Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tradition Lives

From the Pope's General Audience today:

Ecclesial communion, in the words of Benedict XVI, “does not only extend to all believers in a given moment in time, which unites all believers in all parts of the world (synchronic communion); it also embraces all times and all generations of believers in the past and future (diachronic communion).”And so the “experience of the Risen Lord of the apostolic community at the beginnings of the Church, can always be lived by successive generations, in that it is transmitted and actualized in faith, in worship and in communion of the People of God, pilgrim in time. The apostolic Tradition of the Church consists of this transmission of the virtues of salvation, which makes the Christian community the permanent realization of the original community, in the strength of the Spirit. It is called so because it was born from the testimony of the Apostles and of the community of disciples at the beginning, it was handed down under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the writings of the New Testament and sacramental life, and the Church continually refers to it as its foundation and norm through the uninterrupted succession of the apostolic ministry.” And it is the Spirit who “actualizes” the “saving presence of the Lord Jesus through the ministry of the apostles – leaders of the eschatological Israel (cfr Mt 19:28) – and through the life of all the people of the new covenant”.

“This permanent actualization of the active presence of the Lord Jesus in his people, by the work of the Holy Spirit and expressed in the Church through the apostolic ministry and brotherly communion, is what is meant, in a theological sense, by the term Tradition: it is not the simple material transmission of things and words, of what was given to the Apostles at the beginning, but the effective presence of the Lord Jesus, crucified and risen, that accompanies and leads the community gathered around him in the spirit”.

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