The struggle between faith and the application of law was the message of Father Patrick Mullen’s homily during the Oct. 4 Red Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.Father Mullen, professor of Biblical Studies at St. John’s Seminary and pastor of Blessed Junípero Serra Church in Camarillo, offered hypothetical examples of approaches to obeying/violating traffic laws according to country of origin, then tying it to the Gospel reading (Mark 10), where a rich man is challenged by Jesus to leave his possessions behind and follow him. “The greatest command required by your God is to love; there’s no backing away,” Father Mullen told about 1,000 attorneys, judges, friends and members of the archdiocesan Tribunal Office attending the annual liturgy sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society of Los Angeles.“God legislates so our relationships may deepen and grow,” he continued. “When the Scriptures talk about rich, they are talking about us — and I look at the priests,” he said, turning to the priests seated behind him, “and I look at you sisters,” he added, looking toward a group of Carmelite Sisters sitting in the front pews.“God calls all to take care of the poor, the widow, the orphan and the alien, which brings us to today.”Reiterating that love is the greatest commandment to follow, he then asked, “But, how do you apply that?” He offered an immediate answer: “Don’t surrender to the easy; don’t surrender to the quick.” Citing the responsorial Psalm 119, Father Mullen reminded the assembly of “how good the law is. But here in this country we struggle with the law.” He suggested that serving others through the law is through their actions: “by what you say and what you do not say, especially those of you who have power — and I speak to you judges,” he said turning to the two front row pews where about 10 judges were sitting, “and to do that in a manner that reflects the presence and the faith in God’s love. “It’s so important to exercise authority in a way that the least among us experience the love of God in what we do.”Attorney Gilberto Qui√±onez concurred there is a dichotomy between faith and law and that he tries to do his best “by making sure the punishment is consistent with the crime committed. I’m always asking God for guidance.” Superior Court Judge Richard Rico said he has never had trouble applying the law. “I can’t think of any decision that put me in conflict,” he said. “The law is pretty morally neutral, and most of the decisions I take are within the precepts of religious teachings.”At the end of the Mass, the assembly honored Judge Lawrence Waddington and attorney Roger Sullivan, a 1996 Cardinal’s Award recipient, as St. Thomas More Society chair Rolando Hidalgo expressed gratitude to them for “guiding and directing” the Catholic legal community for the last 30 years.Waddington and Sullivan co-founded the L.A. chapter of the St. Thomas More Society. According to the society’s Web site, American lawyers follow the example of St. Thomas More, also a lawyer, who “stood alone and gave his life for his principles.”Msgr. Joseph Brennan, vicar general and moderator of the curia, presided at the Red Mass, which is celebrated at the opening of the judicial year to invoke divine guidance and strength during the coming term of Court, following a tradition originated in Europe in the 13th century. It received its name from the color of the vest worn by the celebrant priests and the robes of the judges.Attorney Donald Hamley said the Red Mass offered an opportunity for those in the legal profession to be reminded of “our Catholic identity.” For more information about the St. Thomas More Society, visit, email [email protected], or call (626) 914-8942.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1012/redmass/{/gallery}