When I was a little girl, I had this keen awareness of how blessed I was to be Catholic. I don’t remember learning that my Catholicism was a gift, but deep down, I knew it was.
What’s amazing about this is that growing up, I didn’t have a very strong Catholic foundation. In my parish, there were no statues, devotions, or traditional Catholic practices of any kind. And despite attending a Catholic university, I lacked proper formation well into my early twenties.
But I loved Jesus and Mary. And the indelible mark on my soul from my Baptism kept me tethered to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
“The favors of the Lord are not exhausted; his mercies are not spent … so great is his faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
In my early young adult years, I found myself on a path that opened doors to the truth, beauty, and goodness of authentic Catholicism. The more I learned about the Catholic Faith, the more excited I became.
As my husband and I raised our six children, we uncovered devotions and traditional Catholic practices that neither of us grew up with, but we wanted to share them with our children. So that we would leave a true legacy of faith for them. Early on, this meant learning right alongside them. For example, when my oldest was in Kindergarten, she learned the Prayer to St. Michael. And guess what? We learned it with her.
Our Faith Keeps on Giving
Over the years, I have likened the Catholic faith to receiving that special Christmas gift that keeps on giving. You know, that one big box that has another box and another box inside just waiting to be unwrapped and received.
This is the legacy of faith I want to pass onto the world through my children. I want them to know—and then share with others—that the true gift of faith is that we never really stop receiving it. There is always more to learn, understand, discover, and experience. God is constantly taking us deeper, higher, or to a new, exciting place we have never been before. And it makes our experience with Him “ever ancient, ever new” (St. Augustine)
Returning to Tradition
I experienced this reality in a powerful way in the Summer of 2020. That August, I had a strong desire to know more about the Traditional Latin Mass.
A dear friend, who lives nearly 2,000 miles away from me, prayerfully encouraged me and answered all my questions. She even sent me a little Traditional Latin Mass care package and helped me find a TLM parish only eight minutes from my house.
As I began to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, I discovered a new depth and richness of the Catholic faith that I didn’t know existed. While it was new, it also felt familiar. It instantly affirmed within me a sense of Catholic heritage, inheritance, and a place of belonging in God’s family.
Was there a learning curve? Absolutely.
But it didn’t take long to enter into the solemn rhythm of the sacred liturgy. The silence captivated my attention. The reverence moved me to enter into the mystery more deeply. The profound words of the prayers; the amount of Scripture that is incorporated. All of it made me wonder, “Where has this been all my life?”
And I guess I don’t want my children to wonder this when they are my age. I want them to know their Catholic heritage, the inheritance they received at Baptism that has been passed down through the power of the Holy Spirit by the apostles, martyrs, and saints. I want them to imagine how their favorite saints observed Mass and that it is the same Mass that they observe. Because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
This is the legacy of faith I hope to leave in this world. So we can “redeem the time” through true devotion, deep prayer, and timeless tradition(Ephesians 5:16).
Copyright 2022, Sarah Damm
Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her at sarahdamm.com.
Our Novena Prayers for the Holy Souls In Purgatory
*May be prayed in a cemetery or from home
We’ll be using this gem I discovered in the Pieta Prayer booklet. While it is intended for praying at cemeteries (staying in your car counts), it can be done from home or at church. I have done it for years, and try to attend Mass each day as well! I love walking around the cemetery, prayerfully reading each name while I recite the following Novena Prayers:
- Five Apostle’s Creeds;
- One Hail, Holy Queen;
- One each of the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer), Hail Mary and Glory be; &
- Conclude with Requiem Prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen.