Jul 19, 2009


"More than one man has noted that the most tradition-minded centuries did the least talking about Tradition. Rather, they lived it. They were soaked through with it. It was through the eyes of Tradition that they read the Scriptures themselves. Then, men were not in the habit of questioning themselves about Tradition, for them it was the present rather than the past and less an object of study than the very form of their thinking...without very much conscious reflection on what they were doing.

...[But a need for reflection] "happens when the whole inheritance of Tradition, hitherto held without question, becomes, in one way or another, disputed territory. Doubts arise as to its value, and insidious comparisons are made between its original form and that which it has at the time; every element in it is put to the test... The thing seems to have become a burden rather than a source of vitality, and thus to constitute an obstruction of the very life which it is supposed to feed and transmit. And that is the situation in which it becomes imperative to reflect upon what one previously lived unthinkingly.

..."However, the doctrine of Tradition has been kept alive and consolidated, even if in a way decidedly different from the old one, and often, as it were, back-to-front.* And thanks to this reflexive renaissance, it has come victoriously through a crisis which did seem, humanly speaking, bound to destroy it.
- Henri de Lubac, The Splendor of the Church p.15

*ever since the denials of Protestantism Tradition has received - and rightly - an explicit emphasis which it was not accorded by early theology. This last for the most part talks in terms of Scripture exclusively (though there are, certainly, texts on Tradition as well). But the Scripture it discusses is always Scripture read within the Church, as interpreted by the Fathers, and as understood by Tradition; cf Edmund Ortigues, SM, 'La Tradition de l'Evangile dans Leglise', Foi
et Vie,
July 1951

No comments :