“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”

–Gustav Mahler

A branding is the quintessential scene of the Cowboy: skilled horsemen sort and rope, calves are marked with a ranch’s original brand, and irons are kept hot in a wood fire. From the first vaqueros in the 17th century until now the method, gear, and code for cowboying has changed but little. No matter how much technology evolves, nothing will ever replace a good hand a’horseback. I am honored to be a small part of cowboys and cowgirls today who carry on this centuries-old tradition.

Tradition is passed down much the same way in the Catholic Church. For 2,000 years, the Church that Christ founded has passed on His teachings, from the Last Supper to the mass and from the beginning to the end. From this Church, we received the Bible, the sacraments, and all of the traditions of the Apostles. No matter how many new churches or denominations crop up, the original Christian Church can never be replaced. I am blessed that the Lord has called me home to his living body, existing for two millennia.

My life is the unique intersection of these two beautiful traditions. In a world that thinks something made tomorrow is better than something made yesterday, I choose to side with those who have gone before, who may be wiser and fitter to advise. Our world is starving for roots, for a home, for meaning. I feel blessed to bring the perspectives of the Catholic and cowboy way of life, clarifying the truth and carrying it forward.

“Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

–G.K. Chesterton