Halloween reminder: ‘God calls us to holiness not to horribleness’
MANILA – “God calls us to holiness” is the lesson and reminder of the month of November which commences with the Solemnity of All Saints and, in some places, is preceded by the celebration of “Halloween.”
This was a reminder given by Fr. Rolando Arjonillo, the administrator of “Catholics Striving for Holiness” website and Facebook page.
“As the secularized modern society banalized and commercialized the meaning of ‘Halloween’ – with the eerie, diabolical, and [ghoulish] stealing the protagonism – it is again opportune to remind ourselves that, in the end, the good will ultimately triumph over evil, the holy over the [ghoulish], the saintly over the eerie,” stressed the priest, referring to the custom of kids dressing up as monsters and devils.
Arjonillo pointed out that Halloween and the month of November, aside from being dedicated to remember the faithful departed and to offer suffrages for the holy souls in purgatory, have a more “transcendent significance.”
“’Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day are not only occasions when we should be reminded of our earthly life’s fleeting state – the reality of death, of our particular judgement, of heaven, purgatory and of hell, but also the time when the Church beckons us to reflect on the meaning and purpose of our existence and of our divine calling to eternal happiness made possible by living a holy earthly existence,” he explained.
Holiness: God’s will for us
To prove the point, Arjonillo quotes St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians wherein he reveals God’s great love in His redemptive plan: “He ‘blessed and chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love’ and destined us to be His children through Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
He added: “These words reveal the Christian vocation to sanctity. God wants us all to be holy through the loving imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Arjonillo underscored that the struggle to achieve holiness is not centered on the fight against sin, although this will always be necessary, but on a growing identification with Jesus Christ. “Desiring and striving for holiness despite our weaknesses and defects is what God wants from each one of us.”
Citing a modern saint who inspired many ordinary people to seek holiness, the priest said, “St. Josemaria taught [that] ’holiness does not consist of doing more difficult things every day but doing things with greater love every day’.”
The priest encouraged the faithful to “respond generously to our divine vocation to holiness, wanting it for love of God above anything else, and fostering the hope that one day, with God’s help, and in spite of our errors, as long as we begin again with a contrite heart, we will be united with Him forever.”
“In the end, ‘holy wins’ after this earthly pilgrimage of ours, for those who seek holiness in the world are those who will enjoy the fullness and never-ending happiness with the Triune God in heaven with all the angels and saints!” CBCPNews