By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
On my way to the funeral of the outstanding Cistercian theologian, Father David Balás, I heard a radio commercial urging Texas to stop the “invasion of its borders.” Later as I sat in the chapel of the abbey in Irving before the Mass, I reflected on the life and the times of Father David.
Suddenly the lyrics from the songs of “The Sound of Music” came into my mind. What was Father David trying to teach me? He had always been the best of educators. His classes on the theology of the church fathers had always inspired and challenged his students to think and to ponder and to grow.
Finally I realized the connection. The Trapp Family had escaped the Nazi takeover of Austria by climbing the mountain paths to freedom singing “Climb every mountain, ford every stream; follow every rainbow till you find your dream.”
That is what David and his monastic brothers did in the 1950s to escape the communist oppression. Some were captured and some made their way to Texas to gift our young University of Dallas with their scholarship and spirituality. What a blessing that “invasion” was for us!
At the age of 13, my father joined an Austrian family on a boat from Europe in the early 1900s to be with his father in America. Hard work and perseverance made his dream come true. That same dream of being able to grow and to become what one considers their mission in life, however, is still very elusive for many who have climbed mountains and crossed deserts to come to the United States
Just as immigration laws are imperative for our country to become a place where “invasion” can be replaced with “invitation.”
The international space shuttle took a picture from way out there of the scenery around the Olympics. The Black Sea was prominent and the spot where the Winter Games were being played stood out brightly. As far as I could tell, there were no national boundary lines painted on Mother Earth.