Extract from Jennifer Owens-Jofré, “Who Will Heal the Wounds of the Church ?—Women’s Ministry and Priestly Power” in Visions and Vocations:
I remember the way my mother and my aunts used to break the limbs of the aloe vera plant when my cousins and I skinned our knees as children. Their mother, my Mamita, had shared with them about its healing properties, as her mother had shared with her on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, many years before she had brought her husband and her four children to live in Southern California. Too afraid of its prickly edges to handle them myself, I stayed away from the plant, even though I knew of its power to heal. I remember the clean smell of the plant’s insides, how the light sting upon contact with my grazed knee would give way to the cooling that signaled healing. … As I reflect, the memory of the aloe vera plant emerges as an apt metaphor for the Church since Vatican II. We need skilled aunts and mothers to break her limbs carefully, to cut past the prickly edges of the kyriarchy that plagues her, to bring holy and healing salve to our wounds.