In just a few days, Halloween will be upon us. How should we feel about this sensational autumn holiday?
Among representatives of the Catholic Church, opinions about Halloween are divided. Before I started writing this article, I prayed and thought about this topic for a while, and after talking to our UD theologians and students, I did some research in the library, and what I managed to conclude on the topic is that there seems to be no discernable consensus; some deny the pagan roots of the holiday, while others recognize them.
So as not to discredit anyone’s religious opinions, therefore, let’s explore this subject not through a debate, but with an agreement. I suggest starting with what is impossible not to agree on — the incredible depth of God’s love for people.
In the Holy Scripture we read the following words, “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). What do you see in this verse? Here we notice not only the manifestation of God’s love for us, but also our love for Him.
How do we show our love for God? Let us think about it without getting too deep into the doctrines of the Church. To make it easier, think about how you normally express your feelings towards the people you love. You aim to please them, right? Okay, let’s agree on this. And then, what does “to please them” include? How to understand what is pleasant to your loved ones? You look at what is important and valuable for them and at what they like, what is good for them and what makes them good, right?
So, can we conclude that the same thing works for God? If yes, then what is actually pleasant for God? Because I am not sure if it is about flamboyant or revealing costumes, flowers or sweets … To save you time on thinking about this uneasy question, let me remind you of His words about what is pleasant for Him.
Philippians 4:8-9 says: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
What can we take away from this? We have a clear assurance that the God of peace will be with us if we do what He appreciates. It’s like being confident that your boyfriend or girlfriend will be with you if you are doing what is pleasant for them, what is good for them and what makes them good. Well, it’s the same with God. And the most interesting thing is that God does not need expensive gifts or strong sacrifices; He just wants us to think about true and pure things.
Why am I bringing this up? This Halloween, when you will be choosing some decorations for your room and food for your table, planning entertainment, and choosing your outfit, think whether it is pleasant for God and would He have chosen it for you if you asked His advice?