Some of my recent, more crystallized thoughts on Tradition:
The Catholic Church understands the role of Tradition and the Magisterium is to provide a living "ecosystem" of faith for the Word of God to thrive in. This ecosystem, while formally distinct from the authority of Scripture, and sometimes materially distinct from the contents of Scripture, is ITSELF a product of the Word. Without the Word, the ecosystem of faith sickens and dies; but apart from its environment of faith, the Word mutates and darkens. The Word only made sense when Christ came to explain and fulfill it; as the Church is His Body today, the Word still only makes sense IN HIM, in His living pleroma both as a pious and an ecclesial reality.