparently by chance, from natural inclination or need, from rebellion, love, patience or intolerance.

To grow, to fulfil obligations without contracting debts, to mature, to come out of oneself, to write, to walk, to be at the foot of the Cross and of all crosses then and today, when the hour of human fidelity and reconstruction is striking; not the hour when the carriage suddenly turns back into a pumpkin but of the journey in which effort develops into freedom. To recompose what was divided in civil society, in the Church, in the history of love and of politics, to settle conflicts and soothe wounds, healing them with balsams and nourishing them with ointments. Women – used as bullets in conflicts, as pawns to exchange as safety valves in crises – are the first to witness the difference between life and existence.

However, this action, this word and this testimony only make sense if they remain “other”. Because if women also brought to economics, politics, tragedy and hope a male mentality and approach, it would all be in vain. The world does not need (nor ever did need) an echo of what already exists. Society and hearts do not need photocopies – even if they are brightly coloured and  luminous – of what has already been drawn and is continuing to be drawn in shade and colour, in light and in chiaro-scuro. Nothing would change in this way. No new seed would sprout to discern and cultivate every spring.

Our July pages dedicate their aromatic unguents to the 22-year-old Afghan woman accused of committing adultery, executed in the village of Qumchok. A video amateur captured the scene with his cell phone. Our tribute goes to this girl,  seated on the ground, her back to the audience, killed by nine shots fired from close range, and to her body, that fell backwards at the third shot, surrounded by dozens of exultant men when the execution was over.




St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 21, 2019