This fresco has comforted and encouraged me for decades. Then I stepped into one of the small, dark cells in the friary of St. Mark’s last month, and there it was: the original. Painted for the benefit of the one novice who occupied that particular cell.
…Thank you for praying for a successful outcome at our meeting in Richmond on Friday.
I believe that heavenly grace moved us in a good direction. More to come about what happened, in a few days.
November is the month of death. There is no getting around it. The leaves wither and fall. The song birds fly away. The night grows longer and longer.
The Church knows that November is the month of death. We begin the month by praying to all the dead people in heaven. The next day we start praying for all the dead people in purgatory. We spend the whole month praying for the dead people in purgatory.
So November is the month of death. The month of death begins on All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, the night before All Saints Day. Is Halloween a Christian holiday? Yes, it most certainly is.
What happens on Halloween? We confront ourselves with the darkest and most mysterious things: Death. Evil spirits. Putting on a costume poses the most murky question of all: Who am I really?
Then what happens? Laughter and merriment. On Halloween, little children dress up as skeletons, witches, ghosts, goblins—evil, dark things. Then they proceed to run around and giggle.
How is this possible? How is it that on Halloween night, the night when the month of death arrives, the night when darkness appears to conquer the sunlight—how is it that we make merry?
There is one reason. The one reason why we need not fear everything that is evil and dark. Only a Christian people could laugh during the dark night and have fun dressing up like demons. We are not afraid of these things.
Why? Because of Christ. The Light has come to the world, and the darkness has not overcome it. We Christians laugh at all the things before which pagans cower.