I wanna buy the first copy!!!!
For me, I came into tradition during my conversion process. I went to a NO church, and was very dissapointed. It didn't measure up to the rich history that I had been learning about. Upon the suggestion of a friend, I visited a FSSP parish. It was extreme sensory overload at first, but I knew I had stumbled upon something beautiful the moment I walked through the door. I remember the experience like it was yesterday:
When I entered, nobody took notice of me. They were too busy focusing on our Lord in private prayer or saying the rosary to notice the new girl taking her seat.
I knelt to pray, and immedietly beheld the altar. So white, so intricate, so breath taking. I glanced around and my eyes lingered at the artistic representation of the stations of the cross. I particuraly remember the pang I felt as I briefly comtemplated one. So vivid, the art was.
In the pew ahead of me a little boy, probably about 3, peered at me over his mothers shoulder. I couldn't help but smile at him. On his mothers lap rested another little boy, probably just a year younger. Down the pew I looked, and counted 8 blonde hair blue eyed siblings. They all looked just like their father who knelt earnestly in prayer. I looked around and noticed children everywhere. LOTS of them!! I was moved so much by this moment that I had to reach for a tissue. Even as a Protestant, I was vehemenantly against birth control/contraception. The whole idea horrified me. I had my theological reasonings for it, my common sense natural arguments as to why birth control made no sense. But the reality of it washed over me like a strong wave as I witnessed an unadulterated, truly prolife culture for the first time. Each of those families was the family that I have always dreamed of... the one that friends and family rolled their eyes at. I was certain that this type of community would not sigh in discouragement and shock as I expressed my desire to be a devoted and full time wife and mother as my job. No one had to tell me in words how high the family was held in that place. It took no fool to notice how much family was valued.
The women all wore something on their head, wether it be a hat, scarf or veil. I had always wondered how that part in scripture left the scene of the church. Some folks still take St. Paul seriously in regards to women covering their heads, apparently. It was refreshing to see, until I realized I was the only one not wearing one.
I didn't understand the Latin, but I didn't care. I didn't bother trying to follow along, I just wanted to soak it all in.
And then communion happened. I sat all lonely in the pew by myself, wishing just wishing that I could receive Jesus in the eucharist. They received the Eucharist so reverently, as if they truly believed and understood the reality of what they were consuming.
And the choir.... the music from that day is still ringing in my ears. I felt like I had heard the voices of heaven. Goosebumps stuck with me through the whole Mass.
After Mass had ended I said my thanksgiving and went to my car. I sat for probably an hour, pretty much dazed. I had just experienced the most beautiful thing in my life!
I spent the next few months learning what I could about the traditional latin mass. But I must say, traditional Catholic culture is what drew me the most. Traditional gender roles actually being practiced! Mothers being mothers as nurturers and fathers being men who provided and protected. Women understanding and embracing their role as the fairer yet weaker sex. I felt so much relief knowing that the convictions I held about the roles of women and men weren't outdated and unfair. They were timeless and classic.
Coming into tradition is when life finally made sense to me. Its true and lovely, and because of its truth I could not deny it.
What a lovely idea, OC! You will do very well. I am sure of it. Here's a prayer for you.