"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
All Hallows Eve
Remembering the dead.
November is the month Catholics do this, remember the dead in prayers and suffrages for their repose.
Pictured here is a photo of the "Purgatory Museum" in Rome. I've never visited it, but I've seen other photos. It's interesting; scorched footprints and other signs of souls having visited from purgatory to implore prayers.
Padre Pio encountered souls from purgatory, as did St. John Mascias and many other saints. St. John Mascias was reputed to have freed thousands of souls from purgatory by his prayers, especially the rosary of Our Lady.
Halloween is a time when people love to retell ghost stories. I listened to a few on the radio in the car as I drove home tonight. It's fun to listen to ghost stories.
This morning I arrived early at work and few employees were there yet. I heard a baby crying. I thought someone had brought one of their children to work, yet this was a baby, everyone there had older children - and no one had brought their children to work today. I looked outside, no one was on the street. I asked if anyone else heard it, no one had. I thought it may have been a radio - but it wasn't. It was eerie. What if...
In high school, my friends and I used to sit in another friend's car, at night, outside a house that resembled the architecture of the Dakota in NYC - the building "Rosemary's Baby" was filmed at. The house we sat outside of is alleged to be haunted. We sat for hours, freaking ourselves out thinking we saw something. It was so fun. The house is still there. It used to be where a witch lived and a gathering spot for people in the occult. In fact, a few years later, when I worked at Dayton's, it turned out that a couple of co-workers, the Director included, used to meet at the house. They were wiccans, or as I came to refer to them, bitches. Very decadent and nasty people they were.
One of our friend's Dad was a meter reader for the city and this haunted house was on his route. He claimed many unusual experiences in that house. The only one I can clearly remember is that something knuckled him on his head when he was in the basement reading the meter - and he left immediately. He had another story about seeing something, a figure standing on a stairway, that suddenly disappeared. That is pretty much why we sat outside the house late at night in high school scaring ourselves.
Down that same avenue, Summit Avenue in St. Paul, was an old house our 6th grade teacher, Sr. Lillian, told us was haunted. She said it had been torn down and exorcism salt had been sprinkled upon it. Later a school for handicap children was built on the spot and it was called Christ Child School. She was a nun, so we had to believe her.
I've never seen a ghost - or a soul from purgatory - but the stories are cool.
Kids like the occult - they are fascinated by it. It is reason to guard, or guide their reading and entertainment. I think of "Harry Potter" - I appreciate the fantasy, but if I were a kid, I'd want to be a witch after reading it. I would definitely delve deeper into the occult as a result.
It is interesting that the root of the word 'fascinate' comes from the French, 'fasciner' meaning to entrance or charm, as in witchcraft, while our modern usage of the term still relates to the meaning, to be bewitched or held spell bound.