Thinking about my own journey leading to and into the Catholic Church (as a journey leading closer to Jesus Christ), and looking ahead in the USCCA, of the first 9 chapters this chapter is probably the one from which we see that other Christian traditions take the greatest departure. In my journey I found it pivotal to grasp the distinctive nature about how Catholics understand the Word of God. I came to discover that Catholics view the Sacred Scripture no less highly than other Christians, which had been my (and I think many others’) impression.
Just thinking in general, sometimes we think that how much we value something is necessarily diminished if we likewise value something else alongside it, as though there is a finite amount of value/passion we have. But with some cases it is quite the opposite. That I love and respect my dad doesn’t take away from the love and respect I have for my mom. In fact, because they love and respect one another my loving them both expands how I love them each one (loving what they love) – what’s more, I simply love them, and learn from them, as a unity, as my parents.
While it is an inadequate analogy, there is a similarity to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We regard them both and it doesn’t diminish the regard we have for either. Also, it is from their closely bound relationship to one another that flows for us, (as the Catechism will say, “flowing out from the same divine well-spring,…” CCC 80) one utterance, the Word of God.
For the full CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church – on which the USCCA is based) description you might read paragraphs 74-141. Additionally, as a resource that was helpful to me (as someone who only recognized Sacred Scripture), I suggest, “By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition,” by Mark Shea. (Laurie E.)