This morning’s Gospel was the story of a poor man named Lazarus and a rich man whose name we don’t know. Or, rather, we know his name all too well. It’s my name. It’s yours. We, all of us, are the rich man.

And it’s such an interesting story to fall today, on Halloween. If you don’t know the story, take a moment to read the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

Or just follow along with the short version: When Lazarus was laid on the rich man’s front steps, the rich man ignored him. He chose not to show hospitality. When they both died, Lazarus was welcomed by angels, and the rich man found himself in torment.

And today, many of us will have children in costumes appear on our front steps, or teenagers with no costumes. They’re asking for a bit of candy. Something sweet. The smallest offering of hospitality. The Apostle Paul said that when we offer hospitality to strangers, we may be offering it to angels without knowing it.

May you be surrounded with angels today, as you offer hospitality to the children who come to your door. And when the time of your death arrives, may the angels you welcomed with candy welcome you.

For more thoughts on Halloween hospitality, read Being a kind and generous representative of your household on Halloween, which you can find on John Sanidopoulos’s Halloween Resource Page.

Read More

Jump-O-Ween: A Halloween party with a sensory kid: In Book 3 of “The Adventures of Li-Li,” Li-Li celebrates Halloween at her church’s Hallelujah party. All Li-Li wants to do is jump in the jumpy house. Her parents have other ideas. And Li-Li melts down. It’s an honest, sweet story. Sensory kids, their siblings and friends, and their parents will relate to Li-Li and learn from her experience.

Have a happy special needs Halloween: Halloween can be hard for children with anxiety and autism, with sensory processing disorder, with language delays. If those are your children, what do you do? I’ve got a few ideas to help your child enjoy the day.

Justinian and Theodora: A Love Story: St. Theodora, the wife and co-ruler with St. Justinian the Great, is one of my very favorite saints.

Buy the Books!

Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow

Catherine’s Pascha

Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps, and she doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.

Celebrate the joy of Pascha through the magic of a book: Catherine’s Pascha. Available on Amazon,, and my webstore.

The Saint Nicholas Day Snow

Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.

Celebrate the wonder of St. Nicholas Day through the magic of a book: The Saint Nicholas Day Snow. Available on Amazon,, or my webstore.

Trick or treat photo by Jo Zimnhy Photos, licensed under Creative Commons.

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