By Ken Rolheiser
An old couple was always fighting and screaming at each other. The man said, "When I die I will dig my way up out of the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life!"
The neighbors believed he practiced black magic and was responsible for missing pets and strange sounds at night. He died strangely and was buried in a closed casket. After the burial, the wife went to the local bar and began partying wildly.
The neighbors asked, “Aren’t you afraid? He was going to dig his way up and haunt you?”
The wife put down her drink, "Nah. I had him buried upside down!"
We tend to make light of black magic and the dark arts, especially at Hallowe’en. But according to Philip Kosloski, wizards, witches and the dark arts are real. Their spells are real. They study potions and practice magic.
About one million American witches, many of whom keep their magic lives in the “broom closet”, continue to practice pagan rites and rituals. (Source: “The Dark Arts are Real”, Philip Kosloski, Aletia, October 16, 2018)
According to Kosloski, modern-day wizards study “black magic”; associate with Satanism, involving demons and evil spirits; and attempt hexing and cursing people. These activities are gravely contrary to religion and the Catholic Church’s teachings in particular (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2117).
Black magic “…denies God’s providential care over all creation. It is harmful to the soul and plunges a person into a great darkness that is hard to overcome. …[And] can open a person up to the demonic, who is constantly trying to lead souls away from God,” Kosloski says.
In “The dark Arts are Real and can put a Soul in Danger” Kosloski says that witches, warlocks and wizards exist, and “they do cast spells, study potions and practice magic.” This is not fantasy.
According to Cosmopolitan, around Halloween time, witches celebrate Samhain and “hold particularly intense rituals, evoking people who have passed away… to receive a message or help from the other side.”
But do not be fooled! In “Are Spells Real” (Aletia October 20, 2018) Kosloski warns that even if a successful spell is cast for a good purpose, the result is either coincidence or comes from some demonic power.
“Catholics believe that demons are real spiritual beings, fallen angels who rebelled against God and were cast from heaven. These spiritual creatures, while invisible to the eye, prowl ‘around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8),” Kosloski says.
Those who lead a life united to God need not fear. “Putting on the armour of God” will protect us “against the principalities, the powers, [and] the world rulers of this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
This Hallowe’en let us beware of our history. Hallowe’en came from an ancient Celtic holiday marking the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, the end of light and the beginning of darkness, and the end of mortal life and the beginning of eternal life.
On the evening before All Saints Day, October 31, the line between the living and the dead is thin. Christians celebrate a closeness to All Saints on November 1 and pray for the departed on All Souls Day, November 2.
This Hallowe’en give thanks for the Great mercy of God and give thanks for the plan God has for All the Saints among whom we aspire to be numbered.