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On Tradition and tradition

I have apparently set a new goal for myself to see how many books I can be reading at the same time, having started to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (if you don’t have one, buy one). This morning I came across #83:

The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generatino of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abaondoned under the guidance of the Church’s magisterium.

Wow. If you take the time to wrap your head around that whole thing, you see just how heady and critical a statement is. It points in many ways to how so many over time, Catholics and non-Catholics alike have confused Tradition with tradition and vice-versa. I think it’s critical we all keep in mind the distinction as the Church moves forward in time. I’ll post on the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time later – the kids want to go play outside now…

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