st. catherine qoute

(St. Catherine of Siena)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween....and...Reformation Day???

I absolutely, posilutely love the months of September and October; fall should be the reigning season all year round.
This Sunday, October 31st, is Halloween, but is also a highly celebrated day for Lutherans and many different Protestant denominations. That day is known as Reformation Day. It commemorates Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This act triggered the movement in world history known as the Protestant Reformation. While the historical date for the observance of Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday in October. Needless to say, as a crazily, happy Roman Catholic, this celebratory day for some Christians is not one I can rejoice about. Needless to say, I will probably be "celebrating" Reformation Day by going to Confession, asking the intercession of the Saints, seeking indulgences for the poor souls in Purgatory, and drinking to the Holy Father’s good health and long life.... ;-)

In John's Gospel, the night before he died, Jesus prayed to His Father, "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:21). Jesus prayed and willed for ONE Church; united through faith, the sacraments, and ecclesial government. Through my own experience, prayer, and study, I believe that "one" Church is the Catholic Church. Is the Church perfect???? Absolutely NOT!!!!! Did Martin Luther have valid concerns and points he raised in leading up to the Reformation????? YES! But that does not mean, just because the Church (while divine) cannot be full of human sinners and mistakes. The Church will be perfected one day in the glory of Heaven.
If you have never studied the life of Martin Luther, I challenge you too. Seeing his life and experiences, and why he (unfortunately) took things as far as he did, makes me stronger in my Catholic faith, and appreciate it even more! The concerns he had with the Church at that time, were valid; however, totally rejecting element truths of Catholicism and leaving the truth were one step to far. Interestingly enough, which many people do not know, is that Martin Luther regretted his decision of schism from the Church as he lay on his death bed.

While this Sunday, parents and children will be trick-or-treating and enjoying all the fun of Halloween festivities...I ask each of you, Protestant and Catholics alike, to take some time aside and pray that prayer of Jesus, "...that they may be ONE." Pray for the unity and restoration of all Christians. And until that day, may we continue to pray, fast, and encouraging each other in our similar Christian beliefs; while working to understand and learn from each other.