Autumn traditions for 2014 – 5 People, souls and saints in the news

Warm days

This All Saints holiday people could feel the result of climate change, having the warmest day on the 1° of November since 1901. Lots of people took more time to go the the sea or the Ardennes instead of the traditional graveyards. Less chrysanthemums were sold and less people were around the cemeteries probably not thinking about the deceased nor about the ice caps melting, the sea level rising and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere being at its highest level in at least 800,000 years

High carnival season for witches, fairies and the immaterial principle in humanity
Heidi Klum

Cover of Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, Halloween

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Heidi Klum

The 41-year-old German supermodel, Project Runway host, America’s Got Talent judge and mother of four Heidi Klum awoke on the morning of Halloween 2014 and later found herself transformed into a gigantic insect. She is known for her elaborate costumes and annual parties for the holiday. Friday’s event, which marked her 15th Halloween bash and took place in New York City, she wore a butterfly costume.

Halloween this year, artists and actors like Beyonce and Jessica Alba dressed as other celebrities as their costume. Between Katy Perry’s Cheeto suit and Zach Braff’s timely Kurt Russell, Hollywood proved it doesn’t mess around when it comes to spooky getups.Blue Ivy — the daughter of Bey and Jay Z — even had some stunning duds as Michael Jackson in 2014. Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan hit the town as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.Been considered the high carnival season for witches, fairies and the immaterial principle in humanity to wander abroad people wanted to look for them also this year and found it nice to be part of it. Though many found it a pity it was such nice weather with the sun shining such a long time. The  amusements parks were fully booked and did not complain for the interest in their Halloween spectacles.In a scary close finish, the Jake Gyllenhaal crime thriller “Nightcrawler” and the board-game adaptation “Ouija” tied for first at the box office in New York with $10.9 million each over the Halloween weekend.Despite the Halloween night impact, “Ouija” dropped only 45 percent after topping the box office last weekend. That’s unusually low for a micro-budget horror film, most of which see interest wane considerably after opening. But Universal opened the horror film a weekend ahead of Halloween to give it a two-week window.The close contest added drama to one of the quietest movie weekends of the year. Overall business was down 25 percent from the prior year. Said Dergarabedian: “The scariest thing about this weekend was that Halloween fell on a Friday.”Next weekend will be a far different story, though, with the highly anticipated release of Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi epic “Interstellar,” as well as Disney’s animated superhero film “Big Hero 6.”In the meantime, the Brad Pitt World War II tale “Fury” held in third place with $9.1 million in its third week of release. In its fifth week, the Ben Affleck thriller “Gone Girl” also remained in fourth with an additional $8.8 million to its $136.6 million cumulative total to make it the highest grossing release of director David Fincher’s career.

Halloween magical exhibits

The Witches’ Rout (The Carcass). A Witch riding skeleton, c.1520, Agostino Veneziano – © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum have brought together their most darkly magical exhibits (and borrowed a few from the V&A, Tate Britain, British Library and the Ashmolean in Oxford) for the collection Witches and Wicked Bodies represented the portrayal of the witch and witchcraft in art over the last 500 years. Prints and drawings depicting devils, beasts and broomsticks chart the witch’s progression from possessed monster to exotic sirens, and several classical Greek vases were included to highlight man longstanding fascination with the subject.

At Vox they are very used to writing explainers but they are a lot less used to being explained — especially by Halloween costumes, But there’s a first for everything > The news, in 9 baby Halloween costumes.

The gay parade at Montenegro went smoothly, without any problems.

An other fear than for spooks

While the West fears Islamisation the East fears ‘Christianisation’, some 70 Malaysian local residents and members of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) protested against the construction of a church, claiming the growing number of Christian places of worship in the area is part of an attempt to evangelise and convert Muslims to Christianity. For lots of Muslims all “anti-Islamic comments online” are simply hatred of all Muslims and incitement to violence against them, and should be suppressed.

A new Bible translation

A new translation of the Bible was presented yesterday at the Book Fair in Antwerp. According to Luc Devisscher of the Catholic Bible Foundation (KBF) Katholieke Bijbelstichting (KBS) we can not call this Bible in Ordinary Language’ people’s Bible, because it aims not so much to a particular category of people. It is aimed at anyone for whom the classical language register of the average translation is too far, because that language is too pompous, too solemn or too far from their bed. Luc Devisscher:

The Bible is the logical successor to the Good News Bible, like the Willebrord Translation of 1995, the successor to the Willebrord of 1975. In this ‘Bible in Ordinary Language’ more or less the same translation principles apply as with the New Bible Translation, the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling.”

Pope Francis looking at these days

Pope Francis consistently manages to capture the world’s attention by saying and doing things that we’re not used to seeing a pope say and do. Vox has covered many such instances, like when Francis gave his 10 tips for a happy life, and when he took on the mafia.  “Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated,” he had said on Saturday June the 21st in the Italian city of Calabria. But did Francis really excommunicate the entire mafia from the Catholic Church? Vox also have a card stack that will answer many of your questions about the Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

On the afternoon of All Saints Day, Pope Francis offered Mass at a Roman cemetery and decried environmental destruction and the culture of waste. The Eucharistic celebration began with the exhortation: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord” giving attention to the invitation to share in the heavenly jubilation of the Saints,”to taste their joy”.  According the pontiff  the Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every epoch and nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly.

Today, the Church is celebrating her dignity as “Mother of the Saints, an image of the Eternal City” (A. Manzoni), and displays her beauty as the immaculate Bride of Christ, source and model of all holiness. She certainly does not lack contentious or even rebellious children, but it is in the Saints that she recognizes her characteristic features and precisely in them savours her deepest joy.

Men of God, set apart trying to live according the Law of God

We do agree in earlier times the world got several people who tried to live according the Law of God. They were men of God, like the righteous Abel and the faithful Patriarch, Abraham, but also after Christ the world could see those of the New Testament, the numerous early Christian Martyrs and lots of people who did their best to be not of the world but of God. They are all brought together by the common desire to incarnate the Gospel in their lives under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, the life-giving spirit of the People of God.

Pope Francis I reminds us:

But “why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this Solemnity, mean anything to the Saints?”. A famous homily of St Bernard for All Saints’ Day begins with this question. It could equally well be asked today. And the response the Saint offers us is also timely: “The Saints”, he says, “have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs…. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning” (Disc. 2, Opera Omnia Cisterc. 5, 364ff.).

This, then, is the meaning of today’s Solemnity: looking at the shining example of the Saints to reawaken within us the great longing to be like them; happy to live near God, in his light, in the great family of God’s friends. Being a Saint means living close to God, to live in his family. And this is the vocation of us all, vigorously reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council and solemnly proposed today for our attention.

Who can be holy

This brings up the question how we can be set apart or to become holy, friends of God?

We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties. “If anyone serves me”, he warns us, “he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him” (John 12: 26).

The Church’s experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. The Saints’ biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment: “they… have come out of the great tribulation”, one reads in Revelation, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rv 7: 14). Their names are written in the book of life (cf. Rv 20: 12) and Heaven is their eternal dwelling-place.

In such a way you could say All Saints Day is not bad to have one day to think about examples several people have given throughout history, encouraging us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.

Holiness demands a constant effort, but it is possible for everyone because, rather than a human effort, it is first and foremost a gift of God, thrice Holy (cf. Is 6: 3). In the second reading, the Apostle John remarks: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (I Jn 3: 1).

It is God, therefore, who loved us first and made us his adoptive sons in Jesus. Everything in our lives is a gift of his love: how can we be indifferent before such a great mystery? How can we not respond to the Heavenly Father’s love by living as grateful children?

said the Pope.

Imitating Christ

In our life we do have to try to become like Jesus.

Consequently, the more we imitate Jesus and remain united to him the more we enter into the mystery of his divine holiness. We discover that he loves us infinitely, and this prompts us in turn to love our brethren. Loving always entails an act of self-denial, “losing ourselves”, and it is precisely this that makes us happy.

Thus, we have come to the Gospel of this feast, the proclamation of the Beatitudes which we have just heard resound in this Basilica.

Jesus says:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed those who mourn, the meek; blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful; blessed the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted for the sake of justice (cf. Mt 5: 3-10).

For the Pope in truth, the blessed par excellence is only Jesus. He is, in fact, the true poor in spirit, the one afflicted, the meek one, the one hungering and thirsting for justice, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemaker. He is the one persecuted for the sake of justice.

The Beatitudes show us the spiritual features of Jesus and thus express his mystery, the mystery of his death and Resurrection, of his passion and of the joy of his Resurrection. This mystery, which is the mystery of true blessedness, invites us to follow Jesus and thus to walk toward it.

To the extent that we accept his proposal and set out to follow him – each one in his own circumstances – we too can participate in his blessedness. With him, the impossible becomes possible and even a camel can pass through the eye of a needle (cf. Mk 10: 25); with his help, only with his help, can we become perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect (cf. Mt 5: 48).

Deprecating the value and sanctity of life

The Jews wanted to remind people that cremating the dead only serves to deprecate the value and sanctity of life. It facilitates the denial of death and the afterlife for the soul. And the benefits touted by advocates of cremation are questionable, including matters of expense, dignity, and environmental impact. They find that just as the unborn child has many endowments which are of no use to it in the womb, but demonstrate that it will be born into a world where they will be used, so does a human being have many endowments which are of little value in this life, which indicate that man will be reborn into a higher dimension after death. {Understanding the source of our soul and its eternal essence according to Jewish teaching}

The Torah is teaching us that the human soul came directly from God’s innermost Essence in the same way that a breath issues forth from a person’s lungs and chest cavity. The rest of creation, on the other hand, was created with speech, which is a lower level, for just as sound waves are generated by a person but do not contain any air from the lungs, so the rest of creation emanates from God’s Power but not from His Essence.

Two days for saints

The Bishop of Rome referred to how the first two days of the month of November are “dedicated to the saints in heaven and to all of the faithfully departed”, saying that because of this the whole month constitutes “an intense moment of faith, of prayer and of reflection on the ‘last things’ of life.”

By celebrating the saints and commemorating the departed, the Church on earth, through her liturgy, expresses the spiritual bond that unites it to the heavenly Church, the Pope observed.

On the feast of All Saints, he said, we praise God and give thanks for the holy men and women of all time, who were “ordinary, simple and sometimes ‘the least’ of this world, but ‘first’ for God.”

All Souls Day: Pope urges prayers, Masses for the dead

During his Sunday Angelus address on All Souls Day, Pope Francis called for prayers for the departed, including “those no one remembers.”

“We remember the victims of war and violence, the many ‘little ones’ of the world crushed by hunger and poverty,”

he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square.

“We remember the anonymous who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians, and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord those who have left over the last year.”

“Church tradition has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones,”

he continued quoting Lumen Gentium:

“Fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead.”

“The foundation of prayers in suffrage of souls is in the communion of the Mystical Body.”

Intimately linked two days

Pope Francis recalled how the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, coming one after the other, are “intimately linked,” in the same way that “joy and tears find a synthesis in Jesus which is fundamental to our faith.”

“The Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices in the intercession of the Saints and Blesseds who sustain it in Her Mission of proclaiming the Gospel,”

he said. On the other hand, the Church,

“like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer the separation of beloved persons, and like him and thanks to him echo the gratitude toward the Father who has liberated us from the dominion of sin and death.”

The Pope noted the custom on these two feasts of visiting a cemetery – a “place of rest” in anticipation of “the final awakening.”

“Jesus himself revealed that death of the body is a dream from which He awakens us. With this faith we pause – even spiritually – by the tombs of our dear ones, those who loved” and treated us well.

Day of hope for Israel
November 2, is also the anniversary of a letter issued by the British government favouring the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People, Israel, God’s People.
That letter began the process of the fulfilment of Bible prophecy concerning Israel in these last days.
The consequences of that letter, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, still reverberate around the world 97 years later.
“Today we remember and welcome those people among the nations of the world who have not forgotten history and who remember our link to our land and our right to [a] state of our own,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday. >Balfour Declaration of 1917 remembered
All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope

Christians should not be afraid of death when they tried to live according to the Commandments of God.

In his homily at the evening Mass on Friday just before the sun set, Pope Francis set aside his prepared text, looked out at the thousands of people gathered between long lines of tombs and told them,

“We reflect and think about our own future and about all those who have gone before us and are now with the Lord.”

Truly we better think seriously about our won future, more than about the future of the death, because for them it is too late. It is when we live that we do have to prepare ourselves for being able to enter in the Kingdom of God.

“The Lord God, beauty, goodness, truth, tenderness, the fullness of love — all that awaits us,”

we do have to know shall not be for all people. Only a select shall be able to get to the end, entering the small gate of that kingdom. We all are “washed in the blood of Christ,” but if we do not take care to live according to the rules of Christ and the rules of God we can forget it. We shall have to work, because faith without works is dead. (James) When we live in such a way that Jesus does not think we are worthy to enter the kingdom we shall not be allowed in it.

“The early Christians used an anchor as a symbol of hope”

the pontiff said. We can treasure the same hope as the first Christians but than we should be conscious about what they believed and of what they hoped for. they were hoping to receive a kingdom here on earth, and that is also what we should be looking for, a place were there shall be eternal peace.

Albrecht Dürer - The Austrian Saints - WGA7194

Albrecht Dürer – The Austrian Saints – WGA7194 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day
  6. All Souls’ Day

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Find also:

  1. In pictures, Halloween celebrations worldwide bring out ghosts and ghouls
  2. Here’s The Spooky Truth About Halloween
  3. Malaysia: Muslims protest new church, say it’s part of attempt to convert Muslims
  4. CBC laments that online “Islamophobia” goes unprosecuted
  5. Malaysia: Muslim women’s group appeals fatwa declaring they’re deviating from Islam by endorsing religious pluralism
  6. German official warns about 1,000 supporters of Islamic jihad terrorism in the country
  7. Switzerland: Three Muslims arrested, suspected of aiding Islamic State and planning jihad attack in Europe
  8. Balfour Declaration of 1917 remembered
  9. Understanding the source of our soul and its eternal essence according to Jewish teaching
  10. Pope celebrates all saints day in Verano
  11. Pope on All Saints Day: Beatitudes will lead us to God
  12. Mary the center of heavenly host, Pope says on All Saints Day
  13. Pope calls Feast of All Saints a ‘day of hope’
  14. All Souls Day: Pope urges prayers, Masses for the dead
  15. ‘Pray for the forgotten,’ Pope exhorts on Feast of All Souls
  16. All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope, pope says

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2 thoughts on “Autumn traditions for 2014 – 5 People, souls and saints in the news

  1. Pingback: Autumn traditions for 2014 – 6 Bonfire night | Stepping Toes

  2. Pingback: Bijbelvorser or Biblescholar 2012-2014 in review | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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