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Why On Earth Should I Learn Latin? – Introduction

My paternal grandfather was a great fan of Latin. Apparently he used to wax lyrical about the construction of the language – until the day Daddy chose it as an A-level subject. At that point, I believe Grandad decided it was ridiculous to choose a ‘dead language’ instead of something more useful and decided that his son should be studying Maths instead.

Before starting to suggest formation roses pertaining to on the Latin Language, it seems to me that it is a good idea to establish a firm foundation as to why we, as Catholics (who probably for the most part pray in the vernacular), should bother. Otherwise, doing so risks being a nice sentimental idea that at best seems like a good idea when we have spare time on our hands – but quickly presents as an obsolete effort once other, seemingly more useful or practical pastimes present. In short – we need to be grounded in our convictions than my grandad was!

This introductory Rose, therefore, seeks to explore just why a Catholic (perhaps) should learn Latin. We live in a world that tends towards an inordinate prizing of what is perceived to be efficiency, all the while measuring the same by secular empirical standards. That doesn’t help us to be open to the merits of learning a ‘dead language’! If nothing else, and whatever one decides about further study, I hope that exploring the reasons the Church proposes its use to us will be an incentive to slow down and listen to an aspect of what Tradition has to say to us on the subject of prayer – on terms that are not our own. As such, simply posing the question with an open heart should stand to pull our hearts a little towards a greater magnanimity and our minds towards a more objectively framed engagement with the truth.

Whether or not either of those ends are met by the demands of this rose will be for one who has completed it to judge, so without further ado let’s get started:

Faith FormationThree Reasons To Learn Latin
Objective Explore Three Reasons why a Catholic might want to learn to pray in the Latin Language.
Seedtime1 hour (3 x blog posts with videos included, each about 20 minutes total)
Feedtime1 hour (3 x 20 minute study segments – one for each blog post)
DirectiveSimply work through the blogs. As you come to a study task at the end of each, commit 20 minutes to engaging with the material.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

Before we begin I want to make a brief note regarding the sources, videos, documents and my own personal writing style used in this rose. There’s potentially something (or someone) in this rose to alienate most people… Too traditional, too innovative, too rigid, too silly – whatever. I make no apology for this in and of itself. Latin is the universal language of the Roman Catholic Church and as such it seems to me an argument for using it should transcend any divisions within Her walls (and be somewhat impervious to those without). I’ve tried here simply to present and support three reasons, using the best arguments or explanations I could find for each. Whilst objective improvements to the arguments are welcomed, I would ask that you don’t write off (or fight with) a point made simply on account of who is quoted or how it is presented.

This Rose involves working through three potential reasons for a Catholic to learn Latin. Each has its own blog post and all three must be worked through in order to complete the Rose. Here are the reasons:

Reason #1 – Efficacy

Reason #2 – The Significance and Honouring of Culture

Reason #3 – Universality

3 thoughts on “Why On Earth Should I Learn Latin? – Introduction

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