Can TLM Change your Life?

Can the Tridentine Mass Change Your Life?

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Can the
Tridentine Latin Mass Change Your Life?

[The following reflections were posted to the CTN Gregorian/Tridentine Rite E-Mail
List. (click here to subscribe)

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My musings of late have been on the effect the Tridentine Rite Mass has had upon my
life to date. To be fair I have attended just three traditional Masses in my life (two Low
Masses, one High Mass). The answer to the subject line [title] question is "yes"
in my case. Attendance at a traditional Mass has lessened my occasions of sin. It has also
increased my desire for confession and the Eucharist. Has anyone else observed similar
phenomena? Perhaps this experience is more pronounced among those of us who are only
beginning to attend the traditional Latin Mass. It is my suspicion, however, that many can
attest to it being a lifelong or at least cyclical phenomenon.
         Chris W.

I attribute the Tridentine Mass to having awakened in me an entire new life, and love
of the Church. Started it full-time three years ago, and feel I am inflamed with the Holy
Ghost now. I read about all aspects of the faith continuously now. Spend 90% of my time on
the internet perusing still more information on traditional Catholicism. Been on two
European pilgrimages so far, two more next year. Increase in confessions big time;
confession I used to not care for as a sacrament. Now I feel helpless without it. I say
rosaries now… on and on and on. For people who care to listen, I can only attribute all
of my new found fervor, tracing it back, ultimately to my first Tridentine Mass, about
five years ago. That first one– I took mental note of its differences with the Novus Ordo
and said to myself, "My God… what they have done to the Mass since Vatican II… My
God!!!!". I have been to only one Novus Ordo in roughly three years now. I seek the
Tridentine as often as it is possible for me to have it. I am very interested in other
posts in regard to this question as well.
      Kurt B.

Yes Chris I am in the same boat as you. I am a totally different person since I started
attending the Tridentine Mass. I did not lead a Christian life until then. My whole life
is different. I now even say the Divine Office and I have to tell you I am totally happy
and at peace. It is unbelievable how I have changed. I notice when I see someone new at
our Mass I often see them in tears. I get the feeling that people who have been wicked
have had an extremely intense encounter with Christ and decided to follow their faith
again. I have seen so many tangible benefits to my life and to the lives of others.
          J.R. R.

All I can say is that I firmly believe that my attendance at Tridentine Masses has
definitely changed and improved my life very considerably. I can attest to an increased
desire for confession and the Eucharist. It has also rekindled my desire for the priestly
vocation and in a direct way has massively increased my desire to know God and understand
my faith intimately. When once I didn’t pray at all, I now pray three times a day
(although I admit to regularly omitting the grace before meals, something I’m trying to
change) and attend Mass daily when I can, even if it is Novus Ordo. One thing that has
happened to me is that once when I discounted miracles completely I totally accept them
now, especially because a minor miracle happened to me directly as a result of my
attending the Tridentine Mass. Just before I had attended my first Tridentine Mass, I had
badly sprained my ankle. It was healing normally but I still needed to use a cane. I was
visiting friends in the neighborhood near to St. Clement’s Church and had decided that I
needed to walk around the area. As I passed by the church, I noticed it’s sign advertising
the Tridentine Mass, so I went in more out of curiosity than anything else. My mind and I
think my soul was boggled. I was enthralled and felt instantly at home. To make a long
story short, when I left the church, for a short while afterwards I didn’t need the cane
to walk and there was no pain. I had been going to a Novus Ordo Mass at the same time, but
I never left feeling much improved. By comparison this was a radical improvement. I
continued to go to Mass at St. Clement’s regularly and each time, for a short time, my
ankle was much improved. Of course, my ankle did eventually heal, but I’ve wondered since
then, was it Christ’s presence that helped heal me? I’ve also wondered if my healing was
sped up as a result of my attendance there. Ever since then, I have been interested in
Eucharist Miracles. Coincidence? Miracle? Nothing at all? God only knows. All I know that
my life has completely changed since I started going to St. Clement’s, and not merely a
cured ankle.
         Francis P.

