Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

And then the aftermath….

Walking on the CUA campus this morning, I quickly saw little pieces of pumpkin shell on the ground. At first, it was only one pumpkin; but the closer I got to the student center to get my morning coffee, the more smashed pumpkins I saw laying all over the ground.

 I’ve never been able to understand the appeal of such destructive behavior. I cannot see any fun in making an act of aggression.

Yet, nature has a way of reminding me of its simple ways of countering aggression. Birds are all around the campus, flying through the sky, finding the pumpkin remnants of Halloween night as a great and bountiful feast.


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I really like Halloween.

It’s not an Eastern Catholic celebration (All Saints for us is the Sunday after Pentecost). Nonetheless, it’s a very traditional celebration, one which goes back to pre-Christian times. Many different peoples saw this time of the year to be the end of the year itself. The annual cycle reached its end. Summer and its fruitfulness is gone. Indeed, death has claimed for itself a power over the earth itself. The realm of the living and the realm of the dead, normally separated from each other, meet, just as the end of one year meets the new year.

No wonder, with such rich imagery, that the Church in her wisdom decided to incorporate it in her celebrations. The Western celebration of All Saints and All Souls reflect this ancient understanding, but baptizes it, showing how even pre-Christian intuitions can be taken up in Christ and given a new, greater value. There is now a sense of hope, a sense of glory for the day. Because Christ has conquered Hades, because Christ has conquered death through his death, we no longer have to fear its power over us. We might die but we can live eternally in Christ. 

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