Rivista DMA

Frontier Places

Frontier Places

When I was a young student I was struck by a fascinating expression that a teacher often said: “A person does not live here or there of the limits. She lives in the limits”. It is a truth fraught with meaning, and a guideline for a lifestyle.

To go beyond the myth of the “superman”, to be aware of one’s creature hood. Limits. Borders. Outskirts… From the confines of his native Poland a reporter-writer of the 1900’s, Ryszard Kapucinski, dreamed of the beyond. “A mystery and a silence by which I was attracted and intrigued, I was always tempted to discover what lay beyond. I asked myself what it would feel like to cross a border…”  For the great Polish writer the borders were not so much a geographical issue, but rather a desire, an instinct, at times an action. It was the desire to cross a border, but also to dwell there.

This issue of the Magazine proposes a few reflections on being witnesses in the outskirts. Not only those purely geographical, but those that express minorities, spaces of the essential, spaces of the poverty that no one loves to reach.

Today we are more and more challenged by the requirements of a religious life that is credible only if it expresses what is radical: women with the vocation of leaving the security of comfortable choices. The prophecy of our time is a lifestyle that welcomes and accepts entering, not in a resigned manner, but rather an aware one “the desert, where there is no one else, the outskirts, where there is no power, the frontier, there, where there are greater kinds of risks.”

It is the kind of religious life that still fascinates many, many, young people. Those who are tired of empty promises, of chasing after pleasure and success. They seek a life that chooses to be: among the people, where the need is urgent, where there is no joy. They place themselves at the side of the least, outside of popularity. It is a happy life that gives fragrance and flavor, like the “pinch of salt” that gives gusto. Feeling challenged by this call requires the courage to say decisively: It is up to me! Years do not count, neither does the level of culture, nor roles.

Don Bosco and Maria Mazzarello continue to infect us with their passion of a flaming heart that urges toward the places of poverty, of abandonment, of the outskirts, of the frontiers. Today even toward the frontiers of the digital world. It is there that we find the young people, inhabitants of a new continent, unknown and all to be explored.

Witnesses on the frontiers, in the outskirts. Women always on a journey, great journeys or little ones, “like those that bring us from person to person, overcoming barriers and borders”.


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