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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


There will be no 'trick or treat' at our house on 'Halloween.'

We no longer participate in Halloween for various reasons. I say participate because it is no longer a celebration of anything. What I think it has become is something far more sinister.

When I was a little boy, Halloween was a day to dress up in some kind of costume, go out into the neighborhood, and collect a lot of candy. The costumes were amateur, being thrown together at the last minute. This is how it was, and in time I grew to be too mature to dress up and say 'trick or treat' at the neighborhood houses. The late comedian Erma Bombeck had made a list of criteria for when you are too old to trick or treat, and I had satified the majority of them. God bless her, and may God have mercy on her soul.

Then in the nineties, I started taking my own kids out on Halloween. Things had changed, as a lot of the 'hero' costumes seemed to have been replaced by evil creatures for the boys, and scandalous women outfits for the girls. I should have had some idea of the change, as I recall a sermon I heard when I was twenty; one of those sermons where the priest asks for audience participation:

Father: "What did you dress up as for Halloween?"
Girl: "A nurse."
Boy #1: "A fireman."
Boy #2: "A melting face."

I don't think Father ever polled the congegration again.

Anyways, Halloween became less of a 'so what are you, young man?' to a long line of corpses, ghosts, devils, and other assorted sinister creatures streaming past our front door. And we would take our children out among this.

Trick or treating ended the year I took four or five of the oldest children out, only to have them freeze at a front step of a neighbor's house because the person who answered the door was dressed as a devil. When we turned to leave(without candy) we saw more evil creatures coming up the sidewalk behind us. The noisykids panicked, grabbing my legs, and started screaming. I swore I would never go out trick or treating again.

While we still live in a neighborhood, we tried to be good neighbors and continued to hand out candy. Even that got to be too much, as the ghoulish things that came to our door were getting worse every year. A lot o our neighbors really went overboard, with morbid displays of cemeteries, gravestones, and other symbols of death littering the front yard. Some even had soundtracks that included such noises as moans, groans, and screams.

I got the impression that Halloween has become a way to pre-condition people to what hell must be like. Why else would death, or better yet, a culture of death, be promoted so strongly? I get the impression that after living in such a culture of death, hell would be just another step along the journey. And that leads to the final reason we do not participate in Halloween festivities.

We are Catholic, and we are here to celebrate the culture of life. On November 1, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. That is a tremendous holiday; it is even a holy day of obligation. On that day we thank God for the gift of His love and graces poured out upon the world, and in particular we celebrate the lives of the men and women who said 'yes' to God and served Him on earth. The closest we get to the dead is on November 2, when we pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed. This is not some morbid activity, but rather an act of love for those in Purgatory who may benefit from our prayers. It is also an act of hope, since we pray for the dead knowing that thay can do the same for us when they reach heaven, and knowing that those we leave behind will pray for us after we are dead.

There is one thing associated with this time of year that is good. Here is a picture of it:

An orange-colored snowball. A snowball is a coconut-covered layer of marshmallow, surrounding a chocolate cake with a creamy center. Totally organic and nutritious. You can almost taste it, just brimming with goodness!

They make GREEN ones around St. Patrick's Day!

If you do show up at this blog to trick or treat, we will remember you when we pray our daily Rosary.

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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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