Via the DC Dominicans – great stuff.
This Halloween, rather than attending a liquor-laden Halloween party or taking part in some bar’s costume contest, young professionals will jam into a dark-wood English Gothic chapel at the Dominican House of Studies to hear readings from the lives of the saints and an inspirational talk, pray ancient night prayers along with the friars, and sing Gregorian chant. The liturgy concludes with a candle-lit procession to the friars’ reliquary while chanting a litany.
Afterwards, there’s a social hour with friar-baked goodies and holy cards of saints for the taking.
The annual event was brought here by a group of young Dominicans from the West Coast, and it immediately began to draw large numbers of college-aged and young adult Catholics. It’s been that way ever since.
“Our annual All Saints’ Vigil draws hundreds for good reason,” said Dominican Father Reginald Whitt, president of the House of Studies. “We can’t help but be drawn to the saints and be inspired by their lives.”
(You can also listen at the link above)
In Manhattan I have seen hundreds of people at a time standing in line to have books autographed by an author. People brave all sorts of weather to get a signature from Dennis Rodman or Hillary Rodham Clinton, to share vicariously in the fame of another.
Somehow we are tempted to think that if we have even the slightest share in the lives of the famous we also will become famous. Yet, this seeking after vicarious fame fails to recognize the unrepeatabilty, the opportunity open to each, of God’s children. Left to such a life, at the time of death, we will be in danger of suffering the agonizing memory of a wasted life. Human beings are not called to be famous, but to give their lives in love for the lives of others.
The saints have stood in another line seeking to have the book of their lives signed. The author is the Author of Life, and his signature, like that of the poor and illiterate man, is a simple mark, a cross. This mark offers no mere vicarious share in fame, but like all marks made by God; this signature is personal and transforming.
(It’s also at Godspy)