Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween and Elections, a Few Thoughts

Happy Halloween. Halloween as it exists in America is a time for celebrating the scarier parts of our unconscious and also other parts of the imagination with children.  This election season is for many Americans time of frightening realities and a scary walk and wait for adults. America is well populated with people who are afraid of Hillary as President and people who are afraid of Trump as President.  There are some who are not happy with either and this long post will discuss both Halloween and the elections as scary ritualistic events.

I have posted about Halloween here.  I also dealt with this day in the context of other days around this time just here. I have remembered that for me it was near my maternal grandfather’s birthday. I have also remembered the occasions of All Saints Day and All Souls Day which follow hard upon us.  The New Orleans Saints Football team was also founded on November first, the Feast of All Saints and of course the two things are related although how they are related is not so clear.    Family Missions Company and many of my family members usually have a Holy Ween Party with many traditional aspect of Halloween where the kids however costume as Saints while they bob for apples, get candy and play games . It is a rather beautiful and fun custom. All these events other costuming and the national celebration of Halloween make up the meaning of these days for me. The memories of those days are largely good ones as are the memories of many of the earlier days I spent Trick or Treating.  There have been plenty of bad memories as well.  But nothing really terrible is closely associated in my mind with these days.

This particular Halloween 2016 is one of those days which is not all together one thing for me and not all together another. It is a day when the weight of many problems ways down upon me but the weights, worries and regrets are offset by other aspects of my life. Nonetheless what is most notable about it is that it is Halloween. It is also the day after my deceased maternal grandfather’s birthday and the day before all Saints Day. But today, while trying to find out if the party is happening and perhaps drop in on it I will also be helping my aunt  with whom I share my grandparents house where she has been living for a long time recently and I have lived many times in the past. She will be giving  out candy during Abbeville’s official Trick or Treating hours between 6 and 8.    The town also has a  public access Scare on the Square in the late afternoon. That is my contact with the mainstream Halloween. The first picture posted below is not one of those pictures but I may add some pictures of the Square to the mix over time. There are quite a few decorated houses which have gotten elaborate. I might get a picture of one or two but probably not as to do them justice on really needs to go out at Trick or Treat time and I am not doing that.

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Among Cajuns  in the past the customs of these days varied from place to place. But generally some of the adolescent boys, in some cases united into societies that passed on their customs across generations and in other cases not in such an organized way raised a little hell on day we call Halloween. They went to houses and put skinnier and lighter cows on roofs and in barn lofts, made ghostly shapes and figures on window panes, howled like wolves and brought their dogs around to scare the farm animals but not enough to do serious harm.  Inside around the fire and stove there would be a few traditional treats and some scary stories. The loup garou  or Cajun werewolf tradition is not deeply tied to Halloween but it is tied to all things scary in this culture. I have posted about that tradition a little bit here and here in the glossary. The connection is available in music today, there are many things to be written or said about the  Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day  customs in the region without mentioning the werewolf tradition but one song of some significance  by a musician named Daigle is viewable here. . On the morning of Toute Saints or All Saints people would walk ride or drive through the village, town or region to see the mischief done. Then people would go to church for the feast of All Saints. After Mass in some communities there would be a feast and music in the cemetery so that people could wake up early and clean, repair and decorate their ancestors tombs on the feast of All Souls on November first. In most communities however people ate at home and got ready to go to the cemeteries on All Souls. Caring for the tombs and visiting with others doing so was the  main focus of Acadian and Cajun practices around this time of year. In some places it was customary for widows to remove their black shawl on the first All Souls Day after they finished one year of  mourning.  In other places the calendar year alone was the key for the end of all mourning dress. Courtships sometimes began between widows and those men repairing other tombs who would pay respect to the dead husband’s tomb before courting the widow. Only taces of all of those custms remain today. But all of these things are in my mind on these days.

I also grew up a good bit of my life in Mexico and remember the various customs of the Dia de Los Muertos — the Day of the Dead. I have spent significant time in cemeteries and changing out flowers and such around the tombs of family members but that has not been as associated with this time of year as I would ideally have liked it to be.  So that is a summary of what these four days in a row bring to mind most for me.