It’s because the traditional rite of Mass originates in, and reflects, the fullness of
the Faith. To me, the two have gone hand in hand: the more I studied the Faith, the more I
became drawn to the traditional rite- the more I have attended that rite, the more I have
been drawn into the depths of the Faith. The new order is a source of Grace, but, somehow,
something has been severed in the age-old links between Faith and Sacrament. The Mass has
become more worldly. Saints may see clearly through the distractions and confusions of the
new service, but the rest of us lose out.
          Graham S.

Chris, consider yourself fortunate to have ‘found’ a Traditional Latin Mass . We
‘found’ it less than a year ago and look forward more and more to Mass and the programs
offered by our community to which we have committed. People like us, in a parish for 22
years, sometimes take longer to ‘break the ties’ but anyone properly disposed who attends
six Traditional Latin High Masses, prayerfully, in a row, will almost assuredly be hooked.
It is so wonderful not having to ‘filter’ the messages received for our 16 yr. old son. It
is great having a true catechism class based upon "The Catechism of the Catholic
Church". The 14 boy servers who knelt after Mass this morning at the communion ‘rail’
to pray their thanksgivings were inspirational. Most everyone is focussed on the worship
of God and do not do or say distracting things. The contrast from constant experimentation
to traditional liturgy is immense. I tell you Chris, if you would have told me two years
ago ( at age 67) that I would leave home (Sundays), with my family, at 9:15 a.m., drive 57
miles to our church in the poorer section of Kansas City, Ks. for pre-Mass rosary, then
attend (with no fidgeting) an 80 minute Mass, followed by an hour’s fellowship over coffee
and donuts, finally arriving home about 2:15 p.m. (5 hours given over to
"church" ), I would have called you insane. Also, if you’d have told me my 16
yr. old son would dress in shirt and tie rather than shorts to attend Mass I would not
have believed you.( In fairness to him, at the last N.O. Mass I attended more than 1/2 of
all the adult males wore shorts. This included doctors, lawyers (2), and hospital
administrators (2), plus stock brokers. Of course they wouldn’t dress like that to meet a
client…only their God !! My boy gets real role modeling (not Slob 101) at our Latin Mass
Community and he quickly has responded. He has thanked me for finding the Latin Mass as he
felt he was attending pseudo-Protestant services at the ‘old’ place. He’s joined the youth
group and drives 40-50 miles one way to bi-weekly meetings to be with other youth who,
like him, believe in the Real Presence not in "it’s just a symbol" and "you
are Christ". Our family looks forward to Sundays as never before. Hang in there and
you will too.
           Gus H.

I was not on the scene at the time, so this is all theoretical: But I believe one
reason why the TM enriches the spiritual life is that it encourages the return to the old
devotions and disciplines. I think this is because they "fit together" in a way
not possible with the NO. The old devotions and disciplines developed organically with the
TM – the NO, because of its "composed/imposed" nature, was jarring and
dissonant. But since the Mass is the center and standard of worship, it exerted its
influence on the rest of devotional life with the result that those prayers and practices
that helped to sanctify the everyday were either dropped or altered to the point that they
were less benficial. (I digress with a specific example: in the late ’70’s at our
Episcopal church we used a booklet of meditations for the Stations called "Everyman’s
Way of the Cross". I don’t remember which order produced them, but they were
Catholic. These consisted of a dialogue between Christ and Everyman for each station in
which Christ pointed out his suffering and Everyman offered a response, often a resolution
of better behavior. They were not really bad, in and of themselves, and I know we all make
such resolutions during that the devotion. The problem was subtle – instead of all the
attention being on the suffering Savior, half the attention shifted to Us during each
meditation. And, when the first set of booklets wore out, the second had some changes that
had to be corrected by hand.) I remember that when I first entered the Church, I often
felt that I was traveling between two devotional worlds. One of the good things about an
Anglo-Catholic background was that I already had the habit of many Catholic devotions and
disciplines- I would probably not have acquired them after conversion otherwise, as they
were simply not practiced in my home parish. But with the great privilege of attending the
TM, all the worship and devotional practices and disciplines in my life "fit",
they are all of a whole. Their "event horizons" are the same, if you like. As
Graham points out, all the facets work together to strengthen our faith.

           Sally B.