Given a choice, do we choose to celebrate good or evil? Each time All Saints Day and All Souls Day come rolling in, I always wonder why people choose to dress up as terrifying monsters, witches or evil spirits when they could celebrate the lives of the saints or loved ones who have gone on ahead of us.
All Saints Day is supposed to be a day for us to remember our loved ones, our favourite saints or those who have led exemplary, good lives while they were on earth. We offer flowers and visit them in their tombs or breathe a prayer for their peaceful, eternal repose in the loving embrace of Almighty God. We don’t always have to go to the cemetery. Since they are already spirits, we can say a prayer for them even while we’re in Church or at home. The important thing is still what’s in our hearts.
Yet, somehow, Halloween would always upstage this commemoration of All Saints Day each year. We dress up kids and ourselves in spooky attires, seemingly celebrating the evil spirits around us. We seem to evoke the spirit of hatred or evil rather than the spirit of good or love.
The battle between good or evil is echoed in themes of numerous movies such as Lord of the Rings and other ethereal, fantasy films that delve into the world of fairies, goblins, elves, dwarves and the forces of darkness. These characters seem to fascinate us no end. The temptation to resist evil is almost too strong even for the main character, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) to resist. It is only with supreme effort and with the help of some loyal friends that Frodo finally tosses out the powerful ring into Mount Doom.
In life, it seems easier to go along with the evil within and around us rather than choose that which is good and the Godly. How much satisfaction do we feel when we get even or exact revenge on those who have been cruel and mean towards us rather than turn the other cheek? How much easier is it to talk behind someone’s back, spread rumors or cheat on our spouses and tax returns without them knowing what we did? It seems much harder to remain a loyal friend or a faithful spouse.
Yet God tells us to take us “to be perfect therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, NIV). A tall order, but something we can all aspire for. As we celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2, may we be reminded of the good things done by the saints and our beloved family members who have gone ahead of us. May we choose good over evil at all times.