Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30: Wife's Birthday, Carving Pumpkins, Classic Saint Marty

Today was my wife's birthday.  We celebrated it.  Sort of.  We went out to lunch at one of my wife's favorite restaurants.  Carved pumpkins with our kids.  Had dinner at my parents' house.  And I worked.  Finished my lesson plan for Tuesday's class, since tomorrow is Halloween and I will be busy prowling the streets in search of candy with my son in the evening.

Right now, I'm watching a movie with my daughter.  Kolchak:  The Night Stalker.  She's loving it.  Of course, she knows that it is one of my favorite television films and series.  Perhaps she's indulging me a little bit.

By the way, Bob Dylan has finally indulged the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.  He called her, and they spoke for 15 minutes.  Told her that he was "speechless" over the news of the award.  So, Dylan will be taking a trip to Sweden this December.

And I will be sneaking Milky Ways from my son's Halloween candy tomorrow night.

Today's Classic Saint Marty first aired four years ago.  So much has changed.  So much is still the same.

October 30, 2012:  At This Time, Rolling Year, All Soul's Day

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said, "I suffer most.  Why did I walk through crowds of fellow beings with eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode!  Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me?"

I know I have used this passage before, but on this first episode of "Saint of the Week," it is particularly apt to touch upon Marley's penance as a ghost.  Marley wanders the world, seeing all the suffering and anguish he could have helped alleviate while he was living.  It is a terrible eternal punishment, to be in a constant state of regret and mourning.

On November 2, the Catholic Church celebrates All Souls' Day.  On this day, people on this planet can offer prayers and alms for those who have died who are "being purified in the sufferings of purgatory."  By offering these sacrifices, we can help the Marleys of the afterlife pass through the pearly gates and enter heaven.  Now, whether you believe in Purgatory and punishment or not, most Christian churches at this time celebrate those who have died in the past year.  In Mexico, it's a national holiday.  Dia de los Muertos.  That's the day where everybody dresses like skeletons and makes sugar skulls and goes to visit grandma and grandpa at the cemetery, usually bringing them food and drinks.  It's sort of like Halloween, except the trick-or-treaters are dead.

No matter what tradition you celebrate, the end of October and the first days of November are reserved for remembrance, for reflection on those you have lost.  It can be a solemn time, or it can be a time of celebration.  It depends on the culture and traditions.

So, whether you're eating Milky Ways or sugar skulls, or lighting votive candles, I wish you a peaceful All Souls' Day.

Saint Marty will end with a traditional Catholic prayer for this time:  Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.  Amen, Marley, amen.

My son's jack-o'-lantern
My daughter's jack-o'-lantern

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