The Solemn Season of Lent is quickly approaching. For those who subscribe to the Old Rite we are currently in the season of Septuagesima, which marks seventy days before Easter Sunday and occurs for the two and a half weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday. Septuagesima is a time set aside by the Church to prepare for the season of Lent. Lent, as many know, is a time set aside by the Church for spiritual growth, intense fasting, and deep contemplation of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
As we observe the season of Septuagesima, we should build a plan to grow closer to Jesus Christ and His Church this Lent. Often we are tempted to submit ourselves to the same fastings year after year for Lent, this Lent try something new, try the Traditional Latin Mass
Often many people take up a book of reflections written by a saint, I would challenge you to also go to the Mass of the Saints, which is the Latin Mass. Pick almost any saint...St. Padre Pio, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, and even St. Faustina, literally almost 99% of all canonized saints assisted at the Traditional Latin Mass. Each of us is called to be saints, why not go to the very Mass of the saints? If we limit ourselves to only the last 55 years, we would lose these Catholic traditions and treasures, and all the saints in the Great Communion of Saints.
Many Catholics try to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often during Lent or at least make one good confession during the season. Most Latin Mass parishes offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation 30-40 minutes before Mass, and many are starting to offer the Sacrament during Mass as well. Here we find a constant source of grace, mercy, and God’s forgiveness. Having the Sacrament readily available at every Mass allows us to stay connected to God and to build true contrition for our sins, as our relationship with Christ is nourished by the attendance of Holy Mass. Go for confession, stay for Mass!
Restore your personal reverence towards Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In August 2019 a Pew Research Poll Study indicated that 70% of Catholics do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Holy Eucharist, this is an abomination to the faith and to Christ. Jesus Christ Himself instituted the Blessed Sacrament moments before entering into His Passion. Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is most reverenced and adored in the Old Rite of Catholicism. There are no Eucharistic “Extra”-ordinary Ministers, there is a priest. No time for men and women to approach the Altar of God and poorly distribute Him to His people. The Eucharist is received kneeling and on the tongue. The Eucharist is not distributed in the hand, as that allows for particles or whole pieces of the Sacred Species to fall to the ground, to stay on the palm, and to even be stolen from the church. If you aren’t comfortable receiving the Eucharist kneeling and on the tongue, I highly recommend reading an article by Evan Gallagher which addresses some of the most common objections to such. At the end of the day, Jesus Christ deserves the highest degree of reverence which is found at the Latin Mass. As Thomas Aquinas said, “only what is consecrated should touch what is consecrated.”
Therefore, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I urge you to go to the Traditional Latin Mass this Lenten season. I know, many do not have access to a Latin Mass parish or chapel, nevertheless, may we each contemplate on the points discussed above and renew to Jesus Christ our utmost belief in His Eucharistic presence, total reverence to Him and His Church, to go to Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to begin striving for sainthood. If you have never before attended a Latin Mass, and even if it has been a while, I would suggest that you put down the pew missal, don’t try to read into what is happening, rather look up and contemplate on Christ’s Passion during the Mass and see all of the Sacred Moments of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Perhaps, if it is the will of God, you go once to the Latin Mass and never stop attending the Latin Mass: Heaven on earth.
This is the season of Septuagesima, the time to prepare for the Solemn Season of Lent, this Lent return to Christ, and return to the ancient blood of your youth - the Latin Mass.
Seth is a convert to the Church and lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.