October 31: All Hallows Eve

When we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints tomorrow, we will share the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ch. 5, 1-12). Among the most memorable words in the lengthy Sermon are “Blessed are ….” Jesus then introduces us to “the poor in spirit, they who mourn, the meek, they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, and they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.” We have filled Halloween with so much “stuff,” but let’s be sure to reflect on these virtues and thank God for the people who have gone before us whose lives have reflected these very qualities.

Elsewhere in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says something important about loving those who love us. “Even the pagans do that,” He declares. There is no real virtue there, in the Lord’s opinion. In fact, we are all capable of using people to our own advantage as much as we are capable of loving them selflessly.

But the fact is that there is no such thing as “pure altruism,” that is, an action that is done purely for others with absolutely nothing for self. Everything we do, we do ultimately for ourselves. We have no choice but to seek our own good, and properly so – to act otherwise would be quite silly and even wrong. It all depends on how and why we do it. A central challenge of Catholic living, it seems, is to realize that it is by sharing what we have with others (who are in need) that we become enriched in a very special way: “Give and it will be given to you in return, many times over.”


Some family suggestions for Halloween: https://angelusnews.com/faith/seven-suggestions-for-a-catholic-halloween/

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