Day Three – Running the Race

: If tradition is rooted in the past, how do you discern what is worth handing on and what has served its usefulness in the life of a community.

Br. Mark Brown: Tradition is like a relay race, really, in which one generation hands on the baton on to the next, and our handing on that baton is our way of participating in the ministry of the next generation. Yes, we are rooted in the past, grounded, as it were in our history, but the movement, the impulse is toward new growth, new foliage, new flower, new fruit, all as part of God’s ongoing work of conversion (and subversion) in our lives and in the world. The other thing that important to say about tradition, and particularly about the Rule, is that it’s not a collections of rules. “Don’t do this. Do do that,” and so forth. The Rule is a framework, a framework for growth, and within it, many, many possibilities exist.


  1. Joe Naumann on March 11, 2011 at 20:37

    It seems that the root of the tradition; indeed, the root of any Christian “rule”; must be to keep focused on Jesus. A group in my parish has started to read the Bible in a year (about 3 chapters a day) -I get behind and have to read 10 chapters to get caught up. I easily become unfocused and have to keep reorienting myself back to being focused on Jesus. I’m hoping that checking these reflections daily I will be more faithfully focused on Jesus and the Word. While we value tradition and consult it, our focus must mostly be on the future- we use tradition to get us to the present and in the present, we adjust tradition somewhat so that it will benefit us as we move forward into the adventure of each new day. That way we may be ready to embark, with a reliable foundation, upon the adventure of a new era when one is upon us. I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

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