Halloween has just ended, so has All Saints Day and All Souls day will conclude today. However, tomorrow there will still be a lot of “boo who’s” still being said, as the Election in America takes place.
I hope that we “Vote” for “Life and for the Economy” if we relinquish these it will be painful; and, we will lose the fidelity that exists between the people and our Constitution.
Secular and cultural celebrations overshadow the religious holidays on which they are based, much like on Christmas eve and Christmas.
The end of October is no different, American culture celebrates Halloween on October 31, which overshadows All Saints Day on Nov 1 and All Souls Day on November 2. Maybe not so strangely we elect our leaders at the end of these celebrations?
You know, our English vocabulary is 26% Germanic, 29% French, 29% Latin, 6% from Greek and the remaining 10% from other languages and proper names, i.e. the word “boo”.
Therefore, we have an unusual double vocabulary, with many words based on German roots but others based on Latin roots. Like the Germanic word “abandon” and its Latin pair, “relinquish,” or “ache” vs. “pain” and “allegiance” vs. fidelity”. The word hallow is German and is much less familiar to us than the parallel word from Latin, which is saint.
Halloween could be said “the evening of All Saints Day, or, a celebration in anticipation of All Saints Day, since the “-een” refers to “eve”, which is short for evening.
Some object to the Catholic custom of celebrating certain saints and giving them special attention. Aware that there are liturgical days commemorating individual saints, they want to know why there aren’t celebrations for all the other people in heaven.
In the book of Revelation the Apostle John states: After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10)
Since there are only 365 days in the year, not every person in heaven can have their own day, but they should still be recognized, even those who’s salvation is known only to God.
In the Western Church of Rome, Pope Gregory III (731-741) dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to all the saints and fixed its anniversary as November 1.
About 100 years later, Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended this celebration to the whole of the Western Church, called All Hallows Eve.
Republicans and Democrats disagree on so many things; but most, will recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and when we do, we profess belief in our constitutional democracy. Catholics and Protestants disagree about various matters too; however, both say the “Apostles’ Creed” and when we do so, we profess belief in “the communion of saints.”
The whole body of the saints in heaven—Watch, as we dress up sometimes in silly, sometimes spooky costumes and say “boo!” a lot. You have to admit, it’s hard to know what is proper regarding how to dress and address the dearly departed. We eat too much candy but at least we acquired it for free. Free like the grace God gives us, paid for by someone else. That would be Jesus paying the price for Grace, your neighbor paid for the baby Snickers. The result for both is a new body. On earth it’s a poor trade because it’s a fatter body with bad teeth, the Saint’s however, have received a perfect body and therefore we’re jealous? So, next year on All Hallows Eve, you might think more seriously about the meaning of the word “boo!” Or, would that be “boo who?”
The Saints help us to keep our vision upward, because when we stop looking up toward God, we develop a “horizontal viewpoint”. Our thoughts, attitudes and actions become dominated by the daily headlines and we lose that heavenly insight of these most important words. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” And then, our focus begins to sink in the “muck” as this horizontal perspective turns downward and we fail to remember. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Ain’t it so!
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