Convention vs. Tradition
“In this matter of monastic tradition, we must carefully distinguish between tradition and convention. In
many monasteries there is very little living tradition, and yet the monks think themselves to be
traditional. Why? Because they cling to an elaborate set of conventions. Convention and tradition may
seem on the surface to be much the same thing. But this superficial resemblance only makes
conventionalism all the more harmful. In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they
are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and
devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality.