These are holy days, days to contemplate death and the next life, because there is a next life whether you want it or not, whether you believe in it or not, whether you are ready for it or not. As the old scripture goes, “Set in order thy house, for you shall die, and not remain among the living.” Sobering thought.
Days To Reflect on Death
We begin with a rather light hearted treatment of the deep reality with a semi-pagan feast that was once quite Catholic: All Hallow’s Eve, or the vigil of All Saints Day. It has devolved in to pretty much a witchy event with costumes and witches and trick or treats, but still, in my book, it’s a lot of fun and still despite itself a festival of preparation.
I like to dress like a tall gray haired witch and scare people. You don’t usually see six foot four witches, especially walking along with you or standing like a statue so that people have to try to guess whether you are a “real person” or a manikin. I have a ball on Halloween and will this year.
Then comes all Saints day when you greet everyone you see with, “Happy Feast Day,” since just about everyone now-a-days is a saint or at least thinks he is. And many are, especially the members of my family and my friends. All Saints day morphs into All Souls day at about vesper time and becomes the day when we all remember the dead.
I always loved the sudden and somber total and dramatic change in the monastery from the glorious, colorful all-white second vespers of All Saints into the first vespers of All Souls, when suddenly the white candles were changed for dark beeswax, the white vestments changed for black, the catafalque set in the center of the sanctuary in funereal black and the long procession to the cemetery chanting the Miserere and the De Profundis recitation of other prayers for the dead entombed under slabs of Indiana sandstone. It would usually manage to get dark and cold and windy as we circled the cemetery, five or six hundred -hundred monks, clerics and seminarians.
How many souls we prayed for. And how many of those then praying back fifty years ago are now gone from among the living.
Pray for Mercy
All Saints day harkens back to the seventh century when it was declared a holy day by St. Boniface the IV. Halloween is, incidentally, a one-day affair. We are someway amazed that for some now, it is beginning to stretch through October much like the Christmas Holidays. This is something new that we haven’t quite figured out.
We do however, always worry about the state of our own soul especially at this time of year, and we worry a great deal about the state of the souls of the abortionists, pornographers, and others who are professionally committed to living in serious sin as a matter of course.
We all have an accounting to make of our lives before a just and strict, though fortunately, merciful, God. Mock us as they may, each one of us — and them — will stand alone and defenseless before a Just Judge one of these days. That’s why I say a Rosary every day in which I include everyone from the Pope to the most abandoned sinner, including my enemies. I hope others are praying for me.
Try to attend at least part of the Festival of Faith at Navy Pier this weekend. We have three booths from our office alone: The Pro-Life Action League, Generations for Life and Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
Plan to attend also a magnificent event just across from the Albany abortion mill, where the 39-foot statue of the Millennium Virgin will be in place and Mass will be said and many prayers will be offered for the closing down of the abortion industry. You will be hearing much more about this important event sponsored by the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
You will also be invited to leaflet the neighborhood and join an old-time Picket of Albany Abortion Mill, all coming up soon. So stay tuned.