In Celtic tradition this was a time when the year passed from the light half to the dark half of the year and the dead  were free to move between realms through a sort of portal opened up by these occasions. the very early Christians (such as the Galatians to whom St. Paul wrote)   included many Celts. There were people of living  flesh and blood who took advantage of the time of spiritual and demonic activity to do some bad things. Jack O’ Lanterns and scary costumes have some connection to scaring off bad spirits and bad people in ancient Celtic society.  The Christians gave some Christian meaning to those cultural acts but the darkest and worst parts of paganism such as human sacrifice were woven together in the same symbolic language and the controversies have been ongoing from the earliest days.

To lump all of this together in a single post when more clever writers are discussing the elections is probably only another means of whittling away the tiny readership that I still have.  Perhaps the scaries Halloween reality for me is embodied in that reality related to this post and to the fact that I used to write a great deal for many thousands of folks and get paid. Now I am trying to embrace the career path I am on which will end with paying one person a great deal to read my work. It never hurts to know where you are heading. Like many writers over history I might do well to dress as an unpaid bill or perhaps a a literary agent. those are scary realities for sure.

But is there anything that can be said coherently about all of these varied faces of this time of the mysterious, the mortal and the unusual. For me the unusual and the little known ar not unique cetainlu to Halloween.  I have had an unusual life thus far. In it I have sailed small vessels, ridden horses, hiked, climbed, spent time and energy in  pretty exotic and secret places. Form Boucheries, to Hula dances, to cava and Haka ceremonies in Polynesia to teahouses in China — I have sought the insights of the treasured common ceremony. My own life as a Christian every day  has been wrapped about with a number of secrets. Now I am in the process of revealing a few of them. Of course the Catholic Sacraments are described by the Latin word “Sacramentum” but also by the Greek word “Mysterion”, the same word translates as mistery. Catholics pass into the sacred mysteries at different phases of Christian life and the human lifecycle. They gain spiritual insight, renewal and energy.

I never pledged a college Greek Fraternity. I got a bid from the TKE chapter at Steubenville but declined it, I was honored but unable to take on the commitment and I was committed to a household that had few secret aspects to its initiation.  But there have been rituals that have been part of my life beyond church. I have posted a good bit about Mardi Gras, here and here for example. Besides the  Carnival and the  Official Christian Catholic mysteries, I remember being bloodied after a significant kill and bloodying young boys after a first kill — this is an important hunting ritual that I have seen in many forms. I remember fathering my hunting cap for the first kill of significant desirable duck or geese species like mallards, pintails, specks and snows. Then somehow I remember my first time at a bar after a rugby game, my first byline in print, my first time in a deep pool cave where sun never shines, my first time in a bat filled cave and a weta cave. Drinking and caves also remind me of other drinking rituals and not all involving alcohol or drinking cava in ceremonies on the Pacific isles. I remember getting a driver’s license and learning how to use computers — in both processes there were real initiation rituals and the car is extremely dangerous in many ways. Like a lot of people there were many milestones on the way. Somehow I got involved with some rarer and more exotic ones. When I was a teacher at St. Thomas More High School one of the classes that I taught was the Junior year “Sacraments and Morality” year. Both the editors of the textbook and I chose to show how rituals like birthday parties and Friday night football games were formative for young people learning the language and practice of rituals that they would use in Confirmation, the celebration of their weddings and the celebration of Mass.

For some people the politics of this election cycle are a bit of a mystery.  The cycle does not fit with their view of the way things should be and their ideas of what is normal in America. For some people much of life is a mystery, but many still hope for candidates from both parties that feel transparent and normal. Spies, detectives, lawyers and clerics keep lots of their life’s work hidden form many people who know them. I have known prophets, witches, mystics, shamaans, monks of various faiths, nuns, vampires and members of secret orders of knights. Some people would argue that virtually none of these people can exist. But nobody can argue that Anthony Weiner’s laptop full of Hillary’s email and his own problems exists. Nobody doubts Trump has said and done tings on record which many Americans consider abnormal or scary. these are our major choices this year. Neither Hillary nor trump were my choice this year.  I believe in the duty of citizens and I did my duty.

I voted. I voted yes on all but one of the Constitutional Ammendments — although I had less conviction than is ideal. I voted for Marilyn Castle for Supreme Court. Both seem qualified but she is very well qualified and I found her husband a decent boss back in 1989. I voted for Charles Boustany in the packed Senate Race. I selected Scott Angelle for Congress. Mike Francis for Public Service Commissioner and for the big finale….

