Beloved, I am sending you an announcement and a video which, in my Jewish upbringing and Evangelical Protestant background, I could never have imagined.
First the announcement: I will be speaking at the glorious Sacred Liturgy Conference in Spokane, Washington, this coming summer, June 9-12, 2020, together with a company of magnificent holy men of God that one can rarely find together under one roof. Here is the information for those of you who, by God’s grace, may be able to attend:
Here, dear ones, from their press release, is a simple taste of the treasure that awaits those who attend:
This year’s theme is “Incarnation in the Eucharist”. We are overjoyed to have on our faculty His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Müller. Cardinal Muller will give the keynote address and will celebrate the Pontifical Mass of Corpus Christi, Eucharistic Procession, and Benediction at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“For more information including schedule, full list of speakers and to register please visit www.sacredliturgyconference.org. Space is limited and an “Early Bird Special” rate is available through March 1, 2020.”
What a joy it would be to meet many of you there!
But, how did this Jewish Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass, ever come to love the Traditional Mass!?
The answer to that question, like the answer to every good question, is “by the grace of God.” I have seldom told the story of how, for a solid year prior to my entrance into the Church, I went to sleep each night with a particular cassette tape in my ear. I knew it was the Mass and I loved the narration by Bishop Fulton Sheen, but I had never heard such beauty on earth. I did not believe, but how, I asked myself, could such beauty not be of God? I became glued to that tape as I fell asleep each night, longing for such beauty on earth all the while holding a measure of hope that I would one day find it.
Then, in 1995, I entered the Church, having been received by a most holy priest in a Novus Ordo parish. I did not know it was “Novus Ordo.” I did not know the difference between that and the Traditional Mass. But something was missing in the Mass I attended daily. How could anything be missing? This was the Church Our Lord established. There was nowhere else to go. Yet I left every Mass in every church I attended with a sense of grief.
How could there be anything other or more this side of heaven?
Then, one day, a year or so later, I experienced the Traditional Latin Mass for the first time in a home in New Jersey where a retired priest had been given permission to celebrate the Mass in that form and in that home. I was struck with the fact that such a Mass existed and penetrated so deeply with its beauty and reverence that I quietly went to the second floor of the house, went into a room, closed the door and sobbed.
What on earth was this Mass? And why had I been in the Church so long and had not seen it? I recognized that the absence of such reverence was the reason I grieved after every single Novus Ordo Mass, no matter how reverently celebrated. I continued going to the Novus Ordo parish in which I was received into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church because the priest who had received me in 1995 was a truly holy and beautiful soul (who has since gone to his reward), and, in desire and with gratitude, I wanted to be faithful.
However, I have since experienced the treasure of the “old” Mass, which is not “old” in any way and never will be. It is the Mass of the ages which developed from the synagogue and which will last to the end of time.
Now, the video (below): Only two nights ago, I happened upon a video of the Tridentine Mass (now sadly called the Mass in the Extraordinary Form). My heart leapt when I realized it was the same Mass (in video) to which I listened nightly via cassette tape prior to coming into the Church! To me, beloved, I’ve not experienced anything more beautiful and, without knowing what will be your own personal response, have wanted to send it to you.
It is a bit out of season (or rather, pre-season) for those who follow the Latin Mass. As I write, it is Sexagesima Sunday – sixty days prior to Easter – when the “Alleluia” has been “dropped” as will happen at the Novus Ordo Mass as soon as Lent begins. For those who follow the “old” calendar, the three weeks prior to Easter (Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquadragesima) are spent in preparation for Lent with some fasting and the change from “Alleluia” to “Praise be Jesus Christ, King of Eternal Glory.”
With all our hearts, we ask the King of Eternal Glory to bless you and your loved ones throughout this pre-Lenten and Lenten season as we look forward to the coming of Our Risen Lord, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.