Friday, December 9, 2022

The Burden of Tradition

 From The Catholic Thing:

What Bernini’s statue reminds us of though, is that the burden we bear is not some meaningless sack of baubles. He carries his father who gave him life, who raised him up, who made him the man he came to be. More than that, he carries the man who gave him faith in his gods, who taught him respect for the divine protector, who taught him to value the long line of ancestors, who shared that faith and handed on from time immemorial the way of life by which he has persevered.

He carries a burden of tradition, but a burden which is also the source of his strength.

Perhaps today our Church needs that reminder. The weight of tradition, as burdensome as it may be, is not something to toss aside lightly. Over 2,000 years, men and women of faith have studied, prayed, taught, and sacrificed much, even their very lives, to build up and hand on that burden we bear.

It is this rich tradition that has carried our Church through the trials of the past and allowed her to emerge triumphant against seemingly impossible odds, whether in the catacombs of Rome, at Lepanto, or under the shadow of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.

As much as in our youth we may resist the wisdom of our elders, as we are all inclined to do, we can only truly take our place in this procession of history when we surrender in humility and take up that gift and burden being offered to us.

It is essential we do so, not only that we may persevere ourselves, but that we may have something to hand on to the young people on our heels who carry that eternal light forward into the future. Yes, the traditions of the past must be “brought up to date,” but only so that they may be received in their entirety by our children who so desperately need them.

How many young people are so lost today because they have been severed from a tradition, because they have been denied that wisdom of the past, by a generation who benefited so greatly from it?

The ongoing challenge of the Church is to trust the words of the Lord, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Like Aeneas, we must bear up on our shoulders the past, not as a regrettable burden, but as a gift that guides us and gives us strength for the battle.

We do not cast away that which makes us who we are, but we embrace the Catholic tradition that grounds us and is the means to draw others to the truth we live by. Rather than allow in the Trojan horse of the times that betrays, we must, like Aeneas, bear up our parents and lead our children in the truth.

We must take part in that perpetual refounding of Rome in holiness, by which she sanctifies each age unto the end of time. (Read more.)


No comments: