October 31, 2016
The divine grace that is revealed in the Church’s commemoration of Halloween should be our participation in what is called the Communion of Saints. This Communion of Saints means that this world is not all that there is and that those who have passed through the experience of death continue to love us, care for us and even through God’s permissive will, can interact with us. It also means that that the Christian can hope that God’s power in Christ to save and redeem extends beyond this world to the next and as such we can hope that few of us will be lost causes. The festivities of Halloween should affirm that these beliefs about the Communion of Saints are real and are also the deepest reality of what this world has become because of the revelation of God in Christ.
Tomorrow we celebrate all the holy men and women who reached the gates of Heaven and triumphed over sin and death. And today, we wait in the darkness.
There is a certain truth to the saying, "It's always darkest before the dawn." Spiritual attack is real, and the devil is most anxious to pull us down when we're about to experience a breakthrough in our relationship with God. In this sense, the celebration of Halloween is really a nod to the greatness of All Saints' Day, because we understand that as such a triumphal day approaches, the devil is throwing a tantrum.
So today, on Halloween, we acknowledge the reality of demons and evil forces, of death and the macabre—and we mock them. By parading around white-sheet ghosts and face-painted monsters, by dressing up in disguises and playing Monster Mash, we show the devil that we don't have to be afraid of his tricks. As Catholics, we can tread a middle ground, neither glorifying the demonic nor shrinking away in fear. Even death can't truly hurt us anymore. Tomorrow, we will remember countless men and women before us who have defied the devil and reached the joy of Heaven, and we will see all the spookiness of this day as the sham that it truly is. We have nothing to fear.