And then Simcha wrote a piece which, for me, needs nothing more than the title to make it the greatest Catholic Halloween post of all time: “Do Brains Break the Communion Fast?”
For my own take on Halloween, go here.
And, by the way, sorry to be such a buzzkill for triumphalist neo-pagans and panicky fundamentalists on one of their biggest anti-Catholic recruiting nights of the year, but all that stuff you hear each year about the True Pagan Origins of Halloween that everybody knows except for dumb ignorant Catholics who don’t know anything about the True Pagan Origins of the Catholic Faith? Turns out everybody’s wrong.
Not that I have any particular objections to the Church’s ability to absorb and redeem the best of ancient pre-Christian cultures. Big fan here. Wrote a whole chapter about it in Mary, Mother of the Son (soon to be re-released by Marytown Press! Watch this space!). But as with the alleged “pagan origins of Christmas” meme there’s a whole lot less than meets the eye going on with Halloween.
Next time somebody tells you that Christianity is nothing but warmed over paganism, ask them about the huge central Christian feasts we will all be celebrating at the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox. Also, ask them why the biggest feast of all falls, not on the Spring Equinox, but whenever Passover happens to fall. Why, it’s almost as though Christianity is what it always understood itself to be: the fulfilment of a specifically Jewish revelation and only incidently and accidently related to the myths, feasts and legends of paganism. That might even have something to do with why the New Testament evinces essentially no interest in pagan culture beyond a couple of random quotes from Epimenides and Aratus but is intensely interested in Jewish scripture and tradition.