DAILY CATHOLIC   FRI-SAT-SUN   October 30, 1998   vol. 9, no. 213

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

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The mask of satan can swindle our very soul!

          To show you how much headway satan has made, just take a look at this weekend when, rather than enhancing the Solemnity of All Saints Day when we should be giving undivided attention to celebrating the accomplishments of all those we emulate and strive to achieve what they have - eternal bliss - instead we are obsessed by the realm of the evil one with the second most popular holiday in America - Halloween! The etimology of the word comes from "hall o en" meaning "All Hallows Eve." Actually, Halloween has reverted to what it was centuries ago. The origins come from the pagan feast called "Samhain" celebrated in Celtic culture as a fire festival, burning leaves. It is said to be over 2,000 years old. It means "Shadowfest" and was always observed on October 31 in order to honor the lord of death - Samhain. The reason for the end of October is because summer which represents "life" ended and the beginning of November signaled the beginning of winter which represents "death" in nature. Over the centuries as Christianity supplanted many pagan rites, Holy Mother Church replaced the pagan feast of Samhain with All Hallows Eve which in Old English became "Halloween." Just as pagan customs observe the rite of life and death, so also the Church reflects the seasons with Spring as a new beginning - the Resurrection of the Savior, the three months of summer to symbolize the three years of the public life of Jesus Christ, and Autumn as closure - the Passion, with the three months of winter representing the three days in the tomb. Thus it was only natural, in the cycle of the Communion of Saints, that November 1 would be the date as first selected by Saint Bede and confirmed for the Universal Church by Pope Gregory III in the eighth century as All Hallows Day or Omnes Sancti translated All Saints Day. One hundred years earlier the feast of All Souls had been commemorated on November 2 and therefore November 1st was a natural. Therefore, October 31st took on the significance of preparation for this solemn feast, thus All Hallows Eve.

          However, in modern times an innocent feast reverted back to its pagan roots and lucifer took hold, oh how he took control! Beginning in the 17th century it became a time for satanic ritual and those who worshipped the devil pointed to this day as the high feast. Add the greed of merchandise in the 20th century and the lure of the horror mystique and satan was set. Rather than honoring God and those who have been loyal to Him, we have, unwittingly and subliminally, fallen back to elevating the status of the fallen angel, giving him the undue credit and recognition, and, alas, acknowledgment that ol' horn-head had always craved. No wonder lucifer and his legions are so enamored with our generation! Rather than depict an aura of fear of eternal damnation that would prod people to returning to God, the modernists, cult-makers, Madison Avenue wags and Hollywood moguls have elevated the devil to a status unheard of in Christian annals. Where it used to be wrong, today it is considered wrong in society if you do not deify the satanic rituals at this time of the year. Gone are the days of harmless jack-o-lanterns, black cats, ghosts and cute witches. Today innocent children don the most grotesque masks - the scarier and more satanic the better, especially among the young teens who glorify the Jasons, Michael Myers, etc. from the blood-curdling fare in theatres that pass as entertainment. Over the years paganists, satanists, atheists and that ilk have watered down the laws, twisting the meaning and gaining restraining orders against anything Christian whether at Christmas or Easter, while on Halloween they worship at the altar of satan with no fear of reprisal or retaliation in the courts by Christian interests. Think of how many innocents have been ensnared by the satanic cult of Halloween that is fast spreading to everyday of the year with one slasher movie after another, one extremely blood-and-gore violent video game after another to where America's youth have become totally immune to death until...it's too late. They have trivialized death and then society is shocked when kids go on shooting sprees in school or kill a sibling or parent on a dare. The kids don't really know what they've done because they can't differentiate between reality and the make believe they have been subjected to by the onslaught of the media and technology that totally blinds one to true pain of flesh. With that kind of mentality it's not difficult to understand why they can't relate to Jesus Christ hanging on a cross, bleeding profusely from every pore of His body. It makes it even harder for them to comprehend why He sacrificed His life for us. All meaning has been washed away by the blood of FX. That, friends, is the scariest thing about Halloween and the culture it has spawned 364 days a year!

          But that's not all that's scary. What's scary is the fact we have an immoral, unethical man who promotes the culture of death unabashedly as president of the world's most powerful country. What's scary is that people don't even blink today about his conduct, rather rationalize that since the "economy is good" let him do what he wants, no matter if it is in direct confrontation with God's laws and a slap in the face of the office, the traditions of the country and God Himself. What's scary is that this highest official of the land is taking credit for completing the fragile peace accord between Israel and Palestine which is destined to fail for Jesus said in Matthew 7: 17-18 that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. That's scary! What's scary is the fact the pro-aborts are trying to twist their agenda to portray those striving to preserve life as the criminals and dangerous to all society! What's scary is that politicos are twisting the truth so that every and all opponents should be locked up and the key thrown away if we're to believe how evil they really are according to the spinmeisters of Madison and Michigan Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard where the advertising kingpins roost and who could care less about truth in advertising or ethics. That's scary. What's scarier is that people actually believe the drivel that emanates from the television sets and radio air waves! What's scary is that the lost sheep will base their votes solely on hearsay without truly looking into the issues. What's scary is that material things have become so important to people that they have totally forsaken the spiritual, making it that much easier fodder for satan to cultivate false hopes and dead-end goals. What's scary is that society is more concerned with the Y2K computer bug than the spiders of immorality and despair that have crawled into hearts everywhere, totally forgetting that Christ has promised He would return and that every 2000 years God effects a recleansing of the earth. In other words, folks, the Y2K problem won't matter in the overall bigger picture for technology and science will pass the way of the dinosaur but His Way, Truth and Life will never pass away. What's scary is the fact that knowledge of the Catholic teachings, doctrines and dogmas is so sorely lacking in the minds and hearts of the faithful today because bishops are not heeding the Holy Father's counsel; many of these modern shepherds are allowing catechisms to collect dust, assuming people will pick everything up through osmosis. What's scary is that many within the curia surrounding our devoted, holy and great Supreme Pontiff have been plotting to subterfuge his efforts, to forge their own agenda irregardless of the good of Holy Mother Church. What's scary is that many of these prelates have undermined those who have sought access to the Pope, falsely accusing those who threaten their status and comfort zone. What's scary is that so many religious - priests and nuns are being murdered throughout the world. What's scary is that there are so few ready to take their place. What's scarier is that few want to make that selfless commitment to give up everything and follow Christ. What's scary is that those who were so dedicated to conversion and following the Blessed Mother's messages at Medjugorje over the years have lost their zeal and reverted back to what Our Lady warned about. What's scary is that so many have forgotten their hearts and gone into the mind alone, creating doubts about Medjugorje and whether it truly was from God. What's even scarier is that there are a few puppets of the devil out there who feign that they love Mary and are good Catholics but make it their life's work to not only demean and condemn Medjugorje but slander the visionaries and Franciscans of Our Lady's special Oasis of Peace offering lie after lie that presents a case of libel against the attackers on behalf of the believers if ever there was one. By calling Medjugorje a nest of the devil's they are denouncing the Holy Spirit, misrepresenting the Church's true stance on on-going apparitions and Medjugorje's current status, dismissing the obvious countless fruits that have emanated from this Oasis of Peace over the past seventeen plus years, and denying many the opportunity to discern for themselves and grow in grace from practicing all that Our Lady conveys - all that is in total conformity with Church doctrine and Sacred Scripture. What's scary is that, through half truths and deception, they are succeeding in planting the seeds of doubts in those who never really embraced the messages or tried to truly live them as God intended.

          Those above scenarios are all scary enough, and we have only scratched the surface of horror in today's world, but the scariest thought of all is that when mankind wakes up and realizes who satan really is it will be too late! Then they will say, "Lord, Lord, we didn't know." And He will reply in all His Mercy and Justice as He did in Matthew 7: 23, "I never knew you. Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity!" Remember Our Lord's words this Halloween and say a prayer for each innocent who hides behind a satanic, grotesque mask or costume while trick or treating. For sadly, the scariest, most horrowful, grotesque event is yet to come. It is indeed a sad feeling to know that far too many will realize, only at the Last Judgment, that it was all a trick; that their quest for worldly things is all a masquerade and the scariest thing is that at Trick or Treat time there will be no eternal treats. It's time we all realize, for the sake of our children and ourselves as well, that the mask of satan can swindle our very soul.

Michael Cain, editor