Let us proclaim the mystery ofbrand
by Brian Boero The Monsignor’s head would turn towards me almost imperceptibly.Up from my kneeler, I would unhook the censer from its standand place a purple cone of incense among the embers in its well.Plumes carrying age-old mysteries curled upward.My walk to the altar was slow. Reverential. And gravely serious.hundreds of eyes belonging to elders, parents and schoolmatesxed on me. At the altar the Monsignor took the censer and waved it abovechalices over which he had performed a whispered consecration.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.
I was an alter boy. Twelve years old. I took it very seriously. Thedress, the song, the ritual and the symbolic richness of the CatholicChurch lled my young mind with meaning.In graduate school, I spent a lot of time studying the SupremeCourt. It was silliness mostly – using regression analysis to pinpoint,say, the effects amicus briefs had on Justice Burger’s opinions onbusing. Social “science” pedantry at its worst.Much more interesting were the qualitative works exploring thenature of the Court’s authority. How, exactly, nine unelected judgescould shape the arc of American political development withoutprovoking revolt. This authority was sustained in many ways that had nothing to dowith constitutional prerogative. It was in the robes. The consciousremove from the political fray. The use of Latin to confer gravity anddeect deconstruction (
just sounds like something