Halloween – All Hallows
Regaled in fancy costumes, two of the Guesthouse helpers went off this evening to the Childrens’ Halloween Party at Immaculate Heart Parish, Balornock. They were to put in a surprise appearance for the celebration.
The Celts, Scots & Irish, are credited with inventing Halloween. They hollowed out turnips to make lamps, and the ancestors thus processed to light the way of the spirits back to where they came from. Celtic Christianity has carried on the tradition with the spirituality and sense of the presence of God and Mary and all the saints hovering and helping in human life.
The Halloween the Scots and Irish brought to America has been returned from across the Atlantic in the multiplied commercialism of the annual celebration.
The parallel boom in Celtic spirituality serves somewhat to give us a better perspective.
“Will only a few be saved?” in the Gospel reading this morning is the kind of question that theologians love.
As always, prayer is a step ahead of theology. The opening prayer could not have been better on target with the answer;
“praised be to you, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no power of good which does not come from your covenant
and no promise to hope in that your love has not offered”.
To give the theologians their due, Hans Urs von Balthasar, regarded by Paul VI as one of the greatest theologian of our time, wrote a book called “Dare we hope that all will be saved?” His answer was a resounding, not only dare we hope, but we are obliged to hope, that all will be saved. St. Augustine seems to have got himself on to a sidetrack stating he knew there were people in hell.
Von Balthasar is clear on the fact that if we say we know there are people in hell, we are saying more than we know, or if we say we know there is no one in hell, that also is more than we know. His conclusion comes out of his weighty considerations, “We don’t know, but we hope”.