Good rainy morning to you all!

I’m not sure about elsewhere but for the last few weeks all the shops have been decorated with things for Halloween.

It brings me back to my childhood when my mum would buy us masks and spiders and such and we’d enjoy terrorising our grandparents who of course would play along!

And my dad would join in teaching us games like how to get a pound coin out of a basin of water with your mouth and of course my favourite game, teasing my sister Kathleen🤣🤣🤣.

One person who won’t be enjoying this halloween is our dear friend Brenda because she has been in hospital with severe pain in her back and other conditions. While she’s now out, she’s still not herself and she needs all the prayers that she can get. If you have a moment pray this prayer for her.

Get well soon Brenda, we love you

Last night I was talking to someone about Halloween and as I reflected on it, it hit me how this pagan festival has really nothing to do with what it id today.

Today we see Halloween as this sort of pagan occult like festival where devils and demons are called to scare people but originally this isn’t what it was at all!

In actual fact the pagans of the time were petrified of devils and demons who they believed were particularly active on this particular night.

In order to protect their houses they’d put out scary objects and in a pre-Christian messed up sort of a way this was a bit like how many of us place sacred objects and medals in our houses as well to keep demons away.

The only difference is that they were fighting demons with demons where we are asking God to protect us and so we should because these realities are very real.

In my own room I have many holy objects including the cross, the rosary, St Benedict’s medal and every night abd morning I spray exorcism holy water.

All that said, there is no replacement for personal holiness and we could have all the holy objects in the world and yet if we don’t pray and confess our sins then we are only fooling ourselves.

Perhaps for the purposes of evangelisation this is the attitude to take to bringing people to a deeper sense of the spiritual rather than taking it too seriously because giving out to people and scolding people for dressing up only seems to turn them further from God and portrays us Christians and Catholics as boring superstitious stick in the muds who don’t know how to have a laugh.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll dress up in some silly costume for the laugh but if I do I won’t be forgetting my prayers or suggesting to anyone that the realm of evil is a laughing matter because I know too well from direct experience that it’s not!

Now whether it’s a coincidence or not, tomorrow we begin the month of November which is a special month in the church where we pray especially for the souls of the dead in purgatory, something that is rarely spoken about nowadays and yet a place that has never been busier.

Take a moment and consider who might pray for you if you were to die tomorrow and and how you might scream for help and prayers from purgatory…

With this attitude say a prayer for the souls in purgatory now and also take the firm resolution to beging to altar any areas of your life where you know isn’t pleasing to God. Many of the saints desired to skip purgatory altogether by adapting this attitude and dedicating their lives to prayer and works of charity. We can do the same regardless of whether we are nuns or brothers in a monastery or ordinary lay people going about our lives.

And so today as we are reminded of devils and demons and ghosts and the dead, let’s turn it around and rename ‘Halloween’ to ‘Hallow be thy name”.

Blessings and please keep me in your prayers too and of course our priests who are on the front line so to speak!

Michael