1 Corinthians 11:1-2
Fathers of the Church…
The early Church fathers set the example for us to follow, and it forms the basis of our Sacred Tradition:
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.” -1 Corinthians 11:1-2, NAB
One of the divides between the Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations is the view of Sacred Tradition. While Protestant believe in sola scriptura – scripture alone, the Catholic Church looks to its beautiful Tradition as part of the foundation of the Church’s teachings. Many great theologians and philosophers have spent their lifetimes explaining one position or another, and I am not going to attempt to challenge that, but this verse is one of many that points us toward the Sacred Tradition.
The early Church gave us the foundation of our beliefs, practice, rituals, and so on. With this verse, Paul is challenging us, just as he challenged the people of Corinth, to follow the traditions of those that came before us. One of the beauties of the Catholic Tradition, something you will not find in other Christian denominations, is that we can trace that Tradition all the way back to Peter himself. Through the succession of the popes, we can see where the Traditions began, and how they were revealed over time.
The Catholic Church offers a beauty that we cannot find anywhere else – the most beautiful Sacred Tradition that has its roots in the teachings of Sts. Peter, Paul, and the rest of the apostles. With the introduction of the new missal this Advent, may we draw ever closer to those Traditions as we try to be imitators of those who came before us.