By Fr. David Moser...
Picture a beautiful
jeweled pendant. The centerpiece is a brilliant flawless diamond and it is set
in pure radiant gold, intricately worked and designed to set off the diamond in
its greatest beauty. Surrounding the diamond are carefully chosen stones, lesser
gems, but no less flawless and beautiful, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls,
etc. These are chosen and arranged to compliment and augment the brilliance of
the diamond and in no way detract from the diamond's beauty, but rather
everything together presents a beautiful whole.
The pendant is the whole of Holy Tradition, which is the expression of the revelation of Christ in the Church. The central diamond is the Holy Scripture and the surrounding gems and gold are the lives of the saints, the writings of the fathers, the services and traditions of the Church. Now if someone were to see this pendant who did not like pearls, he might think to himself, "if only we took off the pearls, this would be much better" and if he did so we would still have a beautiful pendant but somehow lessened.
Then perhaps portions of the pendant are allowed to become tarnished so that they no longer reveal their beauty and instead of cleaning off the tarnish and restoring the gems, those portions are removed - perhaps even replaced by rhinestones. Then along comes someone else who doesn't like emeralds and removes all the emeralds. And again along comes someone else who removes the remaining sapphires etc. Finally someone views this once beautiful pendant and not having seen its former beauty thinks that it is an ugly thing but the diamond is beautiful and so removes the diamond and trashes the rest.
The diamond is still beautiful, brilliant and valuable. It is set apart and displayed by itself - a truly beautiful thing, rescued from an ugly setting. But only those who never saw the original setting could say that for the diamond, when removed from the pendant is somehow lessened and there is no longer the gold work and the other gems to set it off and make it a part of a greater whole.
I hope this little story helps to provide some understanding of how the Holy Scripture is a part (a beautiful, brilliant, central part) of Holy Tradition and to remove it from the context of Tradition is to lessen it and hide its true beauty.
Fr. David Moser...
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