Ok, here goes and thank you for the kind reply.
As I was praying for understanding this morning, it dawned on me that I was trying to comprehend something that was well beyond my experience, my family and culture. How we don’t carry on traditions as a culture because we have been “taught” that they are a link to a past we do not want to repeat, a past we are content, even encouraged, to forget (and therefore doomed to repeat! – but that is another story.) As a young culture, with no real identity of it’s own, except that which we “stole” from other cultures and in turn melted together with our own experiences, we ran from tradition and continue to do so, out of fear and complacency. Fear, because we do not want to subscribe to any ideology “outside” our creation and control, and complacency, because we cherish our “freedoms” and are content with the rule of will. Tradition is our inheritance, our legacy of customs, rites, beliefs, ideas, myths, wisdom, and understanding; it is a bundle or knapsack of “stuff” handed from one person to the next, one generation to the next, one society within a culture to the next in the form of objects, writings or speech. Well, the Old Testament is rife with traditions, spanning hundreds of years, through many cultures, individuals and events. It is true that there are foundational books of the Old Testament (the Torah), and like a bowcrill, they became the firestarter of Law and Truth. However, the ancients did not stop there, because God did not stop there. There was a plan and purpose that needed to be fulfilled that needed prophecy, revelation, history, poems, law and stories to help unfold, that we now know as the Great Revelation. Because they did not contradict what came before, but highlighted, enlightened, enriched or expounded upon the Truths already in Scripture, they were preserved and passed on, and eventually added to the Scriptures. Right up until the advent of Christ.
Christ came to fulfill the law not to end it. I do not think He intended for the transmission of tradition to end either, otherwise we might not have had the writings of the New Testament at all. The Apostles carried on the traditions the Israelites began. However, because the Israelites rejected Jesus as the Christ, their “old traditions” ended (I think they even took passages and entire books out of the Scriptures that referred to Jesus and his prophecy) and Jesus’ “new traditions” began, picking up where the “old traditions” left off. I had always found it particularly odd that the Bible, as most Protestants know it today, became a work stuck in time as if there was nothing to add or clarify. Imagine if the ancient Israelites felt the same way about David’s, Isaiah’s or Jeremiah’s work and only focused on and preserved the Torah. It seems only logical, and I really did not connect the two thoughts until today, that tradition should not stop with the Gospels and Epistles, just as it did not stop with the Torah.
I see two great traditions, one before Christ, that “ended” with Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, as Savior, and one after Christ that “will end” with His second coming, as King. Both dependent on the other both needed to understand the whole picture of God’s plan and purpose. (It is nice to know that this tradition will be completed someday, once we are again perfect in body and soul, living in God’s Light and Kingdom.) Since Christ, we have had a tremendous amount of prophecy, revelation, history, poems, law and stories that add to the New Testament, I do not see why they should not be preserved and passed on as long as they do not contradict the Scriptures. In this sense that is precisely what the CCC does, it carries on tradition, the one element in my life I truly want, and appreciate my new understanding of this.
So I am hoping this makes sense and would appreciate any comments and further direction.