Découverte cette semaine du site anglophone « Mystagogy ». Pour ceux que la langue de Shakespeare ne rebute pas, je le conseille chaleureusement. L'auteur fait partie de ces orthodoxes qui vivent pleinement la beauté de leur foi. Quoique fort attentive de maintenir la « pureté » de sa tradition et de ne céder à aucun syncrétisme, l'Orthodoxie bien comprise est par essence ouverte à la rencontre avec les autres car elle part du principe que l'universalité dont elle se réclame (elle se dit catholique donc universelle) passe par un dialogue avec le prochain considéré également comme image et ressemblance de Dieu.
L'auteur de ce blog l'a bien compris et il allie une sensibilité spirituelle à une intelligence du coeur et de l'esprit fort remarquable. En ces derniers jours d'Octobre, il consacre plusieurs pages à la fête d'Halloween fort populaire aux Etats-Unis.
La polémique pourrait prêter à sourire ici mais apparemment, aux USA, cette fête séculaire ferait l'objet d'attaque des groupes fondamentalistes qui y voit une offensive satanico-néo-païenne. Ridicule explique l'auteur après moultes recherches historiques : Halloween est une fête chrétienne qui faisait florès chez les émigrés irlandais. Elle se déroulait la veille de la Toussaint où l'on se remémore que les Saints sont actifs dans le monde et que le voile n'est peut-être pas si épais qu'on voudrait le croire :
Halloween originated as a medieval Christian celebration that was part of the Triduum of All Hallows, or Hallowmas (All Hallows Eve, All Hallows Day and All Souls Day lasting from October 31 - November 2), and in the 19th and 20th centuries it acquired Western European and North American cultural traditions that established it as an annual celebration of these societies.
Et de poursuivre en pourfendant quelques idées reçues : If we were to trace the origins of Halloween to one specific event in history, it would be when Pope Gregory III (731-741) dedicated an oratory in the original Saint Peter's Basilica of Rome in honor of all the Saints on November 1st, which initiated a local Roman custom to celebrate the feast of All Saints on November 1st. Before this time the feast of All Saints, also known as All Hallows, was celebrated throughout the Christian world since the 4th century to mainly commemorate all the Martyrs either in April or May, including Ireland. The Franks then the English were the first to follow Rome in celebrating the feast of All Saints on November 1st, and this became official under Pope Gregory VII in the early ninth century. The word Halloween merely refers to October 31st being the day of All Hallows Eve, and later November 2nd also became part of the Triduum with the commemoration of All Souls Day on which prayers and philanthropic acts were done on behalf of the dead, which was also part of established Christian tradition since the early centuries.
This may come as a shock to some who believe the myth that Halloween has its origins or is associated with paganism or satanism. The truth is that Halloween never was and never has been associated with paganism or satanism, though some pagans and satanists may embrace it as part of the melting pot we call America. Instead what we find is that the Church established Hallowmas as original holy days, not to sanctify an old pagan celebration among the Celts as has been popularly believed, but to celebrate an already well-established feast dedicated to all the Saints.
Up until the 19th century, Halloween in Western Europe and America was a firmly Roman Catholic feast day that acquired and developed various cultural traditions, as all major holidays did at the time and still do. The mythology that Halloween had pagan origins prior to Christian times arose for the first time in the 19th century among Celtic scholars, who had their own personal agendas in falsifying history. They came up with the idea that October 31-November 2 were days when pagan Celtic peoples celebrated a feast of the dead known as Samhain, even though there is no historical record of such a feast among the ancient Celts. How did they come up with this? It was believed at the time that Christian feast days, such as Christmas and Easter, had pagan origins, and that the Church merely Christianized established pagan celebrations to win over converts. The way the Celtic scholars explained the origins for the feast of All Saints, which was popular among the Irish of the 19th century, was by tracing it back to the ancient Celts, without historical precedence. Though these false ideas are still popularly believed today, any honest historian can easily spot the agenda in these falsifications of history, and they have been firmly discredited.
Non content de remettre les points sur les « I » concernant cette fête aussi bon-enfant que sympathique l'auteur poursuit avec une très bonne réflexion sur la littérature (ou le cinéma) d'horreur et ses implications théologiques. Le monstre imaginaire désigné comme tel est évidemment une manière d'exorciser nos propres démons intérieurs.
Et de conclure superbement :
It does not help our Christian witness in the world to distort information to make our message sound better. In fact, it does just the opposite and I believe those capable of discovering the truth will be judged for disseminating lies which are unfounded. We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power and truth to be above propagating errors. It is the proclamation of the truth which brings freedom and respect, and a pure heart which makes all things pure.