Today is Friday the Thirteenth. This is not the same kind of holiday as Halloween, it lacks the roots in all kinds of deep Pagan traditions and the ties to major Catholic Christian holidays still celebrated within a few days. It is not a day which is the same kind of thing as some day dedicated to a full-fledged and living set of terrors or celebrations of a dark cult. it is a day to think of the weird, skewed, unlucky and creepy if you live in a milieu which will note such things.
I am really getting this post out too late to matter and it will be too short to matter much. I will just sneak it in under the wire with a few thoughts for next time. One thing that I feel is really true about our era is that a great number of very large adjustments in society and the world and people’s lives are going on all at once. The change in Christianity as it exists in Protestantism differs from the change in Orthdox and Catholic traditions. But it seems to me that as a whole Christians are more and more afraid to see in their faith tradition that strand which is mysterious and careful and nuanced and aware in dealing with spiritual darkness and evil. In my experience that stuff has real risks for a church. But I also believe it has very often been the case that those most aware of such aspects of the Faith were the greatest warriors for pure light and truth.
I am tapping this out without quotes but you can look this up or trust me. The New Testament is careful to exhort us to show respect for devils who are fallen angels and beyond the comprehension of fools. An epistle writer cites an extracanonical book in which St. Michael says “May the Lord rebuke you!” in struggling with Satan over Moses’s body. This is the language of a respectful adversary. St. Paul in addressing the Areopagus speaks partly of pagan religions and their gods themselves when he says that God spoke to the generations before Christ in varied and fragmentary ways. Jesus called his Passion and Crucifixion “The Hour of Darkness” as a time in which evil forces had the right in some real heavenly law to be in control.
So what does all that matter?
Well it seems there is a huge market for thinking art and entertainment about this stuff of dark and evil forces. Christians seem to be losing an edge. Catholic church proceeding never require a Devil’s Advocate under law any more. Protestantism is marked by those who disbelieve in evil forces of the Satanic type, those who find them uninteresting and those who trivialize and insult them. Obviously I am oversimplifying and being negative as I so often am. However, Look at film, music, video and other things and ask if we are even slightly holding our own as makers of popular culture in this regard. I do not think we are and I think that this has consequences.