Did the dead tell you something lately?-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
LIPA Archbishop Ramon Arguelles asks us to shun Halloween parties and stop trick-or-treat sorties. Instead, pray to the dead and remember the saints, the bishop says.
An op-ed in "New York Times" of Oct. 27 by Bess Lovejoy complains about Americans' own Halloween, saying they no longer appease the dead: "needy ghosts have been replaced by costumed children demanding treats."
Even Americans sought intimacy with the dead. Their original version, with roots in pagan and Catholic festivals, wasn't candy "blackmail" and horror masks and costumes that it has become.
In the Philippines, the import has turned into an excuse for children and adults to party, using death and its props for color and hype.
That crowds out the central intent of the days of saints and souls: to commune with the dead by praying to and with saints.
And it's not religious intent alone that's negated because prayer is not just for souls to rest but for people to live well.
In one scene in Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town," the dead at the cemetery chat as their relatives come a-visiting: how the living "spend and waste time" as if they "had a million years."
The Times piece, titled "The Dead Have Something to Tell You," leads to the other reason: the dead remind us "death is inevitable but most of us aren't prepared for it."
Halloween noise drives away ghosts of those we love--and drown out their message for us to embrace death when it comes but to live life fully now.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.