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All Issues > Volume 16, Issue 2

<< Tuesday, February 8, 2000 >> St. Jerome Emiliani
1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
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Psalm 84 Mark 7:1-13
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"This people pays Me lip service but their heart is far from Me. Empty is the reverence they do Me because they teach as dogmas mere human precepts." —Mark 7:6-7; Isaiah 29:13

There are divine traditions — the magisterial teachings of the Church and the Bible. These divine traditions are the truth (see 2 Thes 2:15). They cannot be changed. We must conform our lives to these divine traditions. On Judgment Day, we will be judged according to these divine traditions.

There are also human traditions. These are often very helpful to people. However, sometimes a human tradition becomes a diabolical stronghold (see 2 Cor 10:4). Good human traditions are to be respected but should never be placed above divine traditions. Bad human traditions must be overthrown by the power of the Holy Spirit.

How can we tell if a tradition is divine or human? Although this is usually obvious, sometimes it is a matter of interpretation. The Church, which alone is "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15), is the only body which can authoritatively tell us what is divine or human tradition.

How can we tell if a human tradition is good or bad? Although we will probably know this by the fruit of the tradition (see Lk 6:44), this may take too long or again be a matter of interpretation. Once again, we need the Church. Otherwise, we will probably make tragic mistakes, even if we are sincere.

Thank God for revealing Himself to us and loving us through traditions. Thank God for the Church and the grace to submit to the Church's authority.

Prayer: Father, may I love You, the Church, and her Bible. May this love free me.
Promise: "Listen to the petitions of Your servant and of Your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from Your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon." —1 Kgs 8:30
Praise: St. Jerome wrote: "If then you remain constant in faith in the face of trials, the Lord will give you peace and rest for a time in this world and forever in the next."
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 16, Issue 2
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