Cardinal DiNardo Urges Lawyers to Support the Voiceless

Gives Homily at Red Mass on Role of Holy Spirit in Justice

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 6, 2009 ( Those who don’t yet have voices or names need radical support, said the homilist at Washington D.C.’s annual «Red Mass,» celebrated for lawyers and judges in the U.S. capital.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, affirmed this in the Mass on Sunday, which is traditionally held to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance on justices, judges, attorneys and senior governmental officials in their administration of justice.

«In this federal city,» the prelate began, «where the role of lawyer and judge is so important and where the legal profession is so prominent, even ubiquitous, the invocation of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the judicial year is appropriate and necessary.»

He affirmed, «The Holy Spirit recalls us from religious amnesia, from forgetfulness — especially about where we belong!»

The prelate continued: «Memory, living memory, in all its layered and sedimented character, is a crucial dimension of personal identity.

«Within the Christian Faith, living memory forms the basis for the identity of the Church and each disciple. Yet even some important memories can lapse, languish or fall hidden.»

In particular, he said, our relationship to the Lord as children of God, «the dignity and truth of what that means needs constant reminding.»

The cardinal cited Benedict XVI’s Pentecost homily last May, in which he spoke about the Holy Spirit in the images of wind and fire.

«The Holy Spirit’s ‘wind’ is an environmental fresh breeze so that the truth of Christ’s words might become more transparent,» the prelate said.

«The ‘fire’ of the Holy Spirit purifies what has become polluted,» he continued, «within each disciple and within the Church,» a purification that «especially affects the tongue.»

The client’s needs

«The Holy Spirit rarely works at the surface of things but probes more deeply into the heart,» Cardinal DiNardo affirmed.

He urged his listeners to hear God’s word, and invite the Holy Spirit «for an action of revivifying and cleansing memories, opening us up anew to a deeper impulse of the Lord’s work among us.»

The legal profession «is one of the first of human activities and bodies of human knowledge to receive the word and accolade: ‘Profession,'» the prelate noted.

He continued: «Its systematic knowledge has always been technical and nowadays the increasing specialization within the law is dizzying. Such wondrous formal knowledge frequently becomes semi-mechanical and distancing.»

Our clients, the cardinal affirmed, are «poor and wealthy, confused and lucid, polite and impolite,» sometimes «voiceless for they lack influence.»

At other times, he added, they are «literally voiceless, not yet with tongues and even without names,» but they «require our most careful attention and radical support.»

Contemplating the Word of God, and the action of the Holy Spirit, «leads to obedience, an obedience of faith,» said the cardinal.

Thus, he affirmed, «we respond in our personal lives of faith and witness and in our professional lives too, not only for the good of our souls but also for the sake of our professions that must show God’s justice in the world.»

Cardinal DiNardo added that the Holy Spirit is our aid in this, as he transforms the old man, «frequently forgetful, to the new life of every man in Christ.»

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