I have voted for a third party or independent candidate once in a while but never for the Presidency. I voted for Keniston. I do not apologize for it and give him a limited endorsement:

Who is Chris KenistonChris Keniston is a family man, a patriot, a veteran but more importantly he is an American that will work for the people. Get to know Chris and…
CHRISKENISTON2016.COM

I believe in the basic claims of Christianity and in differences between good and evil outside of the question of whether something is Christian or not Christian. By no means would I put contemplative Carmelites and human sacrificing demon worshippers on the same moral plane. However, both groups like their privacy, both like to use symbolic language and both can be communities with long traditions that are well known to insiders and little known to outsiders. Discussion of what Halloween, All Saints Day  and All Souls Day mean are tied to the problems that exist across any tradition f rituals and secrets tied also to public celebrations.  I would urge that, if you have never thought about it, you realize that metaphors can be made real on film and effects are used to sell tickets. Halloween does not answer all our questions about the scary beings portrayed in some costumes  just as Real nuns don’t fly or seem like characters in “Sister Act” but you would recognize real nuns from either “The Flying Nun” series with Sally Fields or from Sister Act. I have had the time, desire and guts to get into a whole lot of varied mysteries. Sex and love are of course among the greatest mysteries and none of us exhaust them.

I have taken up too much time and space to discuss the other things I wanted to discuss. But we have concerns at the holiday and on election day. I will do my best to cope with each.

A Friday the Thirteenth Look at Evil…

Today is Friday the Thirteenth. There are ancient roots of the superstitions related to this day as it is currently noted. However,  while thirteen has long and broadly been a scary number and Friday is the day that Jesus died the combination of Friday and the thirteenth as both scary and unlucky is not so old in its current organized fashion. However,  as long as it has existed as an association it has been a bit associated with evil and also with the aspects of evil we find in the milieu which Americans especially describe as occult or related to the literary and cinematic context known as horror .  One of the most successful franchises of bloody horror films in American popular culture  is titled Friday the Thirteenth.  Another is called  Halloween both Friday the Thirteenth and Halloween were released on the dates indicated by their title. It may mean something that there were more Friday the Thirteenth Films (as I recall) although they did lose the title and the release connection over time. I am not so much a horror fan myself but the tradition is still relevant.
At midnight last night when the calendar began this Friday the Thirteenth the new movie in the Twilight series “New Moon” was released. This pursues the idea of war between vampires and werewolves which had almost disappeared from popular culture before the making of the Underworld movies with Kate Beckinsale. For a glimpse at the pre-historical background behind the fiction see my earlier posts here on this blog.   
 
 and also
 
 
I have not read the Twilight books nor seen the movie the New Moon but I did see the first Twilight movie. and it is a quality piece of film. I am disturbed by the making of vampires into sex symbols of such importance but I do see the value of the moral and social messages, Kristen Stewart is beautiful in a way that is a more available sexual ideal in Bella than many characters and more humane as well for many girls. Now I think the werewolves hidden in the first movie may be revealed in an interesting way.  Many if not most of those going to see these movies in the United States would identify themselves as Christians and the creator-writer is a member of a body which while outside of conventional Christianity is tied to the Christian tradition — she is a Mormon.  So what is the appeal of these films and other aspects of the horror genre. Are they just bad,silly and spiritually dangerous?  
Twilight_star_Kristen_Stewart signing autographs

Kristen Stewart the Actress who Portrays Bella in the Twilight Series

 I am not really going to deal with films and literature outside the Gospels for the rest of this post. Nor am I going to deal effectively with all the issues of inculturating the Gospel into various countries and cultures with varied pagan roots.  The Facebook Note which makes up most of this post  is really largely a follow-up to my Veterans Day post from the day before yesterday. This post    https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/veterans-day/      had a related Facebook Note. They deal with Jesus and his experience which must define much of our view of Good and Evil even for those who are not Christians and simply wish not to be ignorant fools — because of his cultural influence. So here is my Facebook Note.    

 Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 4:09pm | 
There is always the question of evil isn’t there…. The question of evil haunts all of us. Many, many people do not believe in evil. I know that, nonetheless, the question of evil haunts them too. Anyone who reads my notes knows that I value being a Christian very highly. I did not say that I was a very good Christian — those are separate issues in very many ways. But one of the primary reasons that I value my identity as a follower of Jesus Christ is because of how he dealt with evil. The question of evil has a huge draw on my attention. I am palpably and intensely aware of evil. Jesus Christ is the place where goodness interfaces most intensely with evil in my experience. The Christianity that is all about us does not always remind me of Jesus in that way although sometimes it does. Nor do I myself always remind myself of Jesus in that way although sometimes I do.

