November is considered the month of the Holy Souls. Following the Catholic teaching that it is good to pray for the dead, I make a few suggestions:
- Visit a cemetery and pray for a deceased loved one
- Have a Mass offered for a deceased loved one
- Take an occasion during the day to pray the prayer: “Eternal Rest, Grant unto Them O Lord. . . .”
It definitely disappoints me to see the dark and sinister direction down which Halloween seems to be progressing. A day to dress up like a saint to honor that heroic person and his or her virtues appears to be completely lost. From a Christian perspective, it could and should be a beautiful preparation for All Saints’ Day. But things have certainly changed.
I used to think that ghosts, witches, vampires, and werewolves were bad enough, but figures on the order of Jason (from the Friday the 13th movies), Freddy Krueger or some other mass murderer seem to be staring at me far too frequently anymore. A scary thought in more ways than one!
It is the subtle (and not so subtle) desensitization of our youth to the presence of violence, evil, and cruelty that continues to disturb me. We need to be extolling positive virtues, goodness and holiness to our young. Yet, too often our young are exposed to just the opposite. The media lets us know often enough how certain young minds are no longer innocent and pure but can become warped and capable of acts far beyond what was ever thought possible (take Columbine, for example).
I can’t begin to list all of the negative factors from gangsta rap, to violent video games, to graphic movies, to access to just about anything on the Internet that bombards the young constantly. Put on top of that the lack of knowledge and practice of the Catholic (or any) faith, a declining moral code and the general absence of God and prayer in many peoples’ lives today. Makes for a type of perfect storm!
Parents you definitely have your work cut out for you. You certainly have my prayers.
Fr. Ed Namiotka