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Easter and the Eighth Day

Crisis: Sean Fitzpatrick: 'Have you ever heard of the Eighth Day? Besides some folks’ recognition of the name of one of the best bookstores in the country (don’t miss Eighth Day Books if you’re ever in Wichita), the tradition of the Eighth Day has largely, if not entirely, lost its place in the Christian imagination. But Eastertide is a time to celebrate new life for things dead and gone, and nothing of holy origin is ever too far gone in the graveyard of time to be set on its feet to walk again. Moreover, as a symbol of the Resurrection, there is no better thing than the Eighth Day to be resurrected.

'We often hear people lament over all the things we have lost in our benighted day and age. In my opinion, the single greatest thing we have lost is the sense of what we have lost, or that we have lost anything at all. The Eighth Day is one of those rich mysteries that has lost even the ghost of itself in the noise and narrowness of the modern sensibility.

'There was a time when common Christians may have heard of such a thing as the Eighth Day but didn’t quite know or remember what it meant—just as they might have heard of Homer or Euclid or St. Thomas Aquinas but didn’t quite know or remember what their precise claim to fame was. There once was a time when every man—be he doctor, lawyer, or plumber—maintained at least a nodding acquaintance with the likes of Achilles and Caesar and Hamlet. But, alas, for our great supplanting era of wondrous wealth and convenience. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times....'

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