Thought For The Week

'Happiness must be used daily, you cannot preserve it and you must spread it. Do not dim the light in another's eyes by insensitivity, sarcasm or deny anyone the right to learn by their own mistakes.' ~Jill Sheehan

It is a sign of how quickly the year has slipped by with clocks going back an hour, with Halloween later tonight and All Saints Day tomorrow Friday. Halloween will be celebrated in every parish and community later on today.

It's origins go back to the days when it was a pagan Celtic feast. They believed that after sunset on the day of Samhain, which we now call Halloween, the spirits of the dead and evil spirits roamed the skies seeking to harm humans, especially if the dead had been harmed by them. To protect themselves people disguised themselves by dressing up in costumes and carried lights inside in turnips.

Interesting this tradition was then adopted and adapted in the United States and became known as 'Trick or Treating'. This would many years later be imported back to Ireland and so everything has done a full circle with 'Trick or Treating' now a firm favourite with many children and young people at Halloween.

There is a fascination at Halloween to wear scary masks, to place skeletons on our windows and placing other items on display, picking up on darkness and scary stuff. It is as if we are totally comfortable with death. But the reality is we are not. Many people are scared of death, scared about the unknown and unsure of what might happen. So in a way Halloween is one way of getting in touch with this fear. Halloween is a reminder that we are merely pilgrims passing through this world.

All Saint's Day on November 1st is a feast day filled with hope. It balances out the fears associated with Halloween. We are reminded that there is an after life and that the next world is one of eternal light and love. All Saint's Day is a reminder how many people, who have gone on before us, were shining examples of this light and love.

These people did their best, they lived their lives to the full and they spread light and love daily. They knew you can't preserve it and you must use it and spread it. All Saint's Day is a wonderful celebration of everything good about them and it's a day of promise and hope for us too.

Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
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