It is Halloween 2020. Frankly, I feel like we have been living this crazy holiday nightmare for months. We have been wearing masks, dining out of bags we pick up outside of doors from other masked humans, and hope that the contents are safe to eat.
I have observed over the last few years the increase in the occult influence and macabre in Halloween costumes, decorations, and marketing. Why I wonder? We seem obsessed with zombies, all things horror, and demons to name a few. “Oh Barb, it’s all harmless fun.” Is it though?
Trivializing the danger or reality of evil is just what the devil has in mind. I am sure he is quite pleased at the turn of things, as we humans become more comfortable with sin and distance from God. Saint Philip Neri said this, “Our enemy, the devil, who fights with us in order to vanquish us, seeks to disunite us in our houses, and to breed quarrels, dislikes, contests and rivalries because while we are fighting with each other, he comes and conquers us and makes us more securely his own”.
All this has got me thinking about my spiritual life, which conveniently coincides with the upcoming feasts of “All Saints and All Souls Days.” I know we are all profoundly aware of the fact that we are both body and soul in our humanity. Our bodies are mortal and will die at some point. Our souls are immortal and will go on for all eternity. Where to however, is the question. Consider this, “The devil wants you to forget: 1) Who you are and 2) What you were made for. You are a child of God and you were made for Heaven. (Jackie Francois)
A body without a soul, is called a corpse
We are “made in the image of God” (Gen 1:27); we belong to Him. We may spend our lives running from this fact, happily distracted, or sadly ignorant of it; however, that doesn’t change anything. We have a likeness to our Creator. He has created us in love to be in union with Him for all eternity. In Baptism, we become adopted children and members of His family. We owe our very existence to God who is eternally pouring Himself out in love to us, inviting us into relationship. “If that is so, why is there so much evil in the world?” Easy, sin. Sin has consequences whether we like it or not. We are at a time when we are actually calling sinful things good and a right. The line keeps moving, evil is never satisfied until it has caused the ruin of souls.
The devil is always watching and wanting “to accuse us of perpetual unworthiness before God,” (Haggerty) whispering lies that we are unworthy and unlovable, a lost cause. This could not be further from the truth, yet it is so easily believed by many. “The devil knows your name, but he calls you by your sins. God knows your sins, but He calls you by your name.” (J. Evert) Jesus wants to love our souls with a love that eradicates sin. “He wants to love intensely the soul unafraid to stand naked and in need at the foot of the cross.” (Haggerty) His heart goes out to us in our misery, we must run to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and unburden ourselves from the slavery of sin.
We won’t just slide into heaven because we are not as bad as some of the other people on the planet. There must be an intentional desire and movement to seek the good, grow in holiness and virtue, and avoid sin. We invite you to join us on the Journey Toward Holiness that will begin November 9th. I need it. You need it. We all need it.
“Since the basic cause of man’s anxiety is the possibility of being either a saint or a sinner, it follows that there are only two alternatives for him. Man can either mount upward to the peak of eternity or else slip backwards to the chasms of despair and frustration. Yet there are many who think there is yet another alternative, namely, that of indifference… By the mere fact that we do not go forward, we go backward. There are no plains in the spiritual life, we are either going uphill or coming down. (F.J. Sheen)
It is time to take control of your spiritual life. We have an enemy that never sleeps and is bent on our destruction. Our spiritual apathy serves him well and he has nothing to fear in our lack of urgency or motivation. He is happy to idly wait until it is too late, while we continually put off until tomorrow what should be attended to today and everyday of our life. We have nothing to fear from the devil when we are no threat at all. “Let the enemy rage at the gate; let him knock, pound, scream, howl; let him do his worst. We know for certain that he cannot enter our soul except by the door of our consent.” (Saint Francis de Sales)
The ball is in our court. It always has been. Come with us on this great Journey Toward Holiness, and get started on the road towards heaven.