Today is Halloween and for many people, this is the scariest night of the year, for many reasons. Many are focused on the ghosts, goblins, witches, and spooks that are supposed to roaming the earth on this night and are therefore, scared. For many others, the scariest night of this year, it might be November 3, election night here in the US. The results will bring about many changes, which will affect many and not all in positive ways, no matter who wins or loses.
Others see this day as a day of celebration, like my grandniece, Catalina, who celebrates her birthday. It is a day of joy, fun, laughter, and love as she is remembered and rejoiced over for the gift of her life. I don’t get to see her much since she and her family as they live on the other side of the country. However, I did send her a Halloween birthday card to let her know my husband and I are thinking of her. We will call her later today to wish her a wonderful and blessed birthday.
Others remember that this is the vigil for All Saints Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow, November 1st. On that day, we remember all those who have died, but who lived before us, trying to deal with all the things that life has in store for us. Many lived very sheltered lives; others lived in the world, working tirelessly for justice, for compassion, for acceptance and love for themselves and their neighbors. All had their own challenges, struggles, pains, joys, enjoyments in their lives, just as we do.
I think that sometimes it can be too easy to focus just on the bad in life and then miss the good in it. There is still a lot of good in life, even if it seems that evil is winning and growing. I recently learned of the Surrender Novena by John Andrew Schreiner. It is set to music at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnnWEn_rPdw) and also has the words of each day (https://healingheartofjesus.com/2019/01/03/the-surrender-novena/).
The novena was given to Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo by Jesus, who had extraordinary communications with Jesus throughout his life and it is extremely helpful for all. During this time since I was laid off, it has been a real blessing to meditate on the words and to listen to the musical setting. I have found that when I begin to feel a bit nervous, anxious or scared about what will happen in the future, I silently sing the refrain in my head and heart, and I am at peace again.
There will always be reasons to be afraid or anxious in life. But God wants us to trust and surrender all things and circumstances to God. I have found it to be very helpful so far. I offer it to you and pray that you will also find it helpful, especially as we approach the scariest night of the year. Which one it is, is up to you to choose.