Many years ago, after a profound conversion experience, I found myself back at mass after having being absent for over a decade. I had been raised on the Novus Ordo but had fallen away from the Church for various reasons but I must profess that I never stopped believing in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or the Holy Mother of God. After my conversion, I felt compelled to get myself back before the Holy Altar and I did just that.
The church I was drawn to was an old French Gothic masterpiece that caught my eye a few times while driving by. I am a great art lover and old churches tend to attract me. The pastor appeared devout and seemed to care more about the Gospel than Bingo, spaghetti dinners and anecdotes about the pope. The church was named for the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and the ‘form’ of the mass celebrated was the Novus Ordo but the pastor kept the tabernacle in the center of the altar and the congregation was friendly. Despite this, Communion in the hands always bothered me and I refused such novelties. The pastor respected my choice and I continued to attend. After going for a time, the pastor confided to me that he would love to put the alter rails back and have a regular Latin Mass. I encouraged him and we did have a few Latin Masses from time to time but nothing steady.
Eventually, this pastor was moved to another parish by the cardinal, which disappointed me greatly, so I decided to move on as well. I eventually found myself at a more modern church dedicated to the Little Flower. It was a nice congregation with many young families (due to the attached school) and a sense of community. However, the pastor ran the mass like a Protestant Jamboree and kept talking about those Bingo nights, spaghetti dinners and even anecdotes about the pope. One day he complained that the church needed money and that we had to give more to keep the lights on. I am not sure he understood that the vast majority of his congregants were elderly and that many were dying off. He was simply not attracting enough young people and was in a financial hole.
Then one day, a guest priest from Africa, who stayed for months and months, tried to force me to take the Eucharist in the hands. This happened numerous times thereafter and I started to avoid this man like the plague. The last time he tried to force me, I told him to his face to stop and even chided him because he knew full well that I did not go for that sort of thing. I was so annoyed that I complained to the head priest who happened to be the jamboree host. He said I had a choice as to how I wished to take the Eucharist and should not be forced. I was relieved but things turned from bad to worse when the covid mayhem began. The Eucharistic Ministers refused to give me Communion on the tongue and they appeared visibly petrified. I soon found out that they were told by the head priest to avoid contact with the mouth. In my naivete I asked a simple question to myself, “How could anyone catch a disease from the Body of Christ?” Just saying! Well, I was at a crossroads. I refused to take the Eucharist in the hands and I was not going to mass without receiving the Holy Eucharist, so I had a hard choice to make and I had to find a solution.
God found that solution. The Latin Mass kept crossing my mind again and again as I sat home saying my Rosary while the world descended into madness over the mystery illness and the churches lay empty. I must admit that I had become spoiled by going to mass on Saturday evenings, which allowed me to sleep late on Sundays, so the slug in me did not wish to get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday and drive 50 minutes to a Latin Mass. Well, one day God put that undeniable tug into my heart and I realized that I just had to go. The first time I went was during the week. It was a low mass and everyone there knew a lot more than me about how to act but I simply sat there and prayed, following what other did. We received the Eucharist kneeling down and on-the-tongue and our hands were placed under a cloth. The mass was quiet and peaceful and there was a feeling of holiness within me afterwards that made me feel wonderful.
After a few more mid-week masses, I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and head to a Sunday low mass at 7:30 am. I had the chance to go to Confession and meet the pastor. I was amazed at the devotion exhibited by my fellow Catholics and the site of so many young people who seemed to be attending, not out of compulsion but out of love for Christ, was profound. After my first experience, I decided to go back again and give it a chance. Well, a year later I decided to officially join the congregation and registered with the administration and the rest is history.
I was finally home and decided to never look back at the Novus Ordo. I felt like an overeater who finally decided to give up those chocolates expanding his waistline. I had finally found a mystical experience that satisfied my inner longings. I must admit that I was annoyed at myself for not doing this years ago. I was also annoyed at those behind the changes in the Church who had robbed me of my rightful Catholic Heritage. Well, I was not tolerating that robbery any longer and if it wasn’t for the world descending into covid madness, I might not have been forced to get myself where I needed to be.
I remember going to the Latin Maass one Sunday morning in a foul mood and after the consecration I found myself more joyful and lighthearted. I could sense how the consecration brought with it great light. The graces were palpable! I eventually got myself a proper Latin Missal and was deeply moved reading the mass in its entirety for the first time. I especially loved the mention of the Holy Saints who died for the faith and who are present at each Holy Mass. I also loved saying the St. Michael Prayer after mass to exercise the world from the dark powers.
These years of going to the Latin Mass have brought me greater graces, greater strength and greater devotion to Christ, my Lord and my God. It has helped me to face the ensuing deterioration in the world and overcome many personal challenges in my life. The Latin Mass is ‘where it’s at’ and I need it like I need food and drink. I thank God that He led me home, to His very presence in the Holy Eucharist. What a gift!
I believe the way forward is through the Traditional Latin Mass, of that I am convinced. The Novus Ordo is dying and it cannot cross over fast enough as far as I am concerned. The Church will never be restored to its proper glory without the reverence and mystical experience the human heart craves and needs through the celebration of the Latin Mass. Despite those who would like to limit the true mass, the Latin Mass will win out and Catholics will be free at last to experience their true heritage. God always wins and despite the bad press from the higher ups, the Latin Mass is growing and it is unstoppable!