I can't explain why I took an interest in Latin as a child or why I made myself memorize so many Latin prayers over the years...but the fact of the matter is that I love the language and part of me wishes I had lived through the pre-Vatican II days so that I could attend a purely Latin mass. I understand why the change from Latin to every other language known to man occured....but praying in Latin (for me at least) is a whole religious experience in and of itself. I find that I can concentrate more. Also, it just makes me feel better when I pray in Latin. I can't explain why, but sometimes I even feel like I can picture things a little better praying in Latin even if this language isn't my first language (or my second language...or even third language for that matter). Praying in Latin somehow just strikes a cord with me... I wish I could explain it better.
A few months ago I cashed in some Amazon.com certificate money and got myself a Latin/English New Testament. I have to tell you...there is a lot that is lost in translation and I prefer the Latin by far (even though I do need some help translating it at times). Mind you, reading the Latin is difficult at times, but it is worth it...and the English beside it certainly does help. I took two semesters of Latin, so I am no expert...but what I do get it. Perhaps my Portuguese background kind of helps...as does the several years of Spanish I took from middle school to high school. Regardless of how difficult it is, however, I think the Latin prayers and scripture sound so incredibly beautiful...
Also think about it this way....
Our saints once prayed in Latin.
Masses were said in Latin for centuries.
Our ancestors listened to masses in Latin.
Our ancestors prayed in Latin.
Our Church preserved Latin for 2000 years.
In a way it almost feels like this language adds another bond between us modern-day saints-in-training to the countless Catholics who came before us. This, to me, is one of the most comforting and awe-inspiring thoughts. Call me old-fashioned, but I squeal with excitement whenever a Latin song is implemented in mass or when they decide to say "Agnus Dei" as opposed to "Lamb of God." Now, if they started praying the Prayer of Saint Michael at the end of mass on top of throwing in some Latin...that would make my day.
It's just....SO BEAUTIFUL....