I see a tremendous and powerful amount of evil in many people who are very confident that they are good people and whose friends all say so. I see a powerful and forceful flow of evil in groups and institutions that many regard highly. I certainly see some evil in myself. I know that I am more polite to many people even in my more cussed middle-aged than many others have been to them and I respect many institutions others detract from — and yet in some cases I see huge evil lurking in these people and institutions and never doubt that it is present and active through the agency of these people and groups. So when they are around me at least, the question of evil (as opposed to evil itself) does haunt them. It haunts them in my reactions.

Evil is by its nature a very tricky sort of subject. It is not the kind of thing that one would expect to yield up all it secrets without struggle. Jesus confronted evil. Christians may disagree about many things but the truth is that all those who are not merely impostors find some significant part of the goodness of Jesus Christ in that he confronted evil. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark all recount a special instance of Jesus’s confrontation with evil once he had been baptized by his cousin John and been specially recognized by some manifestation of the Holy Spirit. St. Mark’s account is a good place to start for anyone who does not know or does not remember the Scriptures or life of Christ very well.

Mark 1: 12-13 simply states:
At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert forty days tempted by Satan. He was among the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him.

That, one might say, is the basic framework of what happened. Devils, The Spirit, angels and wild beasts are at the extremes of naming and here they all are together. Jesus went through some kind of very powerful and very real experience which is left as a mystery. Mark’s is the shortest gospel. It is he who gives us the briefest account of this event. We tend to overlook some of the big claims of the gospels and some of its big language because it is so familiar to us. One part we overlook is the idea that Jesus lost himself in the temple one Passover as an older child and amazed all the doctors and teachers of the law. Prior to his baptism this is one of the last things which the Gospels tell us about him. The Great Temple was an overwhelming place and the schools that met in its porticoes and courts were outstandingly rich and deep in scholarship. Sometimes I think that if there were any real Bible believers in the vast and varied world of professional Christian scholarship there would be book every few years about that one story. That story is related to that of the Testing and Temptation in the Desert. I will attempt to explain how.

The finding of Jesus in the Temple is one of the stories from oral tradition and what might be called pamphlets from which the Gospel writers wrote the story of Jesus. However, the Baptism and the Temptation in the Desert are part of the prologue of the Book of Signs. In the Prologue there was the Mysterion which was the first section and the Revelation which is the Baptism and Temptation more or less. As I recall the tradition I learned is that the book had 12 signs and they were less coded and concealed than the Gospels but the Mysterion had an exhortation to all writing copies to code the stories of each pearl to protect it from swine. The first sign was the wedding in Cana, the second was the Calming of the Storm, the third was the Demons and Swine, the fourth was the first Feeding, the fifth was the second Feeding (which the Gospels do not mention), the sixth was the Walking on Water,
the seventh was the third Feeding, the seventh was the Prediction of the Passion which in the Book of Signs Jesus makes at the site of a group of crucified Zealots, The Eighth was the entry into Jerusalem, the Ninth was The Devil approaches Judas, The ninth was the Cleansing of the Temple, The tenth was the Speech of the Living Waters, the eleventh was the Preparation of the Room and the Twelfth was the Last Supper. This book had a significant influence on all the canonical Gospel writers. Of all books ever written from original sources, mostly the writer’s experience of having known Jesus and the witness of his own known associates who had known Jesus, it had the most information about Jesus as a warrior.

To know what Jesus had been doing in the desert it is useful to understand the narrative of the Temple. That is simply the truth it is a very important story. We are told in another infancy narrative that Jesus went into Egypt as a child to avoid the persecution of Herod the Great. We are told also that he was visited by Wise men from the East. What the story of the boy Jesus in the temple tells us is that almost two decades before his public ministry Jesus was already very well-educated.

Jesus’s family arrived in Egypt with a valuable skill, gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They were a literate family with a royal pedigree and an indescribable set of recent experiences. The Great Synagogue of Alexandria was open to them directly and the The Great Library of Alexandria was open to them indirectly. They arrived there at a time when another group of persons who were not Roman Citizens were using, money eloquence and organization to increase library access to all — these were the Buddhist missionaries. I learned to read at two, Jesus had a much higher IQ than I do and his family were more royalist, strict and attentive to their own identity than mine. The child Jesus was steeped in a sense of destiny educated in carpentry, the skills of the House of David, a broad base of Judaica and yes also some Pagan and Buddhist learning. With the Buddhists and the Magi he also came to much knowledge from the far East. He would leave Egypt with a basic knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

Then he had some experience with his priestly relatives in Jerusalem. He had the study and dialog with the great minds of the Temple when he visited there. All of this he fermented, cultured and refined in a life of work, craft and culture in a small country town. A family resented for royal pretensions while living on more or less middle class means and being regular and ordinary members of the synagogue by most measures. Jesus had begun to attract some attention as a potential great rabbi and had some rabbinical training before he journeyed to be baptised by John. Joseph had sent him on errands to retrieve timbers and visit his own Davidic relatives. With these representatives of the House he learned to use the sling and the staff, to track the lion and the bear, to find water in the desert and use its rare herbs and resources he learned to sing the psalms and recite the promises and to adopt a royalist view of women. All this was done between a constant set of ordinary duties and so he never married. He began to refer to and hear his mother referred to as the Queen of his own world of associates and mysteries but to almost everyone he was only a good carpenter, a somewhat reserved bachelor and a lector at the synagogue.

The quiet young man had noticed that a famine was beginning in Galilee. Crops were failing, fish were dying, bandits were raiding and there were many troubles. He set off on a journey for many reasons but one was to find the source of this trouble. After being baptised by John and alone fasting and praying in the desert he found a source of these and many other woes.

It was significant that he went to see John and be baptised first. His cousin was a former Essene. There was a nexus of royalist, semi-Buddhist and Magi influences in nonetheless Jewish Israel. This was the Essene movement. Qumran and the great Dead Sea scrolls preserve of books are such a huge find that they have made modern people think that they were all that the Essenes were, but ancient libraries and organizations were different from modern ones. We know that some of John’s Followers were numbered among the twelve Apostles. As the young (but not so young) Jesus went into the desert he was followed a t a distance by a few men of great Essene learning. He was on the very short list of possible Messiahs they were watching in a crisis they saw brewing. Here the young man of perhaps thirty or so met a man more ancient than all but a few living in the world. A man who would introduce himself in Hebrew and Aramaic as Satan. Does this seem so unlikely and unusual? That is perhaps one of the costs of a vast and profound ignorance. No individual can overcome such a constructed ignorance fully alone.

When ordinary Roman troops attacked a country or civilization they often studied its religion and worshipped and propitiated its gods. Medals were struck and widely distributed honoring the local deities and these were worn by the Legions. But the Demons were far more sophisticated in religion than Rome. Their commander had learned the lore of dozens of dark cults and rites. He was the living incarnation of Pluto, Loki, Hades, perverter of Mithraism, Buddhism and many other cults. In entering Judea he channeled the force and persona of Satan. The Fallen Seraph, Corrupt Prosecutor at the Throne of God had vast knowledge of Scripture and so playing the role required some knowledge of Scripture. He had the wealth and resources to have such texts prepared for the rare occasions when he might meet a Jew worthy of a personal interview. Jesus met this impressive man who knew him from a network of spies.

What are the temptations of Christ?

They are the same three temptations in Matthew and Luke. The order of the second two varies but the oder of the first is the same, and in all of this there is a message. Jesus finds Satan near his assembling Demon administration in a remote redoubt in the harsh Judean desert. To find this would normally be death but Satan is sure that Jesus could be of great value to his enterprise. So he is offered a place in the administration. Help Satan turn the best fishermen of Galilee into meat and he and his family will be allowed to eat and live. The word “stone” or “rock” is most often used to describe one person in the Gospels — Peter. Peter was prominent fisherman already known to so observant a man as Jesus and he stands in for all those Satan would like to start capturing. Turning into pies and sausages those who produced the most food in the first Jewish target. Causing the Collapse of the Tetrarchy of the relatively weak and terrified Herod Antipas in Famine would end the last real form of Jewish sovereignty now that Judea had become a military province. Jesus could protect his own and feed his family by helping to turn these stones to bread. Satan makes the offer knowing that he has seen princes and kings gratefully accept these terms. He has around him the forces to drive all but a very few hearts to terror and despair.

Luke 4:3-4
“If you are the Son of God command this stone to become bread. Jesus answered “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'” ”

Jesus rebukes and rebuffs and refutes he does not try to slink away. Satan knows that his first efforts have been badly misguided. He is not sure who this man is but he is not going to be even a high ranking flunkee. So he sets out to reveal to Jesus what his two options will be even should he survive this interview.

He can go to Jerusalem and call upon his ties and relations at the temple as well as his princely claim to the allegiance of the City of David. He can lead a suicidal revolt that Rome will use as an excuse to crush all Jews and which will open the path for Demons to play. Otherwise he can seek to cooperate with the Demons and they will help him to take Antipas’ throne and then make his move. They will let him operate with some dignity and respect so long as he guaranties that when he does give up hope all the power of the lives and flesh of his people will be theirs. He must be the Devil’s vassal. Since Satan is a heavenly Prince as the book of Job teaches us there is no real blasphemy here. Satan in his splendor, spiritually intense, surrounded by narcotic and hallucinogenic smokes and mists makes in the offer of kingship as generous an offer as he has ever made. While the two accounts are similar I will leave you to read Luke 4 and Matthew 4 for the accounts on your own. Jesus ends the interview and as Satan retreats he makes his way into the desert again. The gospels do not really code the next section of the story it is absent.

Jesus walks away from Satan and is followed by two demon assassins. They are strong and powerful and have orders that he not reach the settled land alive. He is weak from fasting, nights of prayer and the effects of Satan’s drugged smoke. He leads them in a very particular way at a very particular pace. He sees the white-robed Essene messengers drawing near but very far away. The assassins draw their short swords and round a rock to pin him in a small defile. They rush in but do not see him instead they see one of the few stealthy prides of lions in the Judean desert not taken to an arena. They are killed and devoured — not entirely in that order. Jesus is then met a bit further on by the Essene emissaries who with prayers to God and channeling the angels of his Holy Court attend to Jesus with food, water and help in disappearing. They note his story.

So the pacifist or revolutionary or whatever Jesus kill these demon asassins with lions. Does that change too much? The real point is that Jesus will have to deal with the facts the Devil presented. But the court he will found will not be their vassal and will not crush the smoldering wick that is the murderous Antipas who will kill his beloved cousin. He will start trouble in Jerusalem but will arrange to absorb all the pain and get all the credit in the short-term. Before that passion he will do many things the Devil cannot imagine. He will use pigs to feed Jews fish mixed with other fish, bread and other food , he will heal countless lepers (many of whom were ill with poverty and neglect fostering rashes or festering wounds) and other sick people as well and he will organize the fishermen of Galilee in such a way that even those who did not follow him directly would be richer, more active, more alert and harder to capture. He would directly lead attacks on Demon camps.

These things he did were hard for the Devil to understand or deal with. However, that was only the beginning. In his teaching and in the Eucharist he changes a fundamental advantage the Demons have always had over many of their prey. He makes it possible to think about cannibalism without practicing it. He makes it possible to prove that a great man can find dignity greater in giving up his flesh as the Bread of Life than he would in being a flesh-broker for the Demons. While the Christian heritage has often been misused and perverted it still towers high as one of the greatest confrontations of evil. He is not a pacifist and will hurt people, he is meek and humble, he cannot be discounted. He fasts but he also enjoys food, wine, the attentions of women and music. He will not yield all human pleasures to the Devil.

In the Facebook Note “War & Easter” I crossed a point of no return and began putting into public view an ancient esoteric interpretation of the Gospels which I know in my heart is true. I have continued that here and may now stop for at least a while. But the point is that for me Jesus is the most convincing case in all of the human record of full engagement with evil which is manifest by someone who is very good himself. To some Christians this view of Jesus will not be spiritual enough and seems like giving in to modern secularism. To the secular it is old-fashioned superstition. To me it is both historical and spiritual truth.

I wish you all the best in your own struggles with evil.

END OF FACEBOOK NOTE—

So have a safe and enjoyable Friday the Thirteenth.

An All Soul’s Day Post that Multi-tasks…

 
This is a rambling post rather than a round-up exactly. Yesterday on All Saints I and my parents and many other Acadians and some Creoles of Color were down at the cemetary together but separately doing what a purist would do today — All Souls Day.  We prayed and put fresh (silk) flowers at the tombs of our ancestors and relations. The weather was beautiful and the fact that it fell on a weekend and today is Monday had a lot to do with the choice to decorate yesterday for the many who were around. We put flowers and said prayers near the remains of Theo Hollier, Regina Oubre Hollier,  Beverlee Hollier Gremillion, Chief Justice Frank Wynerth Summers, Esther Leblanc Summers, Robin Gremillion and Michael Gremillion. That was after attending a mass where my grandmother Beverlee Gremillion was honored and remembered along with others who had died in her church parish this year.
 
Today I got the great pictures that I am enclosing attaching below from my sister Susanna in northeast Texas. These form a companion piece to my most recent post Happy Halloween.  
 
 
4 VanVickle Saints

My Nephews Michael, Dominic, Thomas & Anthony Costume for All Saints

Anthony as St. Patrick

My Nephew Anthony Costumes as Saint Patrick for All Saints

Michael as St. Francis Xavier

My nephew Michael costumed as St. Francis Xavier for All Saints Day

My nephews Dominic and Thomas  as Saints OFm

My nephews Dominic and Thomas costumed as early Franciscan saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua

 

I am able to say that I have not missed any substantial part of the World Series so far but I am afraid that this will change tonight. How can I miss the nearly All Saints Day game of the undefeated Saints?  I will try to surf between the two games and probably miss the best of both. 

In more All Saints and All Souls themed news the relics of St. Mary Magdalene are visiting our area. Here is a link below, however I have noticed TV station link usually expire after a while so if you are checking this long after I post it you may not see much.  Various churches will be the sites of this visitation. http://www.klfy.com/global/story.asp?s=11425089

 

The rest of my weekend and week are too confused and indefinite for me to deal with in this post. I will update it perhaps. Ye few, ye proud, ye brave, ye readers can check in for more later.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is “All Hallows Even’ ” contracted. In other words it is the evening before All Hallows Day. All Hallows, means All Holies and then the actually used term of All Saints means the same. The Holiday for some families means dressing up like cowboys or princesses. But the real story of the holiday is one of a tug-of-war. Christians in Europe beyond the Mediterranean celebrated their beliefs and practices regarding the dead at the time pagan Europeans had the feast of Sawain. Sawain was a time in Druidic and related beliefs when the year moved from light to darkness  and the dead came to greet and feast with everyone but especially those who might die in or before the coming winter. Christians very much changed the holiday but some bits of local custom were always preserved. There were some of the ancient practices that clung to the holidays on All Saints which focused on all those in Heaven and All Souls which focused on all those in purgatory.  Then in the way that Catholic Christian cultures find ways to leave nothing out the old practices flocked to the day before and so you had Hell, Heaven and Purgatory observed in many places in an unofficial tridium.
 
Protestantism and secularism reached heights in America that stripped away all the observance of Heaven and Purgatory and so we were left with just hell on Halloween. That seemed a bit too devilish and pagan and so Halloween was largely tamed and made comical and safe where small children were involved.
 
In my family we seek as varied members to deal with all this complexity in a variety of ways. Halloween practices, HolyWeen Parties with children costumed as Saints, traditional Acadian and Mexican care for cemetary sites and many other things make up my memories. However, confusion and change are not usually better as regards holidays. In a perfect world holiday change is subtle and slow. So this has been the story of a complex family struggling and sometimes failing to make the best of a complex set of holidays. My sister Sarah and her group are not here but she always did one of the best and usually the best costuming for Holyween Saints parties for a while and led her sisters to a good place in that regard. I am not sure where Mary is who also did well in several years and Susanna is in Texas   
 
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The picture above is a pumpkin lantern carved to honor All Saints and All Souls Days at Susanna’s house. They have their own abundant pumpkin patch for autumn foods and customs. 
 
 
 
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My nephew Michael Carving Pumpkins, just before scooping

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Thomas with an alternative pumpkin lantern matching his shirt

 
The boys and all of them enjoy a full and happy interaction with the family in their interpretation of this American ritual.  All of this is part of the struggle to do the best they can and that means having as much fun as possible in a positive way. 
Pumpkin Lanterns

My Sister Susanna and her husband Michael' family have lanterns honoring All Saints and All Souls

Whatever you do ye brave, ye proud, ye few, ye readers == Have a Happy Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day, in your own best way.