I set the Altar Missal this morning before Mass. I enjoy doing that. When I get time, I also sit down to read the Proper texts. Today's Introit was easy-peasy, as was the Gradual and Alleluia, but I stumbled when I read the Epistle. St Paul wrote: ''Fratres: Humanum dico...'' which looked to me like ''Brothers: I say 'of men;''' Humanum looked to me like the Genitive Plural...Father told me it was the wrong Declension! It was actually quite hard to render into English, as the Latin was a direct translation of the Greek (rather like the Asperges, where it says ''et super nivem dealbabor'' - which is not great Latin). After Mass, he got out one of his Greek Bibles, and a commentary, and we sorted the problem (well he did actually, my contribution was pointing out that I recognised Θεός!) . I can't remember what the Greek said, but it was gracious of him to take the time to sort it for me.
I kind of like Erasmus' idea that moral and linguistic purity interpenetrate; and that therefore the acquisition of a real Classical education, grounded in Latin (and Greek - alas, still to come for me) is not only intellectually stimulating, but a moral activity. It is a great privilege to know Latin, even if it is very little. It is also one of the reasons I love the Latin Mass - not just for the profundity and mystery, but the aesthetic and ''intellectual'' quality too. I heard today's Gospel and understood - at least the words of the Latin took shape in my mind in an ineffable way; the feeling was somewhat reminiscent of Frodo's experience of hearing the Exiles chant their song to Elbereth in the woods of the Shire. Frodo knew little Elvish (and the little he knew came from Bilbo) but the words of that song were strung together into fair visions in his mind. The feeling is blunted, though, in the New Rite - where everything is verbose and understanding paramount.