Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Please Explain!

Coming home from my two days off, I was greeted by a decoration on our convent door which says "Happy Halloween!" I looked at it with a small degree of disbelief thinking "what is a pagan sign doing on a convent door?" I explained it away by thinking that this was done for fun and more because of a long held custom from times past. But I believe it to be inappropriate for a religious community to do. I can take pleasure in watching kids dress up as Saints or fairies or cartoon characters. But I find the part of Satan, vampires, witches, grim reaper, goblins and other characters of darkness, objectionable and pagan. When I see front yards decorated as cemeteries or haunted houses, I cannot find a reasonable excuse to make me comment with admiration. There is always a fascination with indulging one's imagination. And part of Halloween is exactly that- imaginative impersonation. We have taken the "hallow (holy)" away and made it into a "hollow (shallow)" secular, business enterprise! But maybe we can redeem it by emphasizing more on the uplifting and imaginative, more than the dark and evil. Some cultures celebrate October 31st as a preparation to remember the faithfully departed. That is more Christian than the re-incarnation of Salem witchcraft. That is just a small beef on my part!

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