So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Leaven of Tradition. A meditation.

What the world needs now is... .

Leaven
leaven (n.) mid-14c., from Old French levain "leaven, sourdough" (12c.), from Latin levamen "alleviation, mitigation," but used in Vulgar Latin in its literal sense of "a means of lifting, something that raises," from levare "to raise" (see lever). Figurative use from late 14c.
The Church needs leavening. If the New Evangelization is anything, it is a return to the wisdom of the elders. That is, the received wisdom of the Apostles, the witnesses to the Resurrection. The Apostles point to Jesus Christ, Wisdom incarnate. The Apostles, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, point to Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the leaven in the Church.
  • Are we docile to the Spirit?
  • Do we listen for the voice of God in the wisdom of Holy Scripture and of the Doctors of the Church?
  • Do we ask God to purify us, help us discern His will in the signs of Truth He gives us?
  • Do we serve the Truth in love?
  • Do we feed on the word of God and fuel our capacity for reason before we attempt to distill a course of action?
  • Do we put the good of the other before our own interests? Are our interests consonant with the will of Christ?
The bread will not rise without the leaven of Tradition.

Truth is found in the word of God, Holy Scripture, and in the other pillar of God's revelation: Tradition. The two—Holy Scripture and Tradition, both found robustly in the Church's Liturgy—constitute together the one font of Truth for the Christian, the one font that is the Apostolic Tradition:
(T)he household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.—First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 3:15.
II. The relationship between Tradition and Sacred Scripture
One common source. . .
80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal." Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".
. . . two distinct modes of transmission
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
Subversive Catholicism
subvert (v.) late 14c., "to raze, destroy, overthrow, undermine, overturn," from Old French subvertir "overthrow, destroy" (13c.), or directly from Latin subvertere "to turn upside down, overturn, overthrow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + vertere "to turn".
Subversive. No—not the scourge of liberal religion that has wrecked churches and emptied minds of saving Truth and which has wrought inestimable damage to souls. Subversive, as in
  • the radical (radix, root) Catholicism of the reformer Saint Gregory the Great; not the delusional revisionism of Luther, Zwingli and Calvin.
  • the Christ-centred poverty of spirit of Saint Francis; not the impoverished theology of the "Liberation" theologians.
  • the vibrant truth of the Council of Trent; not the limp watered-down relativism of the 'Spirit of Vatican II'.
  • the magnificent Gospel of the Sacrifice of Calvary; not the materialistic prosperity gospel of non-denominational protestantism.
How can we leaven the world if we, ourselves, are without the leaven of Tradition?

Are we among those who seek the deep waters of Tradition, striving daily to uphold the teaching of the Apostles, or do we swim in the shallow pond of comfortable liberal religion (heterodoxy, heresy)?
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.—Psalm 18:2
Our identity and communion in Christ is our confidence.

The promise of Jesus Christ to Saint Peter, i.e., that the Church the Lord Jesus founded upon Peter is protected from error in faith and morals for all time, provides for the Catholic Christian the confidence to perdure and thrive as disciples of Jesus Christ in communion with the Church Jesus founded.

Confident in the Tradition of the Lord, we boldly proclaim His Gospel.
Tradition is the bread of Truth that is handed on from generation to generation, the bread that is preserved from corruption by the Holy Spirit.
The bread of the Church is Jesus Himself: He Who is the way and the truth and the life (St. John 14:6), the Bread of Heaven and the Bread of everlasting life.
The Living Bread is the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Let us humble ourselves (St. Matthew 23:12) to receive the Bread of Heaven and share in the Divine Life of Jesus Christ.
When we receive the Bread of Heaven in Holy Communion, we receive Jesus Christ. Christ leavens our souls and invigorates our lives, strengthening us in His service.
We, if we are docile to the Holy Spirit, become leaven in the world, bread for hungry souls who yearn for the truth, joy, hope, peace and love that only Jesus Christ can give!

Priests, Bishops and Pope: leaven us with the Bread of Sacred Apostolic Tradition!

Food for Thought
76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: 
- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";
- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".
... continued in apostolic succession
77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."
79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."

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