Many people believe tradition to be a dead thing. Movies portraying a young man or woman kicking over the traces have become cliche. Tradition is depicted as the tool of the old or entrenched trying to retain social or political power over the young or disenfranchised.
So Fr Stephen’s definition of Tradition is like stepping out of a stuffy room into a crisp winter morning. It jolts the idea with fresh vitality.
Tradition is not the tyranny of the past over the present: Tradition is the adherence to the same eternal reality throughout all time.
Behind Tradition is the eternal reality of an amazing God. He’s a Creating God, giving life abundant expression under his care. He’s an Incarnational God, loving his creation so he becomes part of it in order to renew it from the inside-out. He’s an Apocalyptic God, embodying the ultimate union of heaven and earth so creation is restored and redefined. He’s a Loving God, sharing his life with ours in order that we may be continually reformed into his life and likeness.
So Tradition is the temporal expression of this eternal reality. Tradition is alive, rich, relevant, interactive, invigorating, rejuvenating, renewing, energetic, dynamic and vibrant.
Reading Scripture. Praying prayers. Making the sign of the cross. Honoring the Saints. Receiving the Eucharist. Confessing our sins. All open the windows to the brisk breeze of eternity, shocking us back to what is truly real.