Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Halloween: Be unafraid. Be very unafraid.

Resting in Pisa. (Sorry! Couldn't resist.)
Well, it was a relief to see Father Steve Grunow's post at Word on Fire about why Catholics should be unafraid of Halloween. And not even just a "let's all dress up like saints and pretend it's not Halloween-Halloween," but the blessed Catholic "both/and"--without the macabre exaggerations. He does a lot of demythologizing of the (recent) demythologizing of Halloween as only, always and ever a thoroughly pagan observance. I certainly learned a lot.

Here in England (as in Italy), you don't have to look too hard to find the way death and the supernatural realm were looked at (and at times tweaked) in centuries past. Perhaps if we had more depictions like these in our churches, the twisted depictions would just fall flat.
From the Campo Santo (cemetery) beside the cathedral in Pisa.

St Alban, martyr.

The early and medieval Christians seemed to really get it that God is in charge, and not the forces of chaos or violence or whatever else seems at the moment to spell doom and disaster, failure and loss. It is already all worked out for the good, "for the spread of the Gospel," Paul wrote when he was in a particularly uncomfortable spot.

Whatever it is, it is all already ordered to the complete establishment of God's reign. There is nothing to be afraid about. Not even on Halloween.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought Fr. Grunow's post was the best I've ever read on the subject. My husband and I learned a lot from it and made our observance of these hallowed days more meaningful. I have a rosary with little carved skulls for Paters, something I use especially for prayer during the month of November and whenever I pray for the dead. We need to rediscover the many riches of our faith, what a wealth there is to draw upon! - Jean