Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BI-RITUAL - sort of.....

Well, the decision is in, and after much consideration, we are now an unofficially bi-ritual family.

It all started about a year ago, when, due to a shecdule conflict, my wife attended a Sunday evening Mass at St. Paul's. I was deeeeply suspicious, because I had heard many stories about the place, and how it was one step to the left of liberal - both liturgically and doctrinally. But, she came home from that Mass happier than I had seen her in years. She began to go every Sunday evening, each time with true joy and enthusiasm. Not so much from the liturgy per se, but from the attitude of the people there. It was with further trepidation that I went there for the first time last year - as I reported here. But I too sensed both the enthusiasm and sincerity of the people and the place. Admittedly there were a few liturgical practices that were not "per spec", but it really was quite conservative compared to many of the places and things I have seen and heard.

Since that time the parish has come "under new management" being served by two really good dioscean priests (replacing the OSFS). I knew that changes were in order the first weekend when the new pastor explained that he was replacing the glass flagons, etc. with real chalices - AND he explained why in his homily! Then the next weeks bulletin featured a quote from Romano Guardini's Spirit of the Liturgy !!! And the celebration of the Mass is now Strictly "Say the Black - Do the Red". And yet, in spite of the changes (and there have been others) the place remains very joyous and beautiful. The Sunday evening Mass is LifeTeen (or so they say), but other than the music - which is VERY VERY well done - the Mass itself is very traditional, including the Priests SINGING most of the mass, beautiful vestments, and orthodox preaching. And while there are still EMHC's, they are now kept off the altar. And truth be known, the music is actually better and more meaningful lyrically than most of the drivel out there. Most of all the when-will-it-end attitude (which one sees so often) is seemingly absent from the congregation. In addition to all this, the priests' focus on, appreciation of, and outright support of our local Catholic Schools and stressing of the importance of Catholic education make the place so desirable.

Coincidentally, all of this has happened at a time when my previous home parish more or less has adopted a less than positive attitude about Catholic schools (they cost the Parish money, you see). While at the same time the Mass, preaching and music there have deteriorated somewhat. So much frittered away - it breaks my heart - after 18 years of faithful membership and support. I wanted - no NEEDED - a positive place for my children.

So as of last week, my "home" parish has changed. Of course, since we go to Mass in shifts, I won't be there all the time. But "for the record" thats were we belong - where we are appreciated.

SO THE MORAL OF THE STORY... Especially for all of the Traditional people and Priests out there is... ACT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!!! And treat people like you WANT them to be there! One smile or kind gesture will win you a "convert" - one scowl will lose you TEN......

Boundary Law and Common Sense

Years ago, when I first began to learn about the legal aspects of surveying law and boundary law, my mentor in the Profession taught me one simple concept - one which I teach to my students every year. This precept - or way of understanding - is stated as this:

You only own what you are willing to defend.

In otherwords, in terms of property law, if you are not willing to stop your neighbor from using your land as if it were his, then it really isn't yours - you have voluntarily given up your rights to claim it as your exclusive property. Yes, there is A LOT more detail and nuance to the process than that, but it still all boils down to that one concept.

It has occured to me that the same concept can be applied in a macro sense to the ongoing immigration debate, whcih is stirring up anew because of the new reasonable an justified law in Arizona. If you are not willing to defend the integrity of your countries borders, you don't really get to claim it as yours any more! It seems that the STATE of Arizona has suddenly discovered the gonadal fortitude to do for itself what the Federal Govenment has refused to do - defend its borders. Good for them!!!!

And this doesn't have a damn thing to do with humanitarian concerns, or love of your neighbor. And this is not racist in any way, either. It's just simple good sense and prudence. If you won't defend it, it ain't yours. That rule applies to every piece of property on earth, be it material, intellectual, or anything else. And nothing in this applies to the concept that you may voluntarily decide to let someone have your property. But there is a fundamental difference from, say, letting a down-and-out friend live in your spare bedroom and leaving the doors of your house open with a "help yourself" sign in the frontyard. Or between writing a check to the Rescue Mission and having a wino steal your checkbook and help himself to your bank account.