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Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family

Date

October 30, 2007

All Hallow’s Eve


October 31st marks All Hallow’s Eve. For most of us, we fondly remember our childhood…anxiously awaiting the time that we would don our costumes and venture into the cold, frosty evening to beg for candy from our friends and neighbors.

Times have changed. Many families have opted to avoid acknowledging All Hallow’s Eve, opting for All Saint’s Day celebrations and Fall Festivals at local Protestant churches. While all of these endeavours are noteworthy and laudable, I’m a bit concerned by what I see as a trend to “turn-over” one day of the year to the forces of evil and bow to the pressures of political correctness.

Until recently, I lived for many years in a predominately Protestant community. I’ve seen the effects of the demonization of All Hallow’s Eve. I’ve been presented with the Jack Chick tracts. I’ve witnessed the first hand campaign and political pressure that local churches have placed upon officials to suppress the observance of All Hallow’s Eve.

Recently, I’ve watched the Muslim community (with near success) lobby to have both Christmas and All Hallow’s Eve suppressed at a local school in Illinois, finally accepting the addition of Ramadan to the holiday observances.

These are not the actions of the satanists, wiccans or pagans.

In the past, it was the practice of the Holy Roman Catholic Church to take a pagan holiday and Christianize it. It seems that the tide has turned. We have now given over this day. Joining the ranks of Protestants and Muslims, our boycott has all the appearance of a surrender. Interestingly enough, the day we have given over, October 31st, isn’t the day that satanists have chosen as their “feast”…here is a quote from the Vatican’s chief exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth:

“Here it is on Christmas Eve that the Satanists have their orgies. Nothing happens on October 31. But if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.”

I don’t believe I would ever wish any of my children to dress as witches and devils, but it is easy to grasp the point that Fr. Amorth is making. (Remember: this is the same Fr. Amorth who is vehemently opposed to the Harry Potter books. He is intensely concerned with the protection of souls.) From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.” (Catechism, #2116)

So…this year the Knights of the Crusade will be trick-or-treating yet again. St. Joan of Arc will proudly carry her sword. St. Elizabeth of Hungary will gracefully accept “contributions”. We are reclaiming All Hallow’s Eve. A band of saints with plastic swords and crowns. A powerful witness, nonetheless!

Un-cool…

Un-cool. A play on words. Uncle/un-cool. Several years ago, this was my dear daughter Meredith’s pet name for her Uncle.

He is everything BUT un-cool. Incredibly intelligent, articulate and handsome. Rapier wit and artistic as well. A computer genius (he just rescued 7 GB of data trapped in an old computer for five years…all of my youngest daughter’s baby pictures.) And I love him dearly.

This weekend, he took time out from his extremely busy schedule to visit with his nieces and nephews, showering them with so many gifts. The most precious gift amongst the toys and trinkets…him. His time.

The visit, though short, so clearly reveals how tight the ties that bind a family together. Each child vied for his attention. Wanted to sit beside him, hold his hand.

Racing to the woods…what fun! He did everything he could to make each child aware of his loving regard for them as individuals. With much sorrow, we said goodbye.

The miles between us are not so very many. Like most people who love one another, what separates us is not space, but time. The promises to “stay in touch” and spend more time together–these good intentions are often only that…intentions. I’ve not done my part as often as I should to tell him how much I love him. To call him. To email him.

I’m going to change that.

I have one brother. Just one. No sisters. It is my hope that my children will take note, my desire to maintain these ties. That by loving my brother better; they will do the same.

Brothers and sisters…love one another. Stick together.

I love you, brother!

BTW…thanks for the absolutely rocking computer! A 25 in. monitor! The bells! The whistles! It is truly sweeet! But not as sweet as you ;-D!

Gareth’s First Holy Communion

The Feast Of Christ The King…what a day to celebrate Gareth’s First Holy Communion! Words will simply not suffice. The pictures tell such a lovely story. Here, our young man meets his King at the altar, for the very first time. How small he seemed, as he bravely strode forward. His confidence and excitement were so very touching. His greatest desire now? To serve the Holy Mass! Next week, he will don the cassock and surplice for the first time and will be allowed to sit in choir. May God grant that his enthusiasm remain strong, throughout his life.

A Little White Host

by St. Therese of Lisieux

Oh! we how with each morning’s light

Jesus, the Child divinely fair,

Into a little snow-white host

Transforms Himself, that you may share

His life; and yet with greater love,

He longs to change you into Him.

Your heart His precious treasure is,

His happiness, His joy supreme.

Noel! Noel! from heaven He comes,

To fill your soul with glorious light;

The Lamb of God to you descends,

Now be His pure white host to-night!

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