Latest Posts

Post Library

Some Halloween Tips to Mesh the Sacred with the Scary

Director’s Reflection

Dear Companions on the Journey,

From our Paulist Fathers’ “Busted Halo (,”  I take the following:

Halloween (or “All Hallows’ Eve”) has Christian roots.  Here are some tips to mesh the sacred with the scary:

1. Trick-or-treat:  Did you know that the origins of trick-or-treat have to do with prayer?  The poor (often poor children) would travel from house to house offering to pray for the souls of the dead belonging to each family in return for small treats.

2. Need a costume?  Honor the reason for the season by dressing like one of the saints!  You could be St. Lucy carrying her eyes on a plate; St. Thomas More toting his severed head under his arm; St. Michael the Archangel in full armor; or St. Margaret of Antioch peering out from the mouth of a dragon.  Use this as an opportunity to talk about your Catholic faith.

3. Celebrate the saints! If you’re new to praying with the saints, get to know a new saint this All Hallows’ Eve.  Choose a saint to be your partner in prayer for this year.  You can pick a saint whose life resonates with you for one reason or another.

4. Recognize mortality:  Falling leaves and cooler temperatures have a way of turning our thoughts toward our own mortality.  Halloween is (at least in part) a way for us to think out loud about this difficult reality.  Spend some time thinking about the fragility of human life. Make a prayerful effort to see the miraculous in every person who crosses your path this All Hallows’ Eve.

5. Have fun!  Despite common misconceptions, one need not be a stick in the mud to live a holy life.  St. Teresa of Avila famously prayed, “God saves us from sour-faced saints!” Discover the remarkable virtue of “eutrapelia.” It means playfulness and pleasantness. It means providing the soul with rest and refreshment. So enjoy the opportunities for play which this day has to offer and remember, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  [1 Cor 10:31]

What do you think?
And let us pray for/with one another.
The Paulist Center