Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The Church Triumphant: the Eve of All Saints - the real Hallowe'en

In vigil. fest. omnibus Sanctis

The Eve of All Hallows
(Hallowe'en)



After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb"

Forget "trick or treat"!

This the real meaning of All Hallow's Eve or Hallowe'en. Hallows is an old English word meaning "saints". Hence we speak of something being "hallowed" i.e. made holy.

This tableau is a powerful representation of the Church militant, here on earth, and the Church triumphant, in heaven.

On earth we see the Pope, clergy and religious on the left and the Emperor, nobility and people on the right.

Above them we see the Holy Trinity, with our Lady and the martyrs on the left and St Joseph and the other saints on the right, above them both are the holy angels, all adoring the Trinity.

It demonstrates, too, the essentially familiar and Trinitarian heart of the Church: the Holy Family is a reflection of the Holy Trinity and the charity that must obtain within a family is a reflection of the charity that obtains within the Holy Family and the Holy Trinity and is the foundation of heaven.

The Church, then, is a society founded upon the family and upon familiar principles which, in turn, are Trinitarian and incarnational principles, incarnating the love of God for men and the filial duty of men, in turn, to love and adore God the Father of all.

This the saints have done and do now to perfection, setting an example for us all to imitate.

All ye holy apostles, saints and martyrs, pray for us!


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3 comments:

Benfan said...

Lovely piece. I was looking at the creed one day and decided to draw a picture of the reality presented by the creed so that I could live my faith more fully. Sometimes my faith lapses into intellectual ideas. So I thought that if I drew out a picture of the reality that I profess to believe in, it would clarify things for me. It looks very like this picture you've shown here.

What I do not understand in all of this:
Once one steps into this reality by true assent to the creed are we not stepping into the Kingdom of God? Is it not here in the Catholic Church? Yet we pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God? Is this a different Kingdom or a final fully revealed Kingdom where all men, both believers and nonbelievers will see the Kingdom revealed in the creed?

Tribunus said...

I'm not sure I quite understand the question.

If we are members of the Church we are already members of Christ (absent serious sin) and thus we partake in a part of what we shall fully receive in Heaven.

But we are not yet in Heaven but on earth which is subject to the Fall of Adam and Eve and so is a place of imperfection and sin.

In Heaven there is no sin and all is perfect.

That is the difference.

Have I misunderstood your question?

Benfan said...

LOL. No, you have not misunderstood. Your first paragraph articulates the issue. We hide in Christ who opens heaven to us. Of course there is still the journey. I sometimes dwell on the end point so much so that I forget the journey. Not too sensible. Thank you for the reality check!