My parents were recently visited by their young adult grandson, who lives in another city. My mother shared with me that when he was leaving their home he asked her for a blessing. You see, for years, my parents would make the sign of the cross on his forehead and ask for God’s blessing and protection upon him. Recalling those moments, she was very happy he had remembered!
As my mother relayed the experience (with a smile on her face as if to say, “He remembered, he remembers our faith, our family tradition!”) it also made me smile, be proud of our faith and tradition.
This small, familiar spiritual custom became a tradition in our family with my great-grandparents. It’s a sign of our faith and family unity.
This time of the year, as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, we can remember our traditions or start new ones!
Tradition consists of beliefs, heritage, and customs that can help us focus on what is important in our lives.
Catholic Tradition is called Sacred because it was given by Christ.
“This is the most basic meaning of Catholic Tradition: it is the true Faith itself, given to the Apostles by Christ and faithfully transmitted to each new generation.” (Catechism, 77-78)
This is the reason we use Tradition with a capital “T”, because it is from Divine Revelation, handed down from God Himself. St. Paul wrote,
“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess 2:15)
I am so glad we have our Catholic Tradition to remind us of our rich heritage passed down by the apostles, saints, and present role-models; helping us to live our daily lives with faith and hope.
And I am grateful for family traditions that remind us of our unity and respect for one another.
Want to learn more? The Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Institute of Pilgrimages teaches about Sacred Tradition through various presentations, and local and international pilgrimages.