I’ve cut & pasted an email I received about 10 years ago from a friend. Her reaction to the TLM pretty much mirrored mine although my ‘conversion’ was a process over time.
So how did/does assisting at the TLM changed the way you’ve practiced the Faith?
First, a little history, I attended the only mass I knew - Novus Ordo - for thirty-three years. For the last two years, I have attended exclusively the Old Latin Mass. Despite having a longer history with the Novus Ordo Mass, and mindset, it has been through the Old Latin Mass, and adhering to the practices, and teachings of the Traditional Catholic faith that I have felt God’s graces working to strengthen my faith, and my relationship with Him. Prior, at best, I was a lukewarm Catholic - prayed infrequently, attended mass at my whim, neglected the Rosary, paid little attention to the devotions, shunned Confession (18 years), grew apathetic to the Real Presence, read little on the Catholic faith, gave God the backseat in my life, disregarded the consequences of sin, gave greater importance to my earthly life over my spiritual life, fit God into my life instead of my life into God’s. When I walked into my first Traditional mass, it was with indifference but I left with humility, gratitude, and an immense love of Christ, and my Catholic faith. As Ann states, Traditional churches are “vertical” i.e., everything is geared “upwards,” pointing to God, heaven, the angels, etc which in attendance leads a Catholic’s focus upwards, pointing to God, heaven, the angels, etc… With this “vertical” focus, it is impossible for Catholic to be indifferent to God, or the Catholic faith. From personal experience, I have witnessed my own focus shift from horizontal to vertical - my indifference replaced with accountability. In the end, it’s this sense of accountability to God that has brought into my life – daily prayer, my Sunday obligation, the Rosary, the devotions, frequent Confession, the significance of the Real Presence, the culpability of sin, books, and a greater knowledge on the faith, and my subjection to God, and my faith. I am not holier than the next Catholic but in spite of that fact I can’t deny that I practice my faith differently than I did before the Traditional Mass with its vertical focus. Given such a God-centered Mass, it is almost or near to impossible for a Catholic not become fully aware of their dependence on God, and their responsibility to Him in fulfilling the duties that He asks of all of us. As it’s only by way of God’s graces that we are lead to Him, I am ever grateful to Him for having guided me to the Traditional Catholic faith.