Many of those interested in or involved with Catholic Traditional rites, doctrine, and practices are converts - and many more are cradle Catholics who discovered Tradition. In both cases, texts have usually played a large role in the conversion or discovery of Tradition.
In the case of this particular convert, two books were foremost.
|Fr. Alberto Colunga, O.P.|
One, before any other, was discovered by accident, long ago.
One day, while conducting research in a very large and very secular library, I came upon a different book. The strange thing was that it was a tome in a foreign language about a matter to which I had not given greater consideration: it was volume 6 of the 16-volume bilingual edition of the Summa prepared by the Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (BAC) in the 1950s. The texts that attracted me and which I could not stop reading were the introductions to the Treaty on the Law (I-II, q. 90-97), and the introductions to each question, all written by Fr. Carlos Soria, O.P.; and the introductions to the text and questions to the Treaty on the Ancient Law (I-II, q. 99-108), all written by Fr. Alberto Colunga, O.P. (Colunga, by the way, would be a name that would appear again when discovering the Vulgate, in the famous Colunga-Turrado edition, also published by BAC and the base text of the Clementine Vulgate to which we have linked since the early days of the blog.) I was fascinated by their description of a moral order that seemed to make perfect sense, and presented a whole version of the moral order superior to anything ever proposed by Protestantism. Colunga's introductions also showed how biblical Catholicism could be, which can be quite a surprise for a Protestant raised to believe the opposite. There are few things more beautiful than Order and no faith presents and teaches it like Catholicism
The second one was... Dom Gaspar Lefebvre's "St. Andrew Daily Missal". It still is my favorite hand missal simply because it was the book that introduced me to the Traditional Latin Mass, even before I had ever been to one.
So, what were the books that first made you consider conversion or, if you already were a Catholic, made you see Traditional rites, practices, customs in a new light? Please, feel free to suggest books in any language and from any time period.