Summary: This is an All Saints Day (Halloween) message affirming that Christians are called to a holy life made possible by the gifts given by God.

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Today is All Saint’s Day; a feast day that has been celebrated for

hundreds of years within the church, particularly within the Roman

Catholic, Orthodox , and Anglican Communions.

As with Christmas, this Holy Day has become a secular holiday in which people, young and old don odd costumes and pretend they are someone else.

In recent years, many people look for make-overs in their appearance and their clothing so as to enhance their standing in society. False faces and false clothing and false prayers do not enhance one’s position in this life. Our heavenly Father and in time, everyone else, sees through the pretense.

Christians have lost stature in many parts of the world in the past 200 years. Our sacred days are caricatured in the world. Halloween is a relatively new cultural invention, and in an odd way, reveals just how much ground the Church has lost.

The commercial world, the secular world hasn’t a clue as to the meaning of All Saints Day. The Satanic and superstitious themes that run through the day give it a dark side sending off messages that this is more than a day of play. Murder and death are part of the Halloween Movie fare. Horror sells. So does witchcraft. Horror has become regular entertainment fare for a growing segment of our society and has become a reflection of a reality that exists at the margins of our world.

Old and young alike enjoy a party and playing pretend. There is nothing wrong with dressing up to be somebody, when it is for fun, for a party. But sainthood, being identified as holy is not a pretend game. The neglect of the Saints in our country’s tradition is a pity because it can make the whole idea of sainthood and of the communion of the saints, seem inaccessible to people. Popularly, a saint is pictured as one who is perfect; someone who has been a spiritual overachiever. It is true that those the universal church has declared to be saints lived good lives, but these wonderful folk are only bright examples of something that is very common; bright examples of a deep and abiding faith in Christ Jesus that has issued forth in action in real lives. This can happen to us as well.

Pope JPII identified hundreds of ordinary people who were extraordinarily generous in giving of themselves and their fortunes in Christ’s service in the midst of our own evil modern times.

The word Saint derives from the word Sanctus - which we translate as the word "holy". That simply means: set aside for the service of God.

In Paul’s letters, the word - sanctus - the word saint - is applied without further distinction to the company of those who believe in Christ Jesus and who strive to live faithfully according to his teachings and his example.

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the

saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus - grace

to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle... to

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