Turning people off the Tridentine Latin Mass… Part One
During my teenage years, I started conscientiously practising my faith, with earnest confessions and attending Sunday Mass. The Rosary was to come later, but I frequently prayed to my Guardian Angel and to St. Joseph. Something small, but upsetting happened to make me think twice about the Latin Mass…
One day, by chance I ran into a fellow who knew my family and as is So Typical in Ireland, he quizzed me on which Masses my family attended, and what occasions would cause one of us to miss Sunday Mass. I know – alarm bells oughta have rang – but it’s harder when you’re still at school and used to taking orders. In response to this frazzled chaps insistent questions I said, ‘well, my brother has severe autism with some related illnesses and sometimes is too unwell to go to Sunday Mass.’
To my astonishment, the man said, ‘huh! What kinda Mass would he be going to anyway? A sorta sinking ship Novus Ordo?’
‘I’m sorry I don’t get what you just said…’ I stammered not understanding ‘Novus Ordo’.
The man sighed and pointing his finger said, ‘why don’cha take him to the Tridentine Latin Mass?’
‘Really? I’ve never been to one.’ I said, to which the man answered brusquely with a time and date of the next ‘Tridentine Latin Mass’.
‘Well, thank you for telling me about that, but I don’t think my brother will be well enough to attend…’
‘But what about this boy’s soul? Have you thought about that? Have you considered that by not taking him to the true Mass that he might be…ya know…in trouble?’
I tried to debate with the man, only to find out that yes he truly believed that if ‘there’s no salvation outside going exclusively to the Tridentine Mass.’
I remember clearly thinking that if someone was so insensitive to someone so ill as my brother, and was cooking up their own brand of theology, that I didn’t think credible his recommendation to go to the Tridentine Latin Mass. And it was some time before I did attend such a Mass.
PS - The above incidence has happened a number of times since where - out of the blue - takes it upon themselves to raise an issue about my brother's oberservance of the faith. But, thankfully I had gotten to know the 'Old Rite' in the meantime, and have not let this heckling get to me.