Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It wasn't necessary to watch the football yesterday to know that Italy scored the winning goal in its game.

As if the referee had given his signal to the whole of Italy, there was a sudden eruption of sound. Even the bus drivers blared their horns as they hurtled down the road and slammed on the brakes in order to avoid yet another motorcyclist weaving dangerously through the traffic, the flag fastened precariously to the bike. Police merely smiled and waved them on, trying half-heartedly to keep some form of order but failing miserably. In fact some of the constables blew their whistles in time with the sirens, car horns and megaphones that had miraculously appeared.

Less noisy but still conspicuously Italy supporters, youngsters wandered backwards and forwards, carrying or wearing the tricolour. Where possible, some of them carried two flags. Many vehicles had at least two and preferably three or four, banners stuck into the partly-open windows.

There must be few places in the world so joyfully noisy as Italy when there is something worth celebrating. Complete strangers grinned from ear to ear and congratulated each other as though the goal had been theirs. The rejoicing continued until late at night. No matter that the winning goal was not quite a classic (!)... it was Italian and that sufficed.

It makes quite a change these days when the media carries good news, when a whole country can celebrate its identity, when there is, even for a short time, unity.

Thank God for good news!

God bless,
Sr. Janet