Sunday, October 31, 2010
The Unfaithful Departed, more on Halloween
But what about those who choose not to be saved?
The doctrine of Hell is not about God's anger but about God's love and man's freewill. True, the Church never says anyone is in Hell, apart from the Devil and a few ancient fallen angels. It could indeed be empty. The doctrine however reminds us that Man can choose to reject God, because God forces no-one to accept him. Man's freewill is so absolute that it embraces Heaven and Hell. A fundamental Catholic understanding is Man's absolute freedom.
I criticise those priests who want to canonise everyone, who assume everyone really wants God but then I suppose although I might be a little more realistic like many "trads", I suppose I assume that though most of us are too damaged to enter heaven immediately that through a period of purgation God will heal them, and yes, they will be saved.
But what about those who have spent their whole lives saying, "No" to God? Halloween is presumably about acknowledge their existence, those who have rejected the Church and the Sacraments, Christ's teaching on marriage, those who have lived selfish lives, those who have died without the the slightest Hope in Christ. What about the Un-faithful departed?
The feast of All Saints is about the Saved, All Souls, the commemoration of the Faithful Departed is about those who rightly Hope - in the sense of the theological virtue - for Salvation but isn't it arrogance to assume everyone wants to be saved?
I accept that God has made us to love and desire him, it is part of our nature but habit and lifestyle, or even sin, can change and pervert that nature.
Tea at the Trianon presents an interest theory on the origins of Halloween, I just wonder if its origins are in fact about trying to deal with the Unfaithful departed who are part of the danse macabre.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake