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November 1st, 2010

Should Christians Observe Halloween

Should Christians Observe Halloween

How should Christians approach Halloween and is there a biblical way to observe this secular holiday? See this controversial question, “Should Christians observe Halloween?” With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving the debate can be a challenge.

Christian perspectives on the observance of Halloween are strongly divided. Some believers feel complete freedom to observe the holiday, others run and hide from it, many boycott or ignore it, a number celebrate it through more positive and imaginative observances or Christian alternatives to Halloween, and still others choose to take advantage of Halloween’s evangelistic opportunities.

Some of today’s popular celebrations associated with Halloween have pagan roots stemming from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This harvest festival of the Druids ushered in the New Year, beginning on the evening of October 31, with the lighting of bonfires and the offering of sacrifices. As the Druids danced around the fires, they celebrated the ending of the summer season and the beginning of the season of darkness. It was also believed that at this time of year the invisible “gates” between the natural world and the spirit world would open, allowing free movement between the two worlds.

During the 8th century in the diocese of Rome, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1, officially making October 31 “All Hallows Eve,” some say, as a way of claiming the celebration for Christians. However, this feast commemorating the martyrdom of the saints had already been celebrated by Christians for many centuries prior to this time. Pope Gregory IV broadened the feast to include the entire Church. Inevitably, some of the pagan practices associated with the season persisted and have been mixed into modern celebrations of Halloween.

What does the Bible say about Halloween?

Deu 18:10-11 Don’t you dare sacrifice your son or daughter in the fire. Don’t practice divination, sorcery, fortunetelling, witchery, casting spells, holding seances, or channeling with the dead.

1Co 10:21-22 And you can’t have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won’t put up with it. He wants us–all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?

2Ki 21:5-6 And he built shrines to the cosmic powers and placed them in both courtyards of The Temple of GOD. He burned his own son in a sacrificial offering. He practiced black magic and fortunetelling. He held seances and consulted spirits from the underworld. Much evil–in GOD’s judgment, a career in evil. And GOD was angry.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Are you a True follower of Jesus Christ? Then Skip Halloween this year and tell others to do likewise!

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween.

Halloween is not for Christians. Honor God instead by refusing to observe Halloween this year.

October 27th, 2010

Power of The Rosary

Power of The Rosary

Secret Power of The Holy Rosary

Often Father Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican writes:  One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.”

The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.

I write in addition to the above: Please enunciate each word of the Rosary clearly and distinctly. Do not trample on the heels of the words of anyone with your words.. Do not speak over the leader if you are following or the respondent if you are leading the Rosary. Remember that they also are having a conversation with Mary Our Mother and it is not polite to speak when someone else is speaking.

In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking: the Leader and the respondents. Each is speaking to the Blessed Mother and listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives.

Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, the Rosary, which contains the Our Father, the Perfect Prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary’s Mysteries, backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Mary’s.

The Eternal Father described to a group of us, through a Visionary Friend of mine, what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying, “When you pray Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now……, the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her. And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him.

And where the Holy Trinity is, all of creation is, and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life. Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands outstretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces. This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time, Your Mother.

Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces. He also said at this time, “Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan.”

Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others? Come, let us ask our Mother’s intercession more often.

Also Read:-

Why Pray to Virgin Mary

Rosary : A promise of safety

October 20th, 2010

The Love Of Many Will Grow Cold

The Love Of Many Will Grow Cold

The Love Of Many Will Grow Cold

This is a heartbreaking statement in the ‘Olivet Discourse’ of our Lord (Mk. 13:3). We find extremely difficult to gulp it down and we wonder how true are His words in today’s world scenario? The purpose of the discourse is to warn the disciples of the dangers that lie ahead: persecutions, false prophets and messiahs, rumors of wars and wars, natural calamities and catastrophes of various magnitudes.

The growth of coldness in love is something cosmic – continent to continent, nation to nation, tribe to tribe and family to family. This spiritual cold wave, now swept over the face of the earth is something concomitant to the ‘increase of lawlessness’ in the world. Mathean usage of the verb psucho (blow cold) in the passive voice indicates an act of cooling by blowing.

Neither Hot nor Cold

Another aspect of the cold wave manifests itself in a life of lukewarmness – neither enthusiastic nor tepid. The Church in Laodicea once fervent fell into this trap of tepidity. “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:15-17).

They lived a type of cogitative vegetative life of comfort and ease. “Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness” (Jer 48:10). The ‘slothful servant’ received a harsher punishment (Mt. 25:26).

Increase of Lawlessness

Lawlessness is a ‘mystery’ according to St. Paul. None can totally comprehend the mystery of evil in this world. “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thess 2:7). How can a good God allow it happen? Why does the just suffer? This inscrutable mystery is closely related to ‘the man of lawlessness’ and ‘the son of destruction’ (2 Thess 2:3).

St. Paul forewarns about the distressing signs of the last days. “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of religion but denying its power. Avoid them!” (2 Tim 3:2-5).

In a long list of twenty traits, what horrifies the reader is the use of some of the strongest expressions like, the ‘inhuman’ and the ‘brutes’ or the ‘savage’, who are wild in their behaviors. The Greek term astorgoi implies the heartless ones, bereft of any human affection. Similarly anemeroi denotes the untamed animals, irrational and unreasonable in their behaviors.

Redemption and restoration would be preceded by a period of unprecedented spiritual and moral chaos, and rampant religious apostasy, where the tyranny of relativism raises its ugly head; and nobody can say anything to anyone (2 Tim 2:1-12).

Cold Indifference

People should be dissatisfied with anything material. Why? Our hearts are created for God and it cannot rest in anywhere in creation or among the creatures, but in God alone. The religious indifference would be manifested in coldness in things related to God and the supernatural. In fact, some would be allergic to it and they ‘switch off’ their ears to any mention of it. What do they want? Shall we play the flute? Will you dance? No. Shall we play the dirges? Will you cry? No. They are like children sitting in the supermarket dissatisfied with anything in life (Mt. 11:16-17).

Hardening of Heart

Most of the hearts become hardened as it happened to Pharaoh, in spite of the fact that he witnessed numerous portents and signs performed by Moses. Some hearts will ‘grow faint’ with fear of the evil reports (in the mass-media). Still other hearts will be ‘weighed down’ with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.

The mystery of the ‘hardening’ of the heart of Israel until the full number of the gentiles coming in remains incomprehensible. As regards the Gospel, many Christians today are ‘enemies of God’ (Rom. 11:28).

At this juncture of history, what is required of believer is endurance, which alone will save him. A faithful disciple of Christ must bear witness against the godless nation, with heroic courage and perseverance. The gospel of the Kingdom must be preached throughout the whole world; and then the end will come, when the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come, Come Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:17, 20).

– – – written by Fr. J. Eapen SDB

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