The other day, I was sitting on my front steps, telling St. Joseph lots of things he already knew, when I looked down and saw it. There, coming up through a tiny crack in the concrete between the bottom step and the sidewalk, was a new twiggy shoot sprouting a cluster of jaggedy leaves.
Now, to understand the significance of this, you’ll need to know some background. Trumpet vine comes up everywhere in my yard. I could pull up brand-new trumpet vine sprouts every hour of my life for the next six years, and at the end of that there would probably still be more than there were when I started.
They’re in the flowerbed, doing all they can to win the battle I’m fighting to keep them out from under the house siding.
They’re in various places in the yard, just coming up Willy-nilly. Why? I have no idea. There’s not even anything for them to climb there.
I feel like half my life is spent trying to keep trumpet vines from taking over my house and yard and making my city lot look like a good home for wild parrots and chimpanzees. I spend a whole lot of time scanning the yard for little twiggy shoots with clusters of jagged leaves and then trying to make it clear to them that they can’t stay.
But this day, looking at that little sprout coming up through the crack in the concrete, something good struck me.
You see, that trumpet vine is from a root that must have been planted soon after my mid-1940s house was built.
The original vine was planted at the back fence.
I have a good-sized city lot. The house is situated near the front of it. And now that trumpet vine, planted at the back fence…
Is coming up through the front steps.
The roots have been spreading under the surface of the soil all that time.
When I think about this, it reminds me of the Latin Mass. What Pope Benedict XVI did for us helped it to get reestablished. It had been planted long before, but his motu proprio helped it begin to spread again. Now opposite forces seem to want to take it out, but you can’t stop something that people already know is the fullest expression of God on the earth. It’s got deep, strong, healthy (in every sense of the word) roots, and wherever the Lord wants it to happen, new shoots will pop up and grow.
This Mass has formed so many saints we could never count them, from the East to the West, from the North to the South, over how many centuries now? It nourished them in this life, bore indescribably good fruits through them, and guided them to Heaven. And they all—every last one of them—are watching what’s going on right now from their places above the Firmament. I wonder what all those thousands (Millions? Who knows?) are saying in their prayers to Our Lord about the strikes leveled against the Mass that brought them to Him in Paradise.
God is always working under the surface; Goodness and Wisdom never stop spreading their roots, and the Mass of the Ages is the most concentrated and honest expression of everything God is that exists on earth. No human force and no evil could stop it.
The Traditional Latin Mass doesn’t belong to anyone but God; it’s a Treasure He gave us—and He still holds it in His Hands. It’s good for us; it heals us; it draws us closer to Him and can restore our friendship with Him with a perfect depth and fullness. Everything Christ suffered and sacrificed, the love God the Father has for us, the awe we should have in His Presence, and Our Lady’s blessed and vital help—they’re all expressed most fully and most honestly in the Mass of the Ages. God made it this way, He loves us, and He is the one nourishing the vine at its roots. Some may try to pluck up the sprouts, but what God protects and fosters, man cannot destroy.