All Saints' Day

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Oct 29, 2008 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments

November 1 is All Saints' Day which has been a feast day in the western Christian church since the 8th century. On that day the church celebrates the life and light of those whose devotion and holiness continue to inspire us in kind. Its origin is even earlier dating back to the 4th century according to Chrysostom, when it was celebrated in May. Was it moved to coincide with and combat the druidic practices that focused on the return of death and evil spirits at the approach of dark winter? Probably. Is part of current Halloween, Hallows' Eve, a worldly reaction to the church's All Saints' Day, All Hallows' Day in the same way that Fat Tuesday profanes the eve of Lent? My intuition says it is. Historical concerns aside, the question remains: where, as followers of Jesus, is our focus?

In Christ we have everything...
If you want to heal your wound, he is the doctor.
If you are burning with fever, he is the fountain.
If you are in need of help, he is strength.
If you are in dread of death, he is life.
If you are fleeing the darkness, he is light.
If you are hungry, he is food: O, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Happy are those who take refuge in him (Ps. 34:8).

---Ambrose, On Virginity, 16, 99.

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