Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Francis. It strikes me as providential that this year this feast coincides with the opening of the supreme court. For the virtue of justice, when I studied canon law, we had ulpian's definition drilled into us:The perpetual and constant will to give to each person their right(ius sum).
We often hear People say, "justice is blind." It should be remembered that the first depiction of justice as blind only dates back to the 16th century, in Switzerland. In the Catholic tradition the role of the judge is not mere referee but the one who is charged with knowing the law and applying it to each case before him/her, recognizing that no two cases are absolutely identical. From the Catholic perspective plaintiffs and defendants are not interchangeable widgets. Each person from the moment the are conceived is a unique creation of God whose life is by its very nature holy, and to be respected.
Today's saint was one who could see the sanctity of every human life that stood before him. May our justices have that same wisdom and true insight as they carry out the awesome task with which they are charged.
- Fr. Wayne