27 September 2011

ONE HUNDRED SIXTIETH

We do not bring up a child by giving him lectures in morality and deportment, but rather by placing him in an environment having a high tone of conduct and good manners, whose principles, rarely expressed as abstract theories, will be imparted to him by the thousand familiar gestures that clothe them, so to speak, in the same way that the spirit informs the body and is expressed by it. Education does not consist in receiving a lesson from afar, which may be learned by heart and recited, thanks to a good memory, but in the daily contact and inviting example of adult life, which is mature, confident of foundations; which asserts itself simply by being what it is, and presents itself as an ideal; which someone still unsure and unformed in search of fulfillment and in need of security, will progressively come to resemble, almost unconsciously and without effort. A child receives the life of the community into which he enters, together with the cultural riches of the preceding generations (tradition!), which are inculcated by the actions and habits of everyday life.


— Yves Congar, OP, The Meaning of Tradition