Saturday, April 27, 2013

Memory and Tolerance

Yesterday Pati and I visited the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City.  The building itself is a work of art.  It is constructed as a cube within a cube.  The inner cube decorated with the branches of an olive tree holds memories of genocide in all parts of the world from the time of the Jewish holocaust to today.  Hundreds of photos, videos, artifacts and personal statements testify to the atrocities committed by one people against one another.  On the outer cube are three large fingerprints leading to the identification within ourselves of forms of self-interest that can lead us to distrust, oppress and destroy one another.  This is a tremendously powerful exhibit that inspires both reflection and action.  It is not enough to know, one must also be willing to accept what one knows as truth, and to risk acting in accord with what one knows.  In the context of our international congress on the mission of Dominicans throughout history, this museum strengthened my commitment to working for justice for women in the Church.  In the last room of the museum is an exhibit on violence against women.  The woman in the sound-surround video remains silent while a man rails against her without ceasing. There seems to be no other point but this question, "How long does one stay??"  This is the question too many women ask themselves in our homes, in our churches, in our schools and in our workplaces.  How do we join together to say "Never again!" and make it so?  I depart Mexico laden with the love of my sisters and the responsibility I hold toward all who count on us to make a difference.