Every time I offer the Mass of All Ages, the Tridentine Latin Mass, I think of all you priests who have studied and practiced so hard to be able to offer this Mass. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your sacrifices you have made to make the Latin Mass available to those who love this Sacred Treasure.
Most of us are not versed in Latin. Most of us have had to learn it. I studied 2 years of Latin in High School and another year in Seminary. That was a very small amount of Latin. Thank God I knew Spanish and some Italian. This has helped me quite a bit. But nonetheless, I have to keep on struggling every day with Latin.
What has helped me most of all, to keep on learning Latin, is reciting the Roman Breviary everyday. It is 4 times longer than the Novus Ordo Liturgy of the Hours. It is all in Latin. On one side of the Latin and the other side English in the Baronies Press Roman Breviary. You can also download the BrevMeum by the Franciscan Of the Immaculate Friars. It also has Latin/English side by side. But, at times, the English translation is a bit below the Latin and at times, is not as easy to see the English translation without scrolling down.
By nature, I am lazy. So, it takes a lot of discipline to not just rush through the Breviary without really meditating on the meaning of the Latin words. And it takes discipline to look at the English meaning when I do not know, as of yet, what the Latin word means.
I remember praying the NO Liturgy of the Hours and reading it without really paying attention to what I was reading. This happened often, because I was so familiar with the Psalms, that I would not even be conscious of what I was praying. It is very similar to praying the Our Father. We are so use to it, that we can pray it without even being aware what we are praying. Off goes our mind to our distractions and worries.
There is an interesting story that pertains to this;
A monk had to travel a lot. He was accustomed to do it on foot. One day a rich man offered him his horse on one condition. That was if he could pray the whole Our Father without any distractions.
The monk began praying the Our Father, but before he finished, he asked the rich man if the saddle came with the horse.
Little by little, I am learning a lot of Latin and the proper pronunciation. For all of you priests and laity, do not be discouraged about the difficulty of learning and understanding Latin. Little by little the subconscious picks up the meanings. Just be patient with yourself. And remember we are doing this sacrifice for the Good of God and our Holy Catholic Church